What’s the highpoint of a brewer’s career? Winning a medal at Great American Beer Festival? Maybe. But what about winning a medal at Great American Beer festival and receiving a free congratulatory beer? Thanks to Breckenridge Brewery, the Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG), and CBG member breweries, the best of the best at this year’s GABF will be going home with medals around their necks and an extra beer sloshing in their bellies.
Porter’s Pride, which will be presented to medaling brewers at the awards ceremony, was brewed at Breckenridge’s main facility on Wednesday, August 21st by the Breckenridge brew crew with help from folks representing Avery Brewing, Boulder Beer, Bristol Brewing Company, CAUTION: Brewing Company, Dry Dock Brewing Co., Equinox Brewing, Funkwerks, Great Divide Brewing Co., Left Hand Brewing Co., Lone Tree Brewing Company, Odell Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery, Rockyard Brewing Co., Ska Brewing Co., Strange Brewing Company, Twisted Pine Brewing Company, and CBG.
Derived from a Breckenridge recipe, Porter’s Pride is an imperial porter featuring 200 pounds of dark chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Since the awards ceremony is held at 10:30am, the collaborators behind this beer wanted Porter’s Pride to be the perfect breakfast beer—rich and decadent, interesting yet drinkable.
Besides pairing well with donuts, collaborators chose to brew a porter to honor Danny Williams, the Brewers Association’s GABF cellar master and “beer porter”, who died in January.
In the true spirit of collaboration, everything about Porter’s Pride—except labor—was donated. That includes ingredients, labeling, transportation, and tank space so props to Anchor Glass Container, Brewers Supply Group, Brewers Association, Cargill, Ceramic Decorating Company Inc., CBG, Cultivator Advertising and Design, Breckenridge Brewery, Gamer Packaging, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and other participating breweries for relinquishing their time, effort, and services in the creation of this beer.
The day wasn’t all work and no play; Breckenridge provided a festival-style draft system that dispensed their Autumn Ale and Regal Pilsner while many of the participating breweries brought bottles to place in the community cooler (including a prototype beer from Funkwerks called Bastogne whose label informs the drinker that the name is unofficial; if you can think of a better name, e-mail Funkwerks). The brewers were also serenaded by the Colorado Goat Ropers Guild Band during lunchtime.
This is the first time a beer was brewed specifically for the winners of GABF and, while this new tradition will surely continue, it may or may not always be Colorado breweries that organize it. Personally, I think it makes sense that it should stay in Colorado; we are the host-state for GABF thus making shipping easy plus our breweries are top-rate and numerous. The counterargument is that we’re talking about the Great American Beer Festival—it’s about more than just Colorado. We’ll just have to see how it all shakes out in the future.
Bring your best stuff to this year’s GABF, American brewers, and you’ll have the honor of displaying the most convincing testament to your beer’s superiority: an empty bottle of Porter’s Pride and the beer gut that ensued. And a medal, too, I guess.