Words & Deeds

Boise brewery wins medal at Great American Beer Festival

About 60,000 people (festivalgoers, brewers, judges, volunteers and journalists) attended the Great American Beer Festival in 2015.
About 60,000 people (festivalgoers, brewers, judges, volunteers and journalists) attended the Great American Beer Festival in 2015. Photo © Brewers Association

For the second straight year, Boise Brewing made a stout impression on judges at the Great American Beer Festival.

The brewery at 521 W. Broad St. won silver again in the American-Style Stout category for its Black Cliffs Stout. Crafted by head brewer Lance Chavez, the beer is a creamy, outstanding representation of the style.

“I am very honored to bring Idaho another GABF medal,” Chavez said. “Winning back-to-back years in the same category is a testament to the hard work and dedication to the craft that I’ve put in over the last 11 years and legitimizes the standard that we’ve set at Boise Brewing. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to get paid to do what I love to do.”

Officially, Boise Brewing was the only Treasure Valley brewery to win a medal at last weekend’s sold-out, three-day GABF in Denver. But Bend, Ore.-headquartered 10 Barrel Brewing Co. won gold in the American-Style Stout category for its Power 2 the People (P2P). It’s reasonable to consider that an Idaho victory, since the beer was created by Shawn Kelso, brewmaster at 10 Barrel’s Boise brewpub. P2P — which is on tap now at the Boise location — also won bronze in 2014 and 2015.

Only one other Idaho brewery medaled this year. Kootenai River Brewing Co. of Bonners Ferry won bronze for its McGreagor Scottish Ale in the Scottish-Style Ale category.

With 7,227 entries from 1,752 breweries, the GABF provided stiff competition. Here’s the entire list of winners. And here’s an overview of the festival from the Brewers Association: “In its 30th year, the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition awarded 286 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of amateur homebrewers paired with professionals. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence.

In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to winning breweries in 96 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country. Neither a gold nor a silver medal were awarded in the Pumpkin/Squash Beer category.

Winners were chosen from 7,227 competition entries (nearly 9 percent more than the 6,647 entries in 2015 and surpassing all previous participation records) from 1,752 breweries hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

The competition also saw its biggest-ever panel of judges, with 264 beer experts from 12 countries, including the U.S., and 170 competition volunteers. The panel also evaluated 88 Pro-Am entries, which were judged in three rounds over four days.”

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds