Cheers to the Return of the Great American Beer Festival

by Brian Maass on October 20, 2022 in Food+Drink,

After a two-year hiatus of in-person festivals due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Great American Beer Festival returned just in time for its 40th anniversary. In 1982, Charles Papazian founded the first Great American Beer Festival in Boulder, CO, as part of the fourth annual American Homebrewers Association conference. The first festival featured twenty-four breweries, and forty-seven beers. Now in its 40th year, the festival hosts 500 breweries featuring over 2,000 beers.

Over 40,000 beer lovers attended this year’s Great American Beer Festival. With over 2000 beers featured, that requires a lot of beer kegs. Photo courtesy Great American Beer Festival

This year, Texas breweries won seven gold, six silver, and eight bronze medals in various categories. For more information on where you can find these award-winning breweries, visit the Great American Beer Festival’s website. Prost, Texas! 

Attendees of the festival have the opportunity to try a variety of beers from all over the country. Photo credit Brian Maass

Check out our selection of photos from the Great American Beer Festival to share the fun, excitement, and most celebrated beers at this year’s well-attended event. 

Texas breweries were well represented! Altstadt, Shiner, Freetail Brewing Company located in San Antonio and others were at the festival. Photo credit Brian Maass


This year, in January, Shiner debuted a new IPA series called Tex Hex. The Tex Hex series features Burja Brew, and the hazy IPA Desert Mirage. Photo credit Brian Maass


Whether they had a group theme, or dressed as their favorite characters, attendees had fun getting dressed up. From Pokemon to 80’s classic rock bands, to the traditional lederhosen, the festival featured a wide variety of characters. Photo credit Brian Maass


Howdy Beer, based in Colorado, brought the bull much to the delight of the beer lovers on hand.  
Photo credit Brian Maass


The Great American Beer Festival is the largest beer competition in the Nation. Each year 300 medals are presented to the best commercial breweries in the United States. Photo courtesy Great American Beer Festival


During the competition 235 judges will select winners from a field of over 9,904 beers in 177 different beer styles. A total of 200 medals are awarded, including 3 Pro-Am and 3 Collaboration medals. This year Texas breweries took home 21 medals. Photo courtesy Great American Beer Festival


Freetail Brewing Company in San Antonio won the bronze medal in the “International Dark Lager” category for their Bowie Bock. Photo courtesy Great American Beer Festival


Austin brewery, Meanwhile Brewing Co. took home the silver medal for their Secret Beach beer in the “American-Style Strong Pale Ale” category. Photo courtesy Great American Beer Festival


Altstadt Brewery won the gold medal in the “Munich-Style Helles” category with their Alstadt Lager. Photo courtesy Great American Beer Festival

Congratulations to all of the Texas breweries! The complete list of winners can be found on the Great American Beer Festival website. 


Cover photo courtesy Great American Beer Festival 

Brian Maass enjoys live music, and sharing good times at a local brewery or winery with his wife and friends. If he is not at a concert, then you will find him at a National Park photographing the amazing scenery this world has to offer.