Backside Stout and Slam Dunkel medal once again amid a field of 7,227 entries

Steamworks Brewing Co. once again helped maintain Durango’s reputation as the Napa Valley of Beer, capturing two Silver medals at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) for its Backside Stout and Slam Dunkel.

The GABF is sponsored by the Brewers Association and was held in Denver, Oct. 6-8. According to a press release from the Brewers Association, winners were chosen from 7,227 competition entries (nearly 9 percent more than the 6,647 entries in 2015 and surpassing all previous participation records), from 1,752 breweries hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

Annually, breweries enter beers to be judged by the GABF’s Professional Judge Panel – this year numbering 264 from 12 countries – which awards gold, silver or bronze medals. Judges select beers that are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence in their category. For 2016, the GABF had 96 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles.

Steamworks’ Backside Stout competed among 81 entries to take the Silver in the Oatmeal Stout category. Inspired by the turns under Chair 8 at Purgatory Resort, the Backside Stout, a moderately hopped dark beer, has an extremely complex malt and oat flavor – sweet with chocolate and roast overtones. The addition of just the right amount of brewer’s oats is detectable in the smooth, silky finish.

“The Backside Stout is one of our original beers, on tap since 1996, and in recent years it’s grown in popularity and continues to receive recognition,” said Kris Oyler, Steamworks co-founder, noting that the Backside Stout has medaled twice previously at the GABF – Bronze (2014) and Gold (2010), plus a Bronze in the 2009 Australian International Beer Competition.

Steamworks’ Slam Dunkel competed among 33 entries to take the Silver in the German-style Wheat Ale. The Slam Dunkel took Gold in the same category at the 2013 GABF.  Dunkel means “dark,” and the Slam Dunkel offers complex malts with a fruity, banana character.

“Congrats go out to brewmaster Ken Martin, as this beer was the first he’d created as a professional brewer when he started at Steamworks under the tutelage of Mike Eberle years ago,” said Oyler. “Given the incredible number of entries at the GABF, Steamworks is honored to have two beers recognized among the best of the best.”

Based in Boulder, the Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade and education association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. Visit www.brewersassociation.org to learn more.