Words & Deeds

Boise, Nampa breweries win medals at esteemed Great American Beer Festival

Raise a toast to the Treasure Valley. Two local breweries won awards at this past weekend’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Boise Brewing and Mother Earth Brew Co. each took home bronze from the event, which is the biggest commercial beer competition in the world. There were 7,923 entries from 2,217 breweries. GABF awarded a total of 293 medals, plus three pro-am medals. The festival at the Colorado Convention Center was attended by more than 60,000 people over three days.

Boise Brewing, 521 W. Broad St., won for Jagged Shard in the Imperial Red Ale category. It’s the third straight year that Boise Brewing has medaled at GABF. The brewery’s Black Cliffs Stout won silver in 2015 and 2016. Head brewer Lance Chavez is on a serious run.

Mother Earth Brew Co., 1428 Madison Ave. in Nampa, won bronze for Fresh As It Gets in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale division. Mother Earth’s head brewer, Chris Baker, used Simcoe hops from Gooding Farms in Parma. Because of the proximity, he was able to get the hops from harvest to kettle within hours.

Besides Boise Brewing and and Mother Earth, no other Idaho breweries medaled. But five Gem State breweries had booths and poured beer at the festival: Boise Brewing, Mother Earth, Payette Brewing Co., Sockeye Brewing and Grand Teton Brewing Co. (of Victor).

It’s worth noting that regional favorite Melvin Brewing of Alpine, Wyoming, not only won awards for two of its beers, but also picked up the Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year honor.

GABF is presented each year by the Brewers Association, which calls the event “the premier symbol of brewing excellence.”

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