Colorado Breweries Score Big at Great American Beer Festival 2016

Great American Beer Festival 2016

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the breweries in Colorado have an idea what they are doing. At the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, breweries in Colorado walked away with an impressive 38 total medals.

At this year’s festival, competition was fierce. Winners were chosen from 7,227 beers in contention from 1752 different breweries. Breweries from all fifty states attended the 2016 Great American Beer Festival. Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to breweries in 96 different beer categories.

Notable Colorado breweries this year include Cannonball Creek Brewing Company out of Golden, Colorado. The brewery, founded in 2013, took home two gold medals this year; one for their Solid Gold in the Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale category, and also for their Trump Hands in the Session India Pale Ale category. El Rancho Brewing Company, which opened its doors in 2015, took home a gold this year as well. The small Evergreen, Colorado brewery took home gold for its Valhalla in the Historical Beer category.

Another big Colorado brewery winner was Bootstrap Brewing Company from Niwot, Colorado. The small brewery took home two medals at this year’s event: a gold for their Stick’s Pale Ale in the American-Style Pale Ale category, and a bronze for their Wreak Havoc in the Imperial Red Ale category. “We love our beers, and they’ve been big hits at restaurants and liquor stores, but to have them recognized as exceptional on a national level against some of the largest and best breweries in the market is simply amazing,” said Leslie Kaczeus, one of the founders of Bootstrap. “It just verifies that we’re doing it right.”

Also, perhaps the smallest brewery to win was 14er Brewing Company in the Chili Beer category with their Rocky Mtn Saison. “It’s such an unreal experience. This medal provides legitimacy to the brand and style of beers that 14er Brewing is dedicated to crafting. 14er cannot thank our friends and family enough for their ongoing support as we continue to grow 14er Brewing,” said Andrew Kaczmarek, Co-Founder at 14er Brewing. While they do not currently have a taproom, 14er Brewing is scheduled to open one in Denver sometime in 2017.

Other gold medal wins in the state of Colorado include:

  • The Post Brewing Company (Lafayette, CO): Achtertuin Seizoen Farmhouse Ale – Classic Saison
  • Copper Kettle Brewing Company (Denver, CO): Blond – Other Belgian-Style Ale
  • Echo Brewing Company (Frederick, CO): Kirby – Golden or Blonde Ale
  • Echo Brewing Cask and Barrel (Erie, CO): Tri-Town Brown – English-Style Brown Ale
  • Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (Loveland, CO): Little Red Cap – German-Style Altbier
  • Rockyard American Grill and Brewing Company (Castle Rock, CO): Warning Sign – German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock
  • 4 Noses Brewing Company (Broomfield, CO): Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Pumpkin Spice Beer
  • Denver Beer Company – Canworks (Denver, CO): Drama Queen – Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer

Beyond the gold medals taken home this year, a total of 25 silver and bronze medals were amassed by breweries from the Centennial State. Congratulations to all the winners, from Colorado and elsewhere!

To see a complete list of winners, click here. 


About Max Schosid

Max Schosid is the founder of Rocky Mountain Brew Review. A former history teacher turned professional writer and beer drinker, Max is always looking for the best of the best in craft beer. When he's not sipping on suds, you'll probably find him cooking, hiking around Boulder, or yelling at a TV playing his Colorado Rapids.

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