Left Hand and other Colorado brewers win big at GABF
Left Hand Brewing won its first Great American Beer Festival medal in 1994, the year it opened. Five, in fact.
What's new: On Saturday — 28 years later — the Longmont brewery proved its still on top.
- Left Hand won brewery of the year in the highly competitive large category (15,001-100,000 barrels produced) at the GABF awards ceremony in Denver.
- It also took home a silver medal for its famous Milk Stout and a bronze for its St. Vrain Tripel — maintaining its status as the most decorated brewery in the state.
What they're saying: "It's unbelievable," head brewer Gary Glass told Axios seconds after he accepted the brewery of the year award. "I was just hoping to medal."
Why it matters: GABF is America's premier beer competition, and winning one of the 300-plus medals helps put a brewery on the map.
- This year, the festival celebrated its 40th anniversary and a cheery return after a two-year pandemic hiatus.
By the numbers: The 2022 contest saw 2,154 breweries submitting more than 9,900 beers.
Details: In Colorado, 25 breweries won a collective 27 medals — second most of any state behind California's 77, per an Axios count.
- The first-time winners were Bierstadt Lagerhaus, River North, Rock Cut and Resolute.
- Cannonball Creek extended its winning streak to 10 consecutive years.
The other Colorado winners in this year's competition:
- The Post in Lafayette for El Corn in the international dark lager category
- Comrade in Denver for More Dodge Less RAM in the American-style IPA category — the most competitive contest
- Crooked Stave in Denver for Stay the Funk In in the Belgian-style sour ale category
- Our Mutual Friend in Denver for Trystero in the brett beer category
- Jessup Farm Barrel House in Fort Collins for Barrel-Aged Soft Skills in the wood- and barrel-aged beer category
- Our Mutual Friend for Biere Ovale in the mixed-culture brett beer category
- Joyride in Edgewater for Black Razz Blonde in the American fruit beer category
- Baere in Denver for Saison in the classic saison category
- Launch Pad in Aurora for Citronaut in the English ale category
- Westbound & Down in Idaho Springs for Spirit of the West in the English IPA or New Zealand IPA category
- Westbound & Down and Denver's Bierstadt Lagerhaus for Chicago Peaks kölsch in the collaboration category
- New Terrain in Golden for Mirage in the American sour ale category
- Resolute in Centennial for Execrator in the German-style Doppelbock or Eisbock category
- Dry Dock in Aurora for Docktoberfest in the German-style Maerzen category
- Holidaily in Golden for BuckWit Belgian in the gluten-free beer category
- River North in Denver for Hello Darkness in the other strong beer category
- Twisted Pine in Boulder for Rockin' Roggen in the rye beer category
- CooperSmith's Pub in Fort Collins for Sticky Fingers Saison in the Pro-Am competition with homebrewer Mark Pennick
- Bristol in Colorado Springs for Laughing Lab in the Scottish ale category
- Breckenridge in Littleton for Agave Wheat in the American wheat beer category
- Cerebral in Denver for Fuego Reserva in the chili beer category
- SandLot in Denver for Wild Pitch in the German wheat ale category
- Odell in Denver for Dark Helmet in the imperial stout category
- Cannonball Creek in Golden for Rosemary Sourdough in the specialty saison category
- Rock Cut in Estes Park for Wooden Mayhem in the wood- and barrel-aged strong stout category
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