GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co. won its 11th national medal Saturday at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, claiming a gold medal for its St. James Irish Red.
Master brewer Ken Jones describes it as an easy-drinking Celtic-style ale with a reddish color and a malty accent.
The new gold medal joins seven medals earned in previous years in the World Beer Cup Competition at a time when craft brewing is exploding across the country.
The 2012 competition included 4,300 beers from 676 breweries, including 154 first-time entrants. The event tapped the opinions of 188 judges from 11 countries.
"It gets bigger and bigger every year. It's uncharted territory," said Jones. "We're really fortunate to be called up to the podium. Elated."
As hundreds of new breweries have opened across the nation in recent years, Jones said it's exciting to see his veteran brewers, Chip Holland and Tom Schickling, continue to win awards.
This is the fourth year in a row that Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co. has won a gold medal at The Great American Beer Festival, each time with a different beer.
Two of the national winning beers, Vapor Cave India Pale Ale and St. James Irish Red, are on tap year around at the Brewing Co., located in the Hotel Denver.