Awards and Honors

Colorado Breweries Nab 27 Medals at the 2022 Great American Beer Festival

Comrade took gold in the largest category of the competition.
Comrade took gold in the largest category of the competition. Comrade Brewing Instagram
The 2022 Great American Beer Festival is in the books. Colorado breweries took home over two dozen medals at the fest — the second-highest total for any state, behind only California. More than 9,000 beers from over 2,000 breweries were judged during this year's competition, with representation from every state plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Here are some highlights:
click to enlarge
The 2022 Great American Beer Festival Competition Awards.
Photo © Brewers Association
Cannonball Makes it Ten!
Cannonball Creek Brewing nabbed a bronze medal in the Specialty Saison category for its Rosemary Sourdough Saison, making it ten years in a row with at least one medal. The Golden brewery has the second-longest active streak, behind California's Figueroa Mountain Brewery (22 years in a row).

Comrade Wins the Biggest Category
With 423 total entries, American Style India Pale Ale was the largest category in the competition. Comrade Brewing won gold for its More Dodge Less RAM beer. Comrade previously won gold with the same beer in the same category back in 2019, when 323 entrants competed. That same year, Comrade also won Small Brewing Company of the Year.

Left Hand Brewing Is Brewery of the Year
Left Hand Brewing nabbed Brewery of the Year in the 15,001-100,000 barrel category. The Longmont Brewery medaled in two beer categories as well, including a silver medal for its milk stout in the Oatmeal Stout category, and a bronze medal for its St. Vrain in the Belgian-Style Specialty Ale category. Left Hand plans to expand into the River North neighborhood later this year.

Another Double
Aside from Left Hand, Our Mutual Friend Brewing also had medals in two categories. OMF scored a gold for its Trystero in the Brett Beer category, as well as a silver medal for its Biere Ovale in the Mixed-Culture Brett Beer category.

Westbound & Double?
Westbound & Down had a strong showing at the festival, too. The brewery, which recently launched its third location, in Denver, scored a silver in the English India Pale Ale or New Zealand India Pale Ale category with its Spirit of the West beer. And while it's not a strictly numbered category, Westbound & Down also won silver in the Collaboration Competition for its Chicago Peaks Kölsch. Bierstadt Lagerhaus was the collaborating brewery for the beer, marking the first time that Bierstadt, which does not actually enter the competition itself, has shown up among the winners.

Pro-Am Competition
Congratulations to Mark Pennick of the Brew Crew home-brew club in Denver. He teamed up with CooperSmith's Pub and Brewing out of Fort Collins and won silver in the Pro-Am Competition for his Sticky Fingers Saison.
click to enlarge
Joyride picked up a silver medal this year.
Joyride Brewing Instagram
Here is the complete list of Colorado brewery medal winners:

  • More Dodge Less RAM by Comrade Brewing in the American-Style India Pale Ale category
  • Stay the Funk In by Crooked Stave in the Belgian-Style Sour Ale category
  • Barrel-Aged Soft Skills by Jessup Farm Barrel House in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer category
  • Trystero by Our Mutual Friend Brewing in the Brett Beer category
  • El Corn by The Post Brewing Co. in the International Dark Lager category
  • Saison by Baere Brewing in the Classic Saison category
  • Laughing Lab Scottish Ale by Bristol Brewing in the Scottish-Style Ale category
  • Docktoberfest by Dry Dock Brewing – North Dock in the German-Style Maerzen category
  • BuckWit Belgian by Holidaily Brewing in the Gluten-Free Beer category
  • Black Razz Blonde by Joyride Brewing in the American Fruit Beer category
  • Citronaut by Launch Pad Brewery in the English Ale category
  • Milk Stout by Left Hand Brewing in the Oatmeal Stout category
  • Mirage by New Terrain Brewing in the American Sour Ale category
  • Biere Ovale by Our Mutual Friend Brewing in the Mixed-Culture Brett Beer category
  • Execrator by Resolute Brewing in the German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock category
  • Hello Darkness by River North Brewery in the Other Strong Beer category
  • Rockin’ Roggen by Twisted Pine Brewing in the Rye Beers category
  • Spirit of the West by Westbound & Down Brewing in the English IPA or New Zealand IPA category
  • Chicago Peaks Kölsch by Westbound & Down and Bierstadt Lagerhaus in the collaboration category

  • Agave Wheat by Breckenridge Brewery in the American Wheat Beer category
  • Rosemary Sourdough Saison by Cannonball Creek Brewing in the Specialty Saison category
  • Fuego Reserva by Cerebral Brewing in the Chili Beer category
  • St. Vrain by Left Hand Brewing in the Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale category
  • Dark Helmet by Odell Brewing – Sloan’s Lake in the Imperial Stout category
  • Wild Pitch by SandLot in the German Wheat Ale category
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect the fact that Ohio's Fat Head's Brewery's GABF medal streak ended in 2021.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ryan Pachmayer is a beer writer living in Arvada. He has written for publications such as Craft Beer & Brewing, Zymurgy, Porch Drinking, Homebrewing DIY and Punch. He is also the head brewer at Yak & Yeti Brewpub, marketing director at New Image Brewing and a BJCP Certified Judge.

Latest Stories