Award winners: Vail Brewing Co. wins medals for its beer | VailDaily.com

Award winners: Vail Brewing Co. wins medals for its beer

Marcus Moritz
Beer Thirty

The World Beer Cup, held every two years in the United States, is considered by many the most prestigious beer competition in the world. This year, on Thursday, May 3, it was held in Music City, better known as Nashville, Tennessee. The World Beer Cup is an industry-focused event, with representatives from hop growers, marketing companies and much more, but it still is all focused on the beer.

And this year, Vail Brewing Co. submitted beer and came home to its locations in Eagle-Vail and Vail with some hardware.

'Ones Locals Love'

The World Beer Cup is not a small event, either. Its inception came in 1996 and since then has grown into a behemoth. This year, there were 8,234 beers from 2,515 different breweries. With 101 different categories ranging from American-Style India Pale Ale (377 beer entries) to Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout (190 beer entries), this competition celebrates all beer has to offer.

With that many beers and that many categories, it is surprising (almost) that Vail Brewing Co. came away with not one, but two awards; one bronze for Pete's Stash Pale Ale (Australian-style pale ale or international-style pale ale category) and another bronze for Gore Creek IPA (American-style strong pale ale category).

"We were sitting in the back with a bunch of other Colorado brewers and just cheering and got I got an award," said co-owner of Vail Brewing Co. Garrett Scahill. "I think it was the 51st category, and I heard Pete's Stash and a part of me joked, 'Oh somebody else had the same name.'"

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The judges (all 295 of them) come from all corners of the globe, representing 33 different countries. The fact that the majority of them — 72 percent — come from outside the U.S. and still decided that Vail Brewing Co.'s two beers should be on the podium is worthy of note.

"So we pick the beers that we want to submit," Scahill said, "And we picked the ones that locals love, those are the ones we can. At least I hope they love them, so we just picked those and decided to see what happens."

The brewery's Hot Mess Blonde Ale was also submitted into the blonde category, but didn't place in the competition. But it's not all loss, because after a competition such as this it is typical for judges to send back tasting notes on beers they receive.

Scahill also mentioned that the blonde was the beer he thought would do the best, but sometimes surprises come from unexpected places.

"Then for the IPA, I just thought it fit better in the American strong ale category," Scahill said. "And the funny thing is, Breakside Brewery, based out of Oregon, they do a lot of IPAs and they have won a lot of awards, they silvered in both of those categories (we submitted in)."

Looks like Vail Brewing Co. is in good hands.

"I'm still on cloud nine," Scahill said. "It was mind-blowing."