Several New Mexico breweries shined at this year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
Five breweries from the Land of Enchantment took gold and bronze in six categories during the event held Saturday. Most of them have received numerous accolades at GABF in previous years.
Albuquerque’s Nexus Brewery won gold for its Imperial Cream Ale – one of 40 entries in the Other Strong Beer category. Head brewer Kaylynn McKnight is no stranger to winning GABF awards. Her Honey Chamomile Wheat won gold at the 2015 GABF.
“I am very proud of how well New Mexico did again this year,” McKnight said. “I am so honored to brew with so many talented people and be a part of our amazing beer scene.”
Also taking gold was Moriarty’s Sierra Blanca Brewing Co. for its Cherry Wheat in the Fruit Wheat Beer category. It beat out 89 other contenders. Husband and wife Rich and Suzanne Weber, who own the company, were thrilled with the award.
“There’s nothing quite like winning a GABF medal,” Suzanne Weber said. “Rich and I are extremely proud of the (Sierra Blanca Brewing Co.) crew and we would like to congratulate all the New Mexico brewery medal winners.”
Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery won gold for its Cholo Stout in the American Style Stout category. It was one of 60 entries. The stout was brewed at Marble’s Northeast Heights location on Montgomery NE. Marble also won bronze for its Pilsner in the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category, which had 54 entries. It also won bronze for its Pilsner last year. Its most prominent recognition came in 2014, when it was named Small Brewery and Brewmaster of the Year.
“It’s always a thrill to be recognized for our unfiltered dry hopped Pilsner,” Marble president Ted Rice said. “The Pilsner has won six medals between the GABF and World Beer Cup. A new category for us this year is American Style Stout. We are bringing home gold for Cholo Stout, (head brewer) Josh Trujillo’s latest creation from our Montgomery brewery.”
Albuquerque’s Boxing Bear Brewing Company won bronze for its Featherweight Session IPA in the Session India Pale Ale category, which had 130 entries.
“We’re extremely excited to bring back another great medal for the state,” Boxing Bear head brewer and co-owner Justin Hamilton said. “We’ve worked really hard on the Featherweight Session IPA so this medal feels extra special for us.”
Boxing Bear was named Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year at the 2016 GABF and won gold the same year for its The Red Glove in the Double Red Ale category and gold for its Chocolate Milk Stout in the Sweet Stout or Cream Stout category.
“We are once again humbled and honored to win a medal in such a difficult category,” Boxing Bear co-owner Kevin Davis said. “We are proud to represent New Mexico, especially because we’re in such good company with so many outstanding New Mexico breweries.”
Santa Fe’s Second Street Brewery won bronze for its Rod’s Steam Bitter in the American Style Amber Lager category, which had 70 entries.
The GABF is one of the largest commercial beer competitions in the world. This year’s GABF competition received 7,923 entries from 2,217 breweries throughout the United States in 99 beer categories. The GABF beers were evaluated by 276 beer experts from different countries, including the United States.