It’s officially award season in the craft beer industry– a season where industry folks and craft beer fans alike root for their favorite breweries and beers. As always, the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, CO, kicked off the award season as one of the United States’ largest beer festivals. Breweries from every corner of the country go in hopes of showcasing their product and maybe taking home some hardware.
Bellingham has done historically well at GABF. Each year, at least one brewery comes home with a medal for a beer, or in some cases, Brewery of the Year for their size. This year, Bellingham brought home a few medals, as did some less local favorites you can find around town.
Bronze Medal: Chuckanut Festbier
It’s no surprise that Chuckanut took home a medal for a traditional festbier, a lager showcasing all of their strengths in the traditional beer sense. The category for this winner was the Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest, and while this beer was brewed at their South Nut location in Burlington, WA, it’s available at their original Bellingham brewpub as well. Cheers to you, Chuckanut! Thank you for the lager magic you bring to this town.
Gold Medal: Correspondent
In the Export Stout category, Wander took home the gold for their reliable favorite for dark beer drinkers, Correspondent! This beauty of a stout just started getting canned last year, and has been available in their Brew Hall much longer than that. It’s full bodied, the perfect level of viscosity, and just sweet enough while maintaining the smoky character one seeks in a stout. This isn’t the first award Correspondent has received, and we’re sure it won’t be the last. Congratulations to Chad, Colleen and the rest of the team over at Wander!
Georgetown Brewing Co.
Gold Medal: Johnny Utah Pale Ale
Johnny Utah just started getting filled on the canning line recently, but has been a long-time draft favorite in both Seattle and Bellingham for a number of years. This beer is grapefruit, citrus and resin heavy on the nose with a clean finish. This beer brings back a rush of familiarity on the first sip. At 5.6% it really is the perfect pale ale.
Bronze Medal: Endless Summer Nights
Bronze Medal: Aqua Seafoam Shame
Cloudburst has been an up and coming brewery in Bellingham, while being a well established beer entity in downtown Seattle. Endless Summer nights won for English Style/International Pale Ale while Aqua Seafoam Shame won for Fresh Hop. Cloudburst does a lot of things well, but one of them is undeniably hops. They’ve described the last few weeks as a green-tinted blur, from long lines in their taproom to long days on the road. In Bellingham, you can only find them at Elizabeth Station, but it’s a treat when they’re around. Congrats, Cloudburst!
Grains of Wrath Brewing
Silver Medal: Vienna Lager
You may recognize Grains of Wrath from a collaboration with Chuckanut a few months back. Either way, they took home some hardware to Camas, WA. Congratulations for your silver medal in the Vienna Style Lager category! It certainly is an exciting time to be a lager brewer.
Silver City Brewery
Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Congratulations to Washington’s own Silver City Brewery located in Bremerton, WA on winning Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year! That’s a really big deal. Luckily, Silver City beer is abundant up here in Bellingham, so get yourself some award winning beer ASAP.
Gold Medal: Foxy Lady
This long-time favorite among Silver City fans won a gold in the Belgian Style Fruited Beer category. They often put it on rotating fruits like cherry (seen above). You can seasonally find this in Bellingham in grocery stores or bottle shops like Elizabeth Station and Greene’s Corner.
Silver Medal: Old Scrooge
Old Scrooge won the silver in the Old Ale or Strong Ale category, rounding out Silver City’s three wins for GABF!
Bronze Medal: Woodlawn Pale
Breakside took home some major hardware this year, and while they aren’t a Bellingham brewery, they are an Oregon favorite among Bellingham beer drinkers. The Woodlawn Pale won in the American Style Pale category.
Bronze Medal: Wentworth By the Sea
Wentworth by the Sea took home a bronze in the English Style Summer Ale category. While they were up on stage accepting the award, they found out the won a…
Gold Medal: What Rough Beast IPA
in the Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale category!
Congratulations to all of the winners at this year’s Great American Beer Festival! Events like these make us happy to be a part of this incredible industry.