The 2023 Great American Beer Festival may not have garnered as much hype as previous years, but Colorado breweries made their most impressive showing in recent memory at the awards, which took place Saturday morning.
Judges evaluated 9,300 beers from more than 2,033 breweries in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, competition director Chris Williams said. Colorado beer makers collected a total of 40 medals, including 15 gold, a significant increase from the 27 awards breweries brought home from the 2022 competition.
Speaking to The Denver Post, Shawnee Adelson, executive director of the Colorado Brewers Guild, expressed the pride she had in representing the winners. While the number of beers entered into this year’s competition was down, Adelson said brewers are more carefully submitting those recipes they feel are exemplary, and the awards reflect that.
“Colorado did a great job this year not only in the number of awards, but the breadth of awards,” Adelson said. “It shows our brewers here can brew very diverse beers and make medal-winning beers in some of the most competitive styles.”
Westbound & Down Brewing Co., which boasts three locations on the Front Range, proved the state’s biggest winner of the day with three medals, including a gold in the brand-new West Coast-style IPA category. The brewery’s Westbound Select beat out 300 other beers to earn the accolade in the second most competitive category of the competition.
Westbound & Down also took home silver for Spirit of the West, a New Zealand India pale ale, and bronze for The Coloradan, an American cream ale.
Longmont’s Wibby Brewing also made an impression, earning a gold medal for its Wiibby Jibby American pilsner and the esteemed title of “brewery of the year” among operations that make between 5,000 and 15,000 barrels of beer annually.
Also of note, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co. in Golden, which has won at least one GABF medal every year since opening in 2013, continued its streak with a gold medal in the American-style Pale Ale category. Local outfits Avery Brewing Co., Cheluna Brewing Co., and Prost Brewing Co. garnered two medals each.
Sen. John Hickenlooper – who founded Denver’s first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co., in 1988 – opened the awards ceremony by acknowledging the hardship breweries have experienced since the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged them to stay optimistic in the face of a challenging economic climate.
Adelson expects local beer makers will be riding high on the heels of Saturday’s awards.
“We make great beers and these types of awards just prove that,” she said. “I think this will energize our Colorado breweries.”
Check out the full list of award-winning local beers below. You can find the whole list of winners at greatamericanbeerfestival.com.
American Amber/Red Ale – Blown Tire, Knuckle Puck Brewing, Longmont
American Pilsener – Wibby Jibby, Wibby Brewing, Longmont
American-style Pale Ale – Featherweight, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co., Golden
Belgian-style Witbier – White Rascal, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder
Collaboration Beer – Luna Mexican Export Lager, Cheluna Brewing Co. and Prost Brewing Co., Aurora and Denver/Highlands Ranch
English Mild or Bitter – Sawtooth Ale, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont
Field Beer – King of Carrots, Ratio Beerworks, Denver
German-style Dopplebock or Eisbock – Execrator, Resolute Brewing Co., Centennial
German-style Maerzen – Seedstock Maerzen, Seedstock Brewery, Denver
Pro-Am – She Fancies Herself a Little Bit French, CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing with homebrewer Mark Pennick, Fort Collins
Robust Porter – Foggy London Town, Rock Bottom Brewery, Denver
Strong Red Ale – Wreak Havoc, Bootstrap Brewing, Longmont
West Coast-style India Pale Ale – Westbound Select, Westbound & Down Brewing Co., Idaho Springs
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer — Ye Olde Ale, Banded Oak Brewing Co., Denver
American Fruit Beer – Big Sippin’, Odell Brewing Co., Denver
American Pilsener – Cerveza Mechanica, Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co., Lafayette
American Sour Ale – The Sauer House Project: Ellie’s Version, Dostal Alley Brewpub & Casino, Central City
Belgian Fruit Beer – Island Rascal, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder
Chili Beer – Green Chile Honey Kolsch, Bent Barley Brewing Co., Aurora
Chocolate Beer – Midnight Hike, River North Brewery, Denver
Coffee Beer – Kurt’s Mile High Malt, Wynkoop Brewing Co., Denver
Experimental IPA – Forager IPA, Pumphouse Brewery, Longmont
German Dark Lager – Wunder Bier, Red Leg Brewing Co., Colorado Springs
German-style Kolsch – Rise & Climb, New Terrain Brewing Co., Golden
German-style Pilsener – Prost Pilsner, Prost Brewing Co., Denver
India Pale Lager or Cold India Pale Ale – Orizaba Cold IPA, Cheluna Brewing Co., Aurora
Light Lager – Mexican Lager, Lone Tree Brewing Co., Lone Tree
New Zealand India Pale Ale – Spirit of the West, Westbound & Down Brewing Co., Lafayette
Old Ale or Strong Ale or Barley Wine – Populator, Diebolt Brewing Co., Denver
Other Strong Beer – Skate Juice, Hideaway Park Brewery, Winter Park
Pro-Am Competition – Rob’s Baltic Porter, New Belgium Brewing Co. with homebrewer Rob Hardisty, Fort Collins
Scotch Ale – Scottish Wildcat, Wild Blue Yonder Brewing Co., Castle Rock
Scottish-style Ale – Laughing Lab Scottish Ale, Bristol Brewing Co., Colorado Springs
Specialty Saison – Freedom Fries w/ Cherry, Call to Arms Brewing Co., Denver
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer – Barrel Aged Maibock, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Denver
American Cream Ale – The Coloradan, Westbound & Down Brewing Co., Lafayette
Coffee Beer – Conditions of My Parole, The Empourium Brewing Co., Denver
Experimental IPA – Pina Colada Milkshake IPA, 14er Brewing Co., Denver
Scotch Ale – Old Chub Scotch Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery & Tasty Weasel Taproom, Longmont
Subscribe to our new food newsletter, Stuffed, to get Denver food and drink news sent straight to your inbox.
Source: Read Full Article