Penrose Brewing strikes hazy IPA gold at the Great American Beer Festival as Chicago continues aptitude in category

A year after a strong showing at the Great American Beer Festival, Chicago-area breweries won just a handful of GABF awards Friday in an event staged remotely for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Usually handed out at a crowded and jolly affair in a Denver auditorium packed with brewers from around the country, winners were rapidly announced online, including the lone gold medal for breweries in and around Chicago: first place for Penrose Brewing, of Geneva, in the Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale category for its beer Goofy Boots, among 145 entries.

It was a second consecutive medal for the beer; last year Goofy Boots won bronze in the same category.

Alarmist Brewing won a high-profile award with its bronze medal among 156 entries in the American-Style Pale Ale category for a beer called Pantsless.

Pollyanna Brewing of Lemont won a second straight medal for Lite Thinking, bronze in the American Lager category among 137 entries; last year, when the beer was known as Lite Reading, the beer won a gold medal.

Other Chicago-area winners included bronze medals for Horse Thief Hollow Brewing among 114 entries in the International Pilsener category for a beer called Little Wing; Midwest Coast Brewing in the Extra Special Bitter category among 56 entries for a beer called English Sporting Beer; and Light the Lamp Brewery, of Grayslake, in the American-Belgo-Style Ale category for a beer called Still Single among 34 entries.

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