Colorado took home 35 medals at the Great American Beer Festival this year, including six that went to Fort Collins brewers, highlighted by Funkwerks, which won two golds and was named Small Brewing Company of the Year.
See also: - Meet the winners of Great American Beer Festival 2012 - "Stand your ground and pour": How Brooklyn Brewery's Garrett Oliver saved GABF - Small, non-packaging Colorado breweries score big at the 2011 GABF
Echo Brewing won bronze for Balefire Red, it's first-ever GABF medal.
Echo Brewing Facebook page
"We had no idea it was coming," says Funkwerks co-owner Brad Lincoln, adding that he was texting someone and getting ready to go upstairs to his festival booth when he heard. "I was only still there to be polite."
The brewery, which specializes in Belgian-style saisons, won gold medals for its flagship Saison, which is available year-round in bottles, and for its fall seasonal, Deceit, which will be released in the next few weeks.
But Colorado's overall medal total was down by four from last year, despite a record number of entries. In fact, Colorado's haul has declined four years in a row. The state's breweries won 49 medals in 2009, 41 in 2010 and 39 last year. (Colorado won 33 medals in 2008.)
Most of Colorado's biggest, most well-known and most-decorated breweries were shut out as well, including Odell, Boulder Beer, Breckenridge, Oskar Blues, Ska and Great Divide.
But there were some notable achievements, by Fort Collins breweries in particular. In addition to Funkwerks, New Belgium, Equinox, Fort Collins Brewing and C.B. & Potts won medals.
Other Colorado honors this year included double wins for Dry Dock (which won the Small Brewing Company of the Year award in 2009), Twisted Pine, the Sandlot and Tommyknocker, which won a bronze in the Fresh Hop category, which debuted this year; and first-time medals for Aspen Brewing, Echo Brewing, Eddlyline and Crooked Stave.
See our post on all of the medal winners from the 2012 Great American Beer Festival to learn the specifics of who won what.
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