Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thoughts on 2013 #GABF Winners

So, you know the SheppyBrew Beer Model and I attended GABF this weekend. See 2013 #GABF Friday Night  and 2013 #GABF Members Session if you want to read about it.

I didn't really get much of a chance Saturday or Sunday to look through the competition winners. Now that I have looked through, I have some thoughts.

Fair warning ... I'm a bit of a "homer" when it comes to my favorite breweries. I actually make an effort to stay away from local breweries at the festival, because I want to try beers that I might not get as much a chance to otherwise. However, I still am a fan of Drinking Locally.

This year, AC Golden won a bronze medal for their "IPL" in the International-Style Pale Ale category. I know as a craft beer fan, I am not supposed to support AC Golden, also known as Coors Brewing Company, but personally I think if you make great beer, you deserve to be considered a great brewing company. Friday night, I had the IPL, and I thought it was awesome.

Saturday, I made a special effort to hit American Brewing Company because I wanted to try their "Stupid Sexy Flanders". That didn't win, but I tried their "Fed, White and Brew" while there and really thought it was well done. I was impressed to see they won bronze in the Extra Special Bitter  Category. Well deserved IMHO.

Cannonball Creek Brewing Co. is a newish brewery in one of my favorite front-range towns, Golden, CO. I've been to their brewery tap room and thought their beers were very good. They won Silver in the American-Style Pale Ale for their "Featherweight Pale" and a Silver in American-Style Stout for their "Battlecat Stout". According to untappd, neither of those are beers I've had from them, so I'll have to make a point of visiting again.

Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. is a booth at GABF that I make a point to visit every year, because they always have something spectacular. "Hops n' Roses" won Gold in the Experimental Beer. Bummer that I did not try this beer. Congratulations to them, regardless.

I've had the "Big Horn Hefeweizen" from CB and Potts Restaurant and Brewery - Highlands Ranch, CO, which won Gold in the South German-Style Hefeweizen category. While I am not a fan of Hefeweizens in general, I've always thought theirs was pretty good.

The Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project won a Bronze for "HopSavant" in the American-Style Brett Beer category. Awesome to see.

Dry Dock Brewing Co is one of my favorite local breweries and just about cleaned up in the competition. They won Golds for "Wee Heavy" (Scotch Ale) and "S.S. Minnow Mild" (English-Style Mild Ale). They won Silvers for "HMS Victory Amber" (Ordinary or Special Bitter) and "Extra Pale Summer Ale" (Classic English-Style Pale Ale). They also won Bronze for "Enterprise IPA" (English-Style India Pale Ale). I've had all those beers at their tasting room, and I am happy to see that they did so well in this year's competition.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. won 3 Golds. "Pivo" won in German-Style Pilsener. "Taproom IPA" won in English-Style India Pale Ale. "Wookey Jack" won in American-Style Black Ale. I actually have blogged about "Wookey Jack" and loved it. See Firestone Walker Wookey Jack. I also did have it Friday Night at the festival. Firestone Walker and their brewery Matt Brynildson won Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer. Big congratulations to them.

I've been to Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co. who won Silver for their "Hanging Lake" in English-Style Summer Ale.

Congratulations to Denver brewery, Great Divide Brewing Co. for winning Gold with their "Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout" in the Chocolate Beer category. This is an awesome beer and the award is well deserved.

Although I did not mention it in either blog post, I do remember stopping by Joseph James Brewing Co and really enjoying their "Citra Rye Pale Ale". It won a Bronze in the American-Style Pale Ale category.

Left Hand Brewing Co, another one of my Colorado favorites won two Golds. "Fade to Black Volume 1", which I don't think I've had, won in Foreign-Style Stout. "Milk Stout", which I have blogged about and even put into my Colorado Six Pack, won in the Sweet Stout or Cream Stout category.

New Belgium Brewing Co. won a Silver in the Pro-Am Competition for "Charlie's Brown". Good for them. I think they won a Pro-Am medal last year too.

New Glarus Brewing Co. is a booth I usually visit during GABF, although I did not this year. Too bad. They won Gold for "American Blackberry Sour Ale" in Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale and Silver for "Serendipity" in Fruit Beer.

Odell Brewing Co. is still another one of my favorite Colorado breweries. They won Gold for "5 Barrel" in Classic English-Style Pale Ale. Unfortunately, I don't think I've had that beer.

Not too long ago,  I blogged about visiting Prost Brewing Co in Denver. They won Gold for "Keller Pils" in the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category. It was not on tap when I visited. Too bad.

I mentioned that Friday night I visited the Ram Restaurant and Brewery - Illinois booth on a suggestion from my wife's mom. They won Silvers for "Barrel-Aged Frostbite Lager" (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer) and "Bavarian Sun" (German-Style Wheat Ale). To be honest, I don't know if I had those or not.

Renegade Brewing Co, another awesome Denver brewery won Bronze for "Hammer and Sickle" in Imperial Stout.

The SandLot Brewery is located inside Coors Field and makes awesome beers. It is another brewery I am not supposed to support because it is owned by Coors, but I can't help it, I've enjoyed their beers. They won Gold for both "Second Hand Smoke" (Smoke Beer) and "Move Back" (Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest). I don't think I've had either of those beers. They also won Bronze for "Goat Rancher" in the Bock category. I do think I've enjoyed that beer.

Still another one of my favorite Colorado breweries, Ska Brewing won Gold for their "True Blonde Ale" in the English-Style Summer Ale category. One of those great camping beers to share with the wife.

Congratulations to everyone who won medals this year. It really is quite an accomplishment for a brewery to be able to distinguish itself in such a massive competition. Really impressive.

Go Blackhawks!

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