Steamworks Brewing Co. once again helped maintain Durango’s reputation as the Napa Valley of Beer, capturing a Bronze medal for the venerable Backside Stout at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).
The GABF is sponsored by the Brewers Association and was held in Denver, Oct. 2-4. According to a press release from the Brewers Association, the 2014 GABF drew an impressive field of competitors, with entries topping last year’s by 16 percent. The GABF remains the largest commercial beer competition in the world, with this year 5,507 beers from 1,309 breweries vying for medals.
Annually, breweries enter beers to be judged by the GABF’s Professional Judge Panel – this year numbering 220 from 10 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 2014, the GABF had 90 categories covering 145 beer styles.
Steamworks’ Backside Stout competed among 55 entries to take the Bronze in the Oatmeal Stout category. Inspired by the turns under Chair 8 at Purgatory at Durango Mountain 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 won a Gold at the GABF in 2010 and a Bronze in the 2009 Australian International Beer Competition. “Given the incredible number of entries at the GABF, Steamworks is honored to be 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 to learn more.