Colorado craft beer scored big at the 2018 World Beer Cup. At the award ceremony held in Nashville last night, 28 World Beer Cup awards were given to Colorado breweries, including 7 golds medals. Winners came from cities throughout the state and included several returning champs plus many first-time winners. And while Colorado received 4 fewer awards than they did at the last World Beer Cup, 28 is an incredible accomplishment considering this year’s competition was larger than ever, with nearly 25% more beers this year.
Before we list the Colorado winners, let’s look at a few 2018 World Beer Cup facts and figures.
The 2018 World Beer Cup
They call the World Beer Cup the “Olympics of Beer Competition” for good reason. The competition, organized by the Brewers Association, takes place every two years and is thought to be the most prestigious beer competition in the world. Brewers across the globe submit their best beers, with 66 countries participating in this year’s competition.
Beers are judged in 101 style categories, and the most excellent examples of the style are awarded gold, silver or bronze awards. However, while 303 awards are possible, they aren’t guaranteed. Judges may choose not to designate an award if they don’t feel there is a beer worthy. This year only 302 awards were presented; the judges declined to find a gold award winner in the International Style Pilsner category.
At the 2018 World Beer Cup judges had to pick winners from a mind-boggling 8,234 beers submitted from 2,515 breweries. Considering the size and scope of the competition this year, Colorado’s 28 trophies is a pretty awesome number.
Colorado World Beer Cup Winners
Of the 28 awards given to Colorado last night, 7 beers took top honors as the most excellent beer in their category and were awarded gold. One of those golds awards went to our hometown brewpub in Castle Rock, Rockyard American Grill & Brewing Company. Rockyard Brewing won gold for their Primadonna Pilsner. Shout out to Rockyard for doing Castle Rock proud!
Other notable takeaways from this year’s awards:
Déjà vu! Telluride Brewing Co, Little Machine, and Bootstrap Brewing each won the same award for the same beer as they did at the last competition in 2016. Now there’s some consistent judging! Other returning winners from 2016 were Funkwerks, Dry Dock Brewing Co, WeldWerks Brewing Co, Rockyard Brewing Co, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, and Steamworks Brewing Co, though each of those breweries won in different categories this time around.
Most of the Colorado awards went to our capital city. Denver breweries won 9 awards and accounted for the majority of Colorado’s gold medal haul, with a total of 5 golds. With so many great breweries in the big city, it’s no surprise they accounted for a big part of the Colorado award count.
Vail Brewing was the only multiple medal winner, winning two bronze medals: one for their Pete’s Stash Pale, another for their Gore Creek IPA. If you haven’t been up to Avon to visit Vail Brewing in a while, this sounds like this is your sign to go.
The first time’s a charm. Two Colorado breweries won World Beer Cup awards despite not even being open when the awards were last held in 2016. The newest kid on the block to win was Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, which opened in May 2017. The other brewery that wasn’t open last time around but came away a winner was Cerberus Brewing Co, which opened late 2016.
Here’s all the Colorado World Beer Cup winners:
American-style Wheat Beer (53 Entries)
Silver: Whacked Out Wheat, Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride
American-style Wheat Beer with Yeast (40 Entries)
Silver: Beehive Honey Wheat, Bristol Brewing Co., Colorado Springs
Fruit Beer (118 Entries)
Silver: Razz Against the Machine, Little Machine, Denver
Bronze: American Sour Ale with Guava, Loveland Aleworks, Loveland
Field Beer (74 Entries)
Bronze: Beet Cream Ale, Cogstone Brewing Co., Colorado Springs
Session Beer (48 Entries)
Bronze: Peacekeeper, Launch Pad Brewery, Aurora
Session India Pale Ale (103 Entries)
Gold: Trump Hands, Cannonball Creek Brewing Co, Golden
Experimental Beer (130 Entries)
Silver: Hickory Peach Wee Heavy, The Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project, Denver
Fresh or Wet Hop Ale (21 Entries)
Gold: More Like Bore-O-Phyll, Call To Arms Brewing Co., Denver
Gluten-Free Beer (28 Entries)
Gold: Gueten Beer, Sleeping Giant Brewing Co., Denver
Brett Beer (58 Entries)
Gold: Saison Trystero, Our Mutual Friend Brewing, Denver
Belgian-Style Witbier (100 Entries)
Silver: White Rascal, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder
Belgian-Style Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale (41 Entries)
Gold: Oud Bruin, Funkwerks, Fort Collins, CO
Belgian-Style Dubbel or Belgian-Style Quadrupel (78 Entries)
Silver: BJ’s Quad, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – Boulder, Boulder
English-Style Brown Ale (66 Entries)
Gold: Big Ben Brown Ale, Bull & Bush Brewery, Denver
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer (196 Entries)
Bronze: Bligh’s Barleywine Ale, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – North Dock, Aurora
Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer (117 Entries)
Bronze: Peach Climacteric, WeldWerks Brewing Co., Greeley
Aged Beer (45 Entries)
Gold: Vladislav, Diebolt Brewing Co., Denver
Smoke Beer (76 Entries)
Bronze: 18022/42, The Sandlot Brewery at Coors Field, Denver
German-Style Pilsener (176 Entries)
Gold: Primadonna Pilsner, Rockyard American Grill & Brewing Co., Castle Rock
Dortmunder/Export or German-Style Oktoberfest (57 Entries)
Bronze: The Weasel, C.B. & Potts / Big Horn Brewery – Fort Collins, Fort Collins
Munich-Style Dunkel or European-Style Dark Lager (67 Entries)
Bronze: Fearless Youth, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland
Dark Lager (99 Entries)
Gold: Night Train, Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango
Silver: Alternate Present, Fiction Beer Co., Denver
Australian-Style Pale Ale or International-Style Pale Ale (122 Entries)
Bronze: Pete’s Stash Pale, Vail Brewing Co., Avon
German-Style Koelsch (52 Entries)
Bronze: NBD Kolsch, Cerberus Brewing Co., Colorado Springs
American-Style Strong Pale Ale (124 Entries)
Bronze: Gore Creek IPA, Vail Brewing Co., Avon
Imperial Red Ale (44 Entries)
Bronze: Wreak Havoc, Bootstrap Brewing, Niwot
Congratulations to everyone who won at this year’s World Beer Cup!
For a complete list of 2018 World Beer Cup winners, visit worldbeercup.org/winners
About the World Beer Cup
Every two years the Brewers Association (BA) hosts the World Beer Cup during their annual Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America. The 2018 World Beer Cup award ceremony was held at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the conclusion of the Craft Brewers Conference. The next Craft Brewers Conference will be held from April 8-11, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The next World Beer Cup awards will be in 2020.