Texas breweries took home a record-breaking number of medals from the Great American Beer Festival’s competition Saturday, with a total of 16 gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to breweries and brewpubs from Austin, Dallas, Houston and beyond — just one more sign that the state is rising in the ranks of good beer producers alongside traditional brewery powerhouses like Colorado, Oregon and California.

Photo by Arianna Auber.
Co-founder and head brewer of Armadillo Ale Works, Bobby Mullins said it “felt good, really good,” to hear Armadillo’s Quakertown Stout take gold in the imperial stout category at GABF.

Among the Austin winners were Austin Beerworks, Real Ale, Pinthouse Pizza, Thirsty Planet and Oasis, Texas Brewing, which only started brewing beer earlier this year. Austin Beerworks, Real Ale and Pinthouse had also gotten medals last year, when Texas breweries brought back 10 GABF awards. (The most Texas had won up to that point had been 12 medals in 2005, partly because half went to Pabst Brewing’s beers, at the time brewed in San Antonio by Miller.)

Others who joined the winners’ circle this year include Dallas’ Community Beer Co. (one of two Texas breweries to receive two awards), Fredericksburg’s Pedernales Brewing and Denton’s Armadillo Ale Works.

How the competition component of the festival works: Breweries around the country submit their beers to any one of 90 different beer style categories for professionals in the brewing industry to judge in a blind tasting. The winners are then announced on the final day of GABF in a special ceremony. And make no mistake — breweries faced stiff competition. More than 1,300 breweries from around the U.S. submitted more than 5,500 different beers.

Oasis, Texas, helmed by Live Oak and Uncle Billy’s veteran Spencer Tielkemeier, wasn’t the only first-time brewery to take part in the festival and competition. According to the Brewers Association, the organization in charge of putting GABF together every year, 35 percent of GABF participants were newcomers.

Here’s the full list of Texas winners.

Gold medalists:

Armadillo Ale Works for Quakertown Stout in the imperial stout categoryCommunity Beer Co. for Public Ale in the extra special bitter categoryGrapevine Craft Brewery for Sir William’s English Brown Ale in the English-style brown ale categoryOasis, Texas Brewing for London Homesick Ale in the ordinary or special bitter categoryPeticolas Brewing for 2012 Great Scot! in the aged beer categoryReal Ale Brewing for Benedictum in the Belgian-style lambic or sour ale category

Silver medalists:

Austin Beerworks for Fire Eagle in the American-style strong pale alePedernales Brewing for Lobo Negro in the German-style schwarzbier categorySaint Arnold for Summer Pils in the Munich-style Helles categoryThirsty Planet for Yellow Armadillo in the American-style wheat beer category5 Stones for Aloha Pina in the herb and spice category

Bronze medalists:

Community Beer Co. for Ascension in the coffee beer category Pinthouse Pizza for Jaguar Shark in the wood-and-barrel-aged strong stout categoryRahr & Sons for the Regulator in the German-style doppelbock categorySaint Arnold for Weedwhacker in the German-style wheat ale categorySpoetzl Brewery for Shiner Bock in the American-style dark lager category