HAYS — Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Co. and its brewmaster Gerald Wyman, obtained the title of Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer Of The Year, Oct. 12 at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the largest commercial beer competition in the world. This is the first such achievement for a Kansas brewery in the 27 years of the GABF competition. In addition, Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Co. received gold and silver medals for their American Hefeweizen and American Wheat at this year’s competition.
Every year, Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Co. enters the GABF in Denver to compete with breweries from across the country. This year’s gold and silver medals bring the Hays microbrewery’s medal count up to nine since opening in 2005 and the only Kansas brewery to medal in 2013.
An international panel of 201 expert judges spent three days evaluating 4,809 entries from 745 breweries in 84 beer categories covering 138 different beer styles at the GABF competition. The winner of Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year is determined based on the results of the competitive beer judging held at GABF. All entries entered into the competition count toward Brewery of the Year points as breweries are awarded points based on medals won.
“Being named Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year is certainly a lifetime achievement,” said Wyman. “GABF medals are the highest recognition of a brewer’s talents and quality of their beers. It’s such an intense competition, and it’s difficult to win a medal for any brewery.”
After the weekend of sampling by 49,000 attendees and a successful finish, Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Co. will begin to see craft beer fans from across the country at their downtown Hays microbrewery and diner.
“This win is great not only for the microbrewery and diner but for the community as well,” said Wyman. “Being named the Small Brewpub Of The Year will bring a siege of craft beer enthusiasts to Hays.”
Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Co., located at 117 East 11th in Hays, will celebrate the win Thursday, Oct. 24 with the unveiling of the newest awards at 8 p.m. and live music from Pete Stein beginning at 8:30 p.m.