Friday evening marked the conclusion of the 2014 World Beer Cup, and craft brewers from Colorado fared very well. Twenty Colorado brewers were awarded 24 medals including 10 golds! Congratulations to all our great Colorado brewers.
Of particular note are the number of breweries that were represented at last year’s ACBF and the number of ACBF medal winners that won at the Wold Beer Cup.
Here’s a summary of the 2014 Colorado brewery winners:
Gold: Cherry Kriek, Strange Brewing Co., Denver
Silver: Apricot Blonde, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – North Dock, Aurora
Herb and Spice Beer
Bronze: Señorita, Elevation Beer Co., Poncha Springs
Gold: Shake Chocolate Porter, Boulder Beer Co., Boulder
Gold: Big Shot Espresso Stout, Twisted Pine Brewing Co., Boulder
Gold: Wild and Crazy Rye, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Boulder
Bronze: Got Beer, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Boulder
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Bronze: Bourbon Barrel Aged Mountain Man, Verboten Brewing, Loveland
American-Style Lager or Light Lager or Pilsener
Gold: Coors Light, Coors Brewing Co., Golden
Bronze: Coors Banquet, Coors Brewing Co., Golden
American-Style Amber Lager
Gold: Winterfest, AC Golden Brewing Co., Golden
Australasian-Style Pale Ale or International-Style Pale Ale
Silver: River Runners Pale Ale, Eddyline Brewing, Buena Vista
French- and Belgian-Style Saison
Gold: Saison, Aspen Brewing Co., Aspen
Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale
Bronze: Jean-Claude Van Blond, Wit’s End Brewing Co., Denver
Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale
Silver: Deceit, Funkwerks, Fort Collins
Silver: The Baltic Gnome, Rock Bottom – Denver, Denver
Ordinary or Special Bitter
Gold: Sawtooth Ale, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont
English-Style Brown Ale
Bronze: No Name, Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co., Glenwood Springs
Silver: Pure Imagination, Verboten Brewing, Loveland
British-Style Imperial Stout
Bronze: Weapon of Self Destruction Imperial Stout, Riff Raff Brewing Co., Pagosa Springs
Irish-Style Red Ale
Gold: George Killian’s Irish Red, Coors Brewing Co., Golden
Bronze: Devil Dog Stout, Red Leg Brewing Co., Colorado Springs
American-Style Pale Ale
Bronze: Featherweight Pale, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co., Golden
American-Style Amber/Red Ale
Gold: Runoff, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins
This weekend ACBF staff members had an international beer adventure.
After attending the Sunday Rockies game at Coors Field, we decided to drown our sorrows over an unsuccessful comeback attempt at River North Brewing. No, I’m not suggesting that River North somehow became an international brewery although many of their beers do exhibit an international influence. Rather, as we tried to find a place to sit and run through our sampler flight, two young guys offered to let the old folks share their table, and we did. As it turns out Sam (in the hat) and CJ are in town from Atlanta representing Jopen Brewery (www.jopenbeer.com) from the Netherlands. Before we were done the four of us were sampling each others beers and generally having a grand time. Sam decided that the River North J. Marie aged in wine barrels was the best beer he had ever tasted and bought the remaining bombers available (he left one bottle for someone else to buy).
After River North, Trice, CJ, Sam and I headed north for Epic Brewery. We found another international gathering consisting of many of the World Beer Cup judges. Not being shy, we invited ourselves to the party. Among the various folks we met there was Rafal Kowalczyk from Poland. Rafal runs an organization in Poland designed to expand the world of beer and craft brewing in Poland. Check out his website (browarzyciel.pl). Epic was packed. What a great time.
You meet the nicest folks at breweries!
We started our visit at River North Brewery. Trice still thinks they have the coolest logo. River North was featuring the release of their wine barrel aged J. Marie Belgian-style ale. You may remember that J. Marie won a medal at the 2013 ACBF. Well, this version is even better. But you better hurry up to the brewery. They only bottled 1,440 bombers. J. Marie is named for owner and head brewer Matt’s wife Jessica.
Our next stop was Epic Brewing. Epic was featuring a beer and ice cream flight. Yes, you read that right. Epic enlisted Little Man Ice Cream to mix up three special ice creams each using one of Epic’s beers. For $10 you got three scoops of ice cream and three sampler-size glasses of the corresponding beer. We tasted each separately and then made a float with each pair. Great! The Brainless on Raspberries with Little Man’s raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream was very good. Epic’ Brainless on Peaches was another 2013 ACBF medal winner.
We do too!
Colorado Cider has become a regular at the All Colorado Beer Festival with their Glider Cider and Grasshop-ah.
This year we will be adding several additional cideries including Stem Ciders located at 2811 Walnut Street in Denver. They are a short walk from Epic Brewery and well worth the walk. ACBF visited them on Saturday to sample a flight of their ciders. When you drop by, be sure to try their Le Chen a cider aged in wine barrels and Banjo aged in bourbon barrels.
By the way, don’t plan on tasting any of the great gluton-free Colorado ciders at the Great American Beer Festival. The GABF does not accept cideries. You’ll just have to visit the ACBF to sample these great craft ciders.
On March 16th and 17th Randy and Trice Dipner from the ACBF planning committee managed to visit nine breweries in Durango, Bayfield, Pagosa Springs, and Del Norte:
- Durango Brewing
- Bottom Shelf
- Riff Raff
- Three Barrel
Our first stop was Durango Brewing, a short walk across the parking lot from our hotel. Durango Brewing, of course, was one of the 2013 medal winners. We enjoyed a sampler flight before moving on to our next stop.
Downtown Durango has three breweries. Our first stop was Steamworks. We are hopeful that Steamworks will return this year after taking a couple years off from the festival. We had a great time with our sampler flight and Brian the bartender.
Just down and around the corner is Carver Brewing. Carver was making plans to attend the 2013 festival and had to pull out at the last minute. Hopefully, we will see them this year. Another great sampler flight at Carver.
The newest brewery in Durango is BREW Pub & Kitchen. BREW has opened a very classy pub with a great menu. After three sampler flights we decided it was time for dinner so we enjoyed a great meal – and another flight.
We had originally planned to visit Ska Brewing on our way into town on Sunday. Oops, they aren’t open on Sundays. We had to come back at 9:00 Monday morning. Our tasting was limited to a great breakfast brew – Steeltoe Stout. We did pick up a six pack of Modus and a couple limited edition bombers
Our next stop was in Bayfield, the home of Bottom Shelf Brewing. Chris and Greg are still waiting on their brewing license but expect to be brewing soon. In the meantime they have a nice pub location with guest beers and food.
On to Pagosa Springs the home to two current and one future brewery. Our first stop was Pagosa Brewing. Pagosa is one of those brewers we get constant requests for at the festival. After a nice chat with the brewer, we think there is a very good chance we will see Pagosa at the festival this year.
From Pagosa Brewing, we moved on to Riff Raff for another flight and lunch. Again we had a great talk with the owners and have high hopes they will be visiting the ACBF in 2014.
Our final stop before heading home was Three Barrel Brewing. We arrived about a half hour before opening time, but Will was very gracious and let us in for some discussion. He has the greatest wood fired pizza oven. Next time we head down that way we will definitely have a meal. Three Barrel will be expanding shortly with a larger brewing capacity and a whole barrel-aging capability. Three barrel is definitely planning on a return to the festival this year.
Happy and satisfied, we headed for home. It was a great time.
The All Colorado Beer Festival made a final round of 2013 donations delivering checks to:
- The All Colorado Beer Festival Scholarship Fund at UCCS
- Care and Share
- Crosses for Losses – benefiting those who lost homes in the Black Forest fire this summer
- Manitou Emergency and Recovery Fund
As the year 2013 draws to a close we take pride in the $55,500 in donations we made this year and look forward to an even larger amount for 2014!
Check number three from this year’s All Colorado Beer Festival was delivered this afternoon to The Home Front Cares. The check for $15,000 is a 67% increase over last year’s check. April Speake, Executive Director of THFC, said, “We have been receiving a lot of calls from military families trying to make it through the holiday season. This will really make a difference for many families.”
Just before the Friday performance of It’s a Wonderful Life, the All Colorado Beer Festival planning committee came on stage at THEATREWORKS to present Artistic Director Murray Ross with a check for $20,000. The ACBF check is 25% more than last year. It comes in the midst of THEATREWORKS’ annual fund drive. Randy Dipner challenged each donor to increase their giveing to THEATREWORKS by a similar 25%.
The Committee stayed to see the evening’s performance and were surprised by a radio advertising jingle embedded in the show that featured the All Colorado Beer Festival! We highly recommend the show for one and all: THEATREWORKS