Approximately 1,752 breweries participated in the most recent festival, which was hosted by the Brewers Association and took place in Denver, Colorado in October 2016.
A jury of more than 265 beer industry professionals from 12 countries announced the winners. Without knowing the brand names, they tasted each brewery's selected beers according to specific flavor parameters (which you can read more about in this 68-page set of guidelines).
The breweries are broken into seven different size categories, ranging from "small brewpub" to "large brewing company." The top one in each group was awarded the title of "champion brewery."