By Justin Crossley
The Boulder, CO. based Brewers Association wrapped up its annual Craft Brewers Conference last month in Nashville, TN. and saw record attendance of professional brewers from around the globe. More than 14,000 people attended the highly anticipated event, which includes educational seminars and panels of brewing luminaries, as well as the biennial World Beer Cup.
The World Beer Cup, often referred to as “The Olympics of Beer Competitions,” is the most prestigious beer competition in the world. According to the Brewers Association, beers were judged during six sessions over a period of three days by an elite panel of 295 judges from 33 countries—72 percent of whom were from outside the United States. In all, judges evaluated 8,234 beers from 66 countries. And of the 303 medals given out, a whopping 242 of those went to U.S. brewers. Even closer to home, Colorado breweries took home 28 medals, and nine of those earned top honors with golds. And by the way, only one other state rose above Colorado in the medal count, and that was California with a staggering 44 medals. Oregon trailed closely behind with 23.
Right here in Northern Colorado, our own beloved brewers also took home their fair share of the bounty of medals and bragging rights, including one gold for Fort Collins favorite, Funkwerks. Here’s a list of locals that helped Colorado with such a strong showing:
Dortmunder/Export or German-Style Oktoberfest
Bronze: The Weasel, C.B. & Potts / Big Horn Brewery – Fort Collins
Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale
Gold: Oud Bruin, Funkwerks, Fort Collins
Munich-Style Dunkel or European-Style Dark Lager
Bronze: Fearless Youth, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland
Bronze: American Sour Ale with Guava, Loveland Aleworks, Loveland
Fruited Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Bronze: Peach Climacteric, WeldWerks Brewing Co., Greeley
About the competition, Charlie Papazian, founder and past president of the Brewers Association mused, “The World Beer Cup showcases the breadth of the global brewing community and winning an award symbolizes one of the greatest brewing achievements.” Indeed that holds true if you were one of the lucky brewers to take home a medal, considering just over 300 awards were given out to more than 8000 entries.
The next Craft Brewers Conference will be held in Denver in 2019, but the World Beer Cup won’t be back until 2020. Until then, we can look forward to the Great American Beer Festival in September for another chance to cheer on our favorite brewers. In the meantime, go congratulate a local craft brewer over a pint, they’ve done us proud!