This past weekend, on Oct. 7, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant was back in Denver, Col., aiming to claim victorious at the annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF). The results are in, and the show-stopper is proud to announce it has received its 47th medial in a record-setting consecutive winning streak of 21 years. (Uhem, this is the longest streak set by an independent craft brewery in GABF’s history.)
To put Iron Hill’s remarkable achievement in perspective, consider the ever-changing landscape of the craft beer industry in the U.S. In 1997, it was the first year Iron Hill participated at GABF, there were only 1,700 total beers entered in the competition, from just 400 breweries nationwide in only 50 categories. In 2017, an estimated 7,923 total beers were submitted and judged at GABF, from 2,217 breweries across 13 countries in 98 categories.
So, what did they win for 2017? Iron Hill nabbed two silver medals for their Russian Imperial Stout, in the Imperial Stout category, and for their Solzhenitzen, in the aged beer category. Both were brewed at their Media, Pa. location.
In retrospect, Russian Imperial Stout is one of their most award-winning beers. A breakdown of its claims to fame, plus 3 highly, repeat-awarded releases detailed below.
- Russian Imperial Stout, a full-bodied stout that starts with a complex, malt-y sweet, high-roasted character, balanced with the use of citrus-y American hops was able to nab the below medals.
- 2003 GABF gold; 2006 GABF gold; 2006 WBC bronze; 2010 GABF gold; 2010 WBC gold; 2011 GABF silver; 2012 WBC gold; 2012 GABF bronze; 2013 GABF silver; 2014 WBC gold; 2015 GABF silver; 2016 WBC silver; 2017 GABF Silver
- Bedotter, a traditional Belgian-style golden ale with complex aroma and notes of plum, spice and banana, with refreshing balanced bitterness, claimed victorious through the below competitions.
- 2002-2004 GABF bronzes, 2014 GABF silver; 2016 WBC gold
- The Cannibal, a golden Belgian-style ale with complex flavors and a dry finish accented by a nose of tropical fruit and dry spice, is a 3-time award-winner.
- 2005 GABF gold; 2006 WBC silver; 2015 GABF silver
- Lambic du Hill, a traditional, unfiltered Belgian-style lambic made with wild yeast and bacteria and aged in oak barrels for two years for aromas of banana, oak, and hay and a nutty flavor with refreshing sourness, has grabbed triple winnings.
- 2003 GABF gold; 2008 GABF gold; 2010 WBC bronze
“Our established history of earning national awards for our beers, along with our many repeat wins, is a testament to the exceptional quality and consistency of our beers,” relayed Iron Hill’s Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson. “Each of our 12 locations is led by their own individual head brewer, producing world-class beer day in and day out. We’re proud to congratulate them as they carry on our winning ways.”
A job well done, Iron Hill! Keep up the good work! (Full list of GABF winners here.)
Celebrate Iron Hill and its winnings at the closest location to you, including those in Pennsylvania (Media, West Chester, North Wales, Phoenixville, Lancaster, Chestnut Hill, Ardmore, Huntingdon Valley), Delaware (Newark and Wilmington) and New Jersey (Maple Shade and Voorhees). Get excited: Iron Hill is also preparing to open a Center City location (more on that here).