by Ken Goering
While they consider expanding their brewing and packaging operations, Colorado brewers should think about making bigger award cases as well. The state’s brewers made a very strong showing at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival, taking home more than 25 medals at the event. Many breweries took home multiple awards. Funkwerks in Fort Collins was named the Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year (an award won in 2009 by Dry Dock Brewing Co. in Aurora). Funkwerks also took two gold medals at the 2012 GABF (see below).
Speaking of Dry Dock, in the Fruit Beer category (58 entries) the brewery took gold with its Dry Dock Apricot Blonde; Dry Dock also received a bronze medal for its S.S. Minnow Mild Ale in the English-Style Mild Ale category (31 entries). Twisted Pine Brewing Co. in Boulder won a bronze medal in the Coffee Beer category (63 entries) with its Big Shot Espresso Stout, and a gold medal for West Bound Braggot in the Specialty Honey Beer category (33 entries).
Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs won a gold medal for its Butt Head Bock in the Bock category (33 entries). Tommyknocker also received a bronze medal for its Colorado IPA Nouveau in the Fresh Hop Ale category (34 entries). If I remember right, I enjoyed quite a lot of the Colorado IPA Nouveau at a beer festival in Central City this summer. It’s mighty tasty (as is the Butt Head Bock).
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery in Boulder won a gold medal for its Got Beer in the Indigenous Beer category (27 entries). New Planet Beer Company, also in Boulder, received a silver medal in the Gluten-Free Beer category (20 entries) for its Brown.
In the American-Style Brett Ale category (29 entries), the TPS Report from Trinity Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs received a bronze medal. AC Golden Brewing Co. in Golden received a bronze for its Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, entered in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout category (65 entries). The Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project in Denver won a silver medal for its Sentience, entered in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category (70 entries).
The Fort Collins Brewery’s Bombastic was the top entry in the Smoke Beer category (50 entries). Also from Fort Collins, CB & Potts Restaurant and Brewery won a gold medal for its 6X Helles, entered in the Munich-Style Helles category (65 entries).
In the Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest category, which had 23 entries, The SandLot from Denver won gold for its Move Back. The SandLot also won gold in the German-Style Wheat Ale category (23 entries) for its Wildpitch Hefeweizen. Keeping it in the family, Coors Brewing Co. from Golden won a bronze medal for its Keystone Light (which I definitely drank a lot of while in college) in the American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager category (51 entries).
Equinox Brewing Co. in Fort Collins won a gold medal for its Knight Ryder Munich Dunkel, entered in the European-Style Dunkel category (20 entries). In the International-Style Pale Ale category, Eddyline Brewing in Buena Vista won a gold medal for its River Runners Pale Ale.
In the Extra Special Bitter category (53 entries), Bull & Bush Brewery, just a few blocks from Krameria Estates in Denver, received a silver medal for The Tower E.S.B.
Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co. in Glenwood Springs won a gold medal for its Irish Red in the Irish-Style Red Ale category (48 entries). Rock Bottom Westminster won two medals; the brewery took a silver medal in the Sweet Stout category (32 entries) and a bronze medal for Molly’s Titanic Brown Ale, entered in the English-Style Brown Ale category (46 entries).
Colorado brewers won gold and silver medals in the American-Style Brown Ale category (61 entries); Telluride Brewing Co. took the top spot with its Face Down Brown, and Upslope Brewing Co. in Boulder took second with Upslope Brown Ale.
The state was also well represented in the German-Style Altbier category (35 entries). Grand Junction’s Kannah Creek Brewing Co. took the silver medal with its Land’s End Amber, and Loveland’s Grimm Brothers Brewhouse won bronze with its Little Red Cap.
New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins won gold in the GABF Pro-Am Competition for its More Fun Blonde (AHA member is Jay Shambo). New Belgium also took the bronze medal in the German-Style Sour Ale category (29 entries) with its NBB Love Felix. Also from Fort Collins, Funkworks won gold for its Deceit in the Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale category (51 entries). Funkwerks also won gold for its Saison that was entered in the French- and Belgian-Style Saison category (68 entries); Aspen Brewing Co. from Aspen won a silver medal in the same category.
In the Barley Wine-Style category (51 entries), Strange Brewing Co. in Denver took a bronze medal with its Dr. StrangeLove.
American brewers are still making plenty of IPAs; the American-Style India Pale Ale category had the most entries by far with 203. With only 12 entries, the smallest category was American-Style Dark Lager; the Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout category had 16 entries.