Colorado Breweries Celebrate Big Win at the World Beer Cup

Elizabeth Hartman - May 13, 2016
This week, as Colorado grocers plan their next step in an endless effort to monopolize the retail liquor market, we can pause for a moment, kick back with a couple of beers, and toast the success of 32 Colorado breweries who brought home awards from the 2016 World Beer Cup in Philadelphia.

As a Colorado craft beer lover, here are some numbers to be proud of:
  • Colorado breweries won 37 awards - 11 gold medals, 13 silver, and 13 bronze. Only California had more awards (49). Oregon came in third with 19.

  • 12Degree Brewing in Louisville was named Small Brewpub of the Year, and was 1 of only 6 breweries from around the world - and the only Colorado brewery - to win 3 awards.

  • Colorado breweries won awards in 31 beer categories. They swept the Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale category - the only US state to do so.

  • Aspen Brewing won two awards in two categories, as did mighty Left Hand, Dry Dock and tiny Manitou Brewing. Gravity, Strange, Lost Highway and Ska each picked awards for their brews - use your coupon from The Drinker's Guide when you visit to congratulate them, and they'll give you a beer for free! Congratulations indeed!

The World Beer Cup, which began in 1996 and occurs every other year, is one of the largest commercial beer competitions. This year, there were more than 6,500 entries from nearly 2,000 breweries representing 55 countries. American breweries were the clear majority - more than 4,800 beers from every state but South Dakota.

An international panel of 253 judges from 31 countries scored this year's entries. Winners were announced at the Craft Brewers Conference at the May 6 awards dinner - where attendees quaffed Steamworks' Colorado Kolsch paired with a ricotta- and spinach-stuffed crespelle - yum!

Colorado brewers Jon Howland and Tor O'Brien, the masterminds behind the Belgian-inspired beers that won Gold and Silver for 12Degree Brewing, were surprised and ecstatic with their honors. Open barely a year, they pondered: when you win such a prestigious award , what do you do for an encore?

Their answer was simple: get back to work, make more beer, and try to make the next batch even better.

Visit 12Degree and all the other award winners, and let us help you find the way with our interactive map and coupon-rich Beer, Wine, & Spirit Drinker's Guide to Colorado.

Photo Courtesy BA - Jason E. Kaplan
Everybody loves having their picture made with a sharp-dressed Charlie Papazian, especially if it's onstage during WBC Awards. Jon Howland of 12Degree Brewing juggles two of his three awards at this year's gala event.

German-Style Altbier
90 Shilling
Odell Brewing Co.
Fort Collins, CO
Pumpkin Beer
Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin Ale
4 Noses Brewing Co.
Broomfield, CO
Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale
12Degree Brewing
Louisville, CO
Export Stout
Fade to Black - Volume 1
Left Hand Brewing Co.
Longmont, CO
Fruit Wheat Beer
First Peach Ale
Blue Moon Brewing Co.
Golden, CO
Double Red Ale
Summit Sunrise
Denver Beer Co. - Canworks
Denver, CO
Chili Beer
Yellow Fever
Comrade Brewing Co.
Denver, CO
Ordinary or Special Bitter
Dry Dock Brewing Co. - North Dock
Aurora, CO
Scotch Ale
Clan Warrior Scotch Ale
Odyssey Beerwerks
Arvada, CO
English-Style India Pale Ale
Independence Pass Ale
Aspen Brewing Co.
Aspen, CO
American-Style Amber Lager
Steam Engine Lager
Steamworks Brewing Co.
Durango, CO

Mike Laur - DG2C
How does one brewery make beers that each win medals at World Beer Cup? Practice, Practice, Practice. And taste-testing throughout the entire brewing process is crucial to crafting a great beer. Head Brewer and 12Degree Brewing owner Jon Howland (at left, with glass-in-hand) and assistant brewer Tor O'Brien (at right) sample some barrel-aged sour beers at various stages of readiness.

German-Style Altbier
Little Red Cap
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
Loveland, CO
English-Style India Pale Ale
Punjabi Pale Ale
CooperSmith's Pub & Brewing
Fort Collins, CO
Belgian-Style Fruit Beer
Coal Kreik
Gravity Brewing
Louisville, CO
Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale
Sanctuary Golden Strong Ale
Gemini Beer Co.
Westminster, CO
Ordinary or Special Bitter
Sawtooth Ale
Left Hand Brewing Co.
Longmont, CO
Fruit Beer
Razz Against the Machine
Little Machine
Denver, CO
German-Style Pilsener
Dry Dock Brewing Co. - South Dock
Aurora, CO
German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock
Warning Sign
Rockyard Brewing Co.
Castle Rock, CO
Experimental Beer
Cerise Mousseux Nouveau
Manitou Brewing Co.
Manitou Springs, CO
Fresh or Wet Hop Ale
High Ground IPA
Manitou Brewing Co.
Manitou Springs, CO
American-Style Wheat Beer
Whacked Out Wheat
Telluride Brewing Co
Telluride, CO
English-Style Brown Ale
Sweet George's Brown
Dillon Dam Brewery
Dillon, CO
Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
Irish Stout
Carver Brewing Co.
Durango, CO

Mike Laur - DG2C
Tor and Jon from Louisville's 12 Degree Brewing have a lot to smile about - three awards at the 2016 World Beer Cup, including Small Brewpub of the Year. Congratulations, gents!

Vienna-Style Lager
Puesta del Sol
WeldWerks Brewing Co.
Greeley, CO
Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale
Fort Collins, CO
Baltic-Style Porter
Black Aria Baltic Porter
Mountain Sun Breweries
Denver, CO
French & Belgian-Style Saison
Soleil Saison
12Degree Brewing
Louisville, CO
Imperial Red Ale
Wreak Havoc
Bootstrap Brewing
Niwot, CO
American-Style Brown Ale
Upslope Brown Ale
Upslope Brewing Co. - Flatiron Park
Boulder, CO
Aged Beer
2012 Dr. Strangelove Barleywine
Strange Craft Beer Co.
Denver, CO
Belgian-Style Pale Ale or Blonde Ale
Golden Ghost
Lost Highway Brewing
Denver, CO
Other Belgian-Style Ale
Sugarfoot Belgian Table Beer
Spangalang Brewery
Denver, CO
American-Style Dark Lager
Saint Patrick's Black
Saint Patrick's Brewing Co.
Littleton, CO
Brown Porter
Blue Nose Brown
Red Leg Brewing Co.
Colorado Springs, CO
Fresh or Wet Hop Ale
Double Conundrum Imperial Red Fresh Hop
Aspen Brewing Co.
Aspen, CO
English-Style Summer Ale
True Blonde Ale
Ska Brewing Co
Durango, CO

Photo Courtesy BA - Jason E. Kaplan
The Dry Dock Crew receives one of their two medals.
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