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Illinois’ Breweries Win at the Great American Beer Festival

Several Illinois’ breweries brought home a total of 16 medals from the Great American Beer Festival.

Photo: Will County Brewin Co.

The 2021 Great American Beer Festival in Boulder, Colorado concluded and announced the winners in every category. Breweries from across the country won in multiple categories including several Illinois’ breweries. Some of these are well-known while others are up-and-coming breweries. Let’s dive into the different categories, the local champions, and their individual beverages.

Tribes Beer Company – Mokena

  • Low Country Belgo-American Pale Ale – A 7.5% ABV with a lot of kick. Won silver for American-Belgo-Style Ale.
Illinois' breweries Tribes Beer Company
Photo: Tribes Beer Company/Twitter

Alarmist Brewing – Chicago

  • Midwest Royalty – A lightly colored American Lager with a 5.5% ABV. This lager won bronze for American-Style lager, a difficult style to achieve great taste and maintain a light-lager feel, and this should be celebrated exponentially.
Illinois' breweries Alarmist Brewing
Photo: Alarmist Brewing/Twitter

Goose Island Beer Co. Fulton St. – Chicago

  • Matilda – A 7.0% Belgian-Style Pale Ale brewed with the yeast Brettanomyces that gives it a unique flavor. Won bronze for Brett Beer.
Illinois' breweries Goose Island
Photo: Goose Island Beer Co.

Short Fuse Brewing Co. – Schiller Park

  • Vocal Jam – A 5.5% ABV Fruit-Kettled Sour with boysenbery, blueberry, and coffee. Won silver for Experimental Beer.
Illinois' breweries Short Fuse
Photo: Pholder
  • Tropical Hurt Locker – A 5.5% ABV Fruited Sour Ale with raspberry and passionfruit. Won silver for Fruited American Sour Ale.
Illinois' breweries Short Fuse
Photo: Short Fuse Brewing Co.

Will County Brewing Co. – Shorewood

  • Bamm Bamm Loves Pebbles – A 6% ABV fruity Wheat Ale. Won gold for Fruit Wheat Beer.
Illinois' breweries Will County Brewing
Photo: Will County Brewing Co.

Tangled Roots Brewing Co. – Ottawa

  • Sunkissed Blonde – A 5.2% ABV Blonde Ale. Won bronze for Fruit Wheat Beer.
Illinois' breweries Tangled Roots
Photo: Tangled Roots Brewing Co.

Sew Hop’d Brewery – Huntley

  • ALT 140 – A 7% ABV Dusseldorf-Style Altbier. Won silver or German-Styler Altbier.
Illinois' breweries Sew Hop'd
Photo: Sew Hop’d Brewery

Old Irving Brewing Co. -Chicago

Illinois' breweries Old Irving Brewing Co.
Photo: Old Irving Brewing Co.

Crystal Lake Brewing – Crystal Lake

  • Too Much Cologne – A 5.2% ABV Kölsch with pear and white grape. Won bronze for German-Style Kölsch.
Illinois' breweries Crystal Lake Brewing
Photo: Crystal Lake Brewing

DESTIHL Brewery – Normal

  • Haze of the Dead – An 8.5% ABV double IPA. Won bronze for Juicy or Hazy Imperial IPA
Illinois' breweries DISTIHL
Photo: Jim Sramek
  • TourBus – A 7.3% ABV IPA that won gold for Juicy or Hazy IPA!
Illinois' breweries DESTIHL
Photo: DESTIHL

Triptych Brewing – Savoy

  • Dank Meme – A 5.3% ABV tropical and hoppy beer. Won bronze for Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale.
Illinois' breweries Triptych Brewing
Photo: Triptych Brewing

Pollyanna Brewing Co. – Lemont/Roselle

  • Party Penguin – A 7.1% ABV malt liquor and won bronze for Other Strong Beer.
Illinois' breweries Pollyanna
Photo: Pollyanna Brewing
  • Roselle Red – A 5% ABV red lager and won gold for Vienna-Style Lager!
Illinois' breweries Pollyanna
Photo: Pollyanna Brewing

Mickey Finn’s Brewery – Libertyville

  • Dark and Down – A 5.9% ABV Schwarzbier with dark malts and won silver for Rye Beer.
Illinois' breweries Mickey Finn's
Photo: Mickey Finn’s Brewery

Illinois took home 16 medals in total including three gold medals! Some of the most popular breweries in the Chicagoland area are well-represented here and it should give Chicagoans/Illinoisans pride! Across multiple categories, these Illinois’ breweries prove the diversity in our craft beer. From sours and ryes to red lagers and IPAs, the quality in these brews are showcased nicely.


Husband and father, Chicago (mostly) sports fan, total gym rat and geek enthusiast. I write for OnTapSportsNet and talk fantasy football on the Fantasy Hour On Tap. Gaming, movies, TV shows, books, and bodybuilding/strongman are some of my other passions. A good-tasting white ale goes well with any sporting event. #Crackum

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