This weekend, Thursday-Saturday, marks the annual Great American Beer Festival, held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Since 1982, this three day event has become the premier beer festival and competition in the United States. Today, the event has grown to represent more than 4,000 different beers from more than 800 of the nation’s breweries. Attendees enjoy the opportunity to taste these beers, from across the country, amidst other craft beer enthusiasts. In preparation for this event, we take a look at the Jackson breweries that will be representing our valley of delicious craft beer. Today’s feature: Snake River Brewing.
GABF was formed and is presented by the Brewers Association. According to the GABF website, the Brewers Association “promotes and protects American craft beer, American craft brewers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts.” The Brewers Association has played a large role in spreading the popularity of craft beer, and is thus part of the reason we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by a great range and variety of craft brews today. The two most recognized competitions in this realm are GABF and the World Beer Cup, but the World Beer Cup is an international competition. It’s organization like the Brewers Association who develop guidelines, expectations and standards for the different styles of beer.
So what does Wyoming’s oldest craft brewery have to say about the Great American Beer Festival? They’re excited! When SRBP opened in 1994, there were considerably less microbreweries. Since then, SRBP has become the most awarded small brewery in the country. “We really do have some of the best liquid out there,” says Derek Beardsley, Director of Sales. Their Zonker stout is one of the most awarded beers of all time. This beer has been so well praised, Beardsley says they don’t even enter it in competitions anymore.
Instead, these days, SRBP aims to demonstrate its diversity in these competitions. Which is why they’ve submitted the following this year:
- Speargun Coffee Milk Stout
- La Cerveza, “The beer” is a light lager
- Electric Kool-aid, a grapefruit sour
- Keller Kolsch, an unfiltered German lager
Snake River Brewery sees this event as an opportunity to go out and win an award for a different style of beer than they’ve won for previously. This goes to show that they brew a large range of beers very well, rather than brewing one specific style very well. Always excited to see what styles they add to their taps next, for now, we’ll wish them luck with this week’s.
Snake River Brewery’s GABF Awards:
1994: Silver – Zonker Stout
1995: Silver – Snake River Pale Ale
1996: Silver – Snake River Pale Ale
1997: Silver – Zonker
1999: Silver – Snake River Lager; Gold – Zonker
2000: Gold – Snake River Lager; Gold – Custer’s Last Ale; Small Brewing Company of the Year
2001: Gold – Snake River Lager; Gold – Custer’s Last Ale; Small Brewing Company of the Year
2002: Silver – Zonker
2003: Gold – Snake River Lager; Bronze – Custer’s Last Ale
2004: Gold – Guido’s Konerbrau
2007: Bronze – Snake River Pale; Gold – Zonker
2008: Gold – Rolling Thunder Dortmunder; Bronze – Guido’s Konerbrau; Bronze – OB-1
2009: Silver – AK Session
2010: Gold – Le Serpent Cerise; Bronze – Rolling Thunder Dortmunder; Gold – Berliner Weisse; Bronze – Le Serpent
2011: Bronze – Le Serpent Cerise; Gold – Pako’s IPA
2012: Bronze – Paintbrush Pilsner; Silver – Rolling Thunder Dortmunder
2014: Silver – Rolling Thunder Dortmunder
2016: Silver – Kelly At
2017: Gold – Speargun Coffee Milk Stout