This past weekend, the city of Denver, Colorado hosted the annual Great American Beer Festival and ten Arizona Breweries entered 42 different beers, coincidentally my favorite number, in hopes of bringing home medals for their hard work. Arizona favorites Four Peaks Brewing from Tempe, SanTan Brewing from Chandler, Papago Brewing from Scottsdale Dragoon Brewing and Thunder Canyon Brewery from Tucson, Oak Creek Brewing from Sedona and Lumberyard Brewing from Flagstaff represented the state well. Entrants from corporate restaurants with local brews included BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse from Chandler as well two Rock Bottom Breweries from Arrowhead and Desert Ridge.
With over 580 breweries and over 2,700 beers this year, over 50,000 people attended the event and the following awards were given to Arizona breweries:
- In Category 21, there were 51 entries for the Wood and Barrel Aged Beer – the Jerry Maker from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse beat out the Bourbon Barrel Aged Night Sail from Island Brewing and Local Species from Blue Mountain Barrel House to bring him the Gold Medal.
- In Category 51, there were 111 entries for American Style Strong Pale Ale with Melvin from the Thai Me Up Brewery taking Gold and Lumberyard IPA bringing home the Silver Medal , Laughing Dog IPA was awarded the Bronze.
I don’t know if it is such a bad thing thing that we only won two awards this year as that means that there is a multitude of new beer being brewed out there that is absolutely incredible. It is tough to see that perennial awarded beers from Four Peaks and SanTan came home empty handed, but it doesn’t mean I like them any less.