On a day spent giving back to its loyal patrons, Missoula’s Draught Works Brewery received the best gift of all: being named the Very Small Brewery and Brewmaster of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. Draught Works also received a Gold medal in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale category for its Scepter Head, besting 134 other entrants in the category.
“It’s a big deal to us,” said co-owner and brewmaster Jeff Grant. “It shows our entire brew team and staff that we’re definitely doing a lot of things right.”
Held each fall in Denver, CO, the GABF combines the worlds largest brewfest with one of the world’s largest and most prestigious beer competitions.
Draught Works got the news while holding its 3rd Anniversary Customer Appreciation Day. As customers chowed on free brats and potato salad and sipped on beers like Chain Reaction Fresh Hop Ale and Heart of Darkness Black IPA, news of the win began to filter around the brewery.
“It was a great way to hear about it during our Customer Appreciation Day,” said Grant. “It would have been great to be in Denver, but we’re here for a reason. These three years have really flown by. We can’t thank Missoula enough for giving us a shot and seeing what we have to offer.”
The GABF awards Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for excellence in 84 beer categories. It also bestows the Brewery and Brewer of the Year awards in four categorires: Very Small Brewery (less than 1,000 bbls brewed in 2013), Small Brewery (1,000 to 14,999 bbls), Mid-Size Brewery (15,000 to 6,000,000 bbls), and Large Brewery (more than 6,000,000 bbls).