LONGMONT, CO—Four weeks ago, 3 inches was all that remained between a flood disaster and a dodged bullet for Left Hand Brewing Company. On Saturday morning, the number 3 proved its good luck again for the brewery – this time with 3 Gold Medals for Sawtooth Ale, Milk Stout, and Fade to Black Volume 1 – Foreign Export Stout at this year’s Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, CO. The brewery tied for the most Gold Medals taken home this year.
Back in September, the Longmont, CO brewery came close to destruction as the mighty St. Vrain River raged to epic levels during the 500 year flood. After plenty of hard work and cleanup, the brewery was back on its feet and fundraising over $60K for CO Flood Relief. It was a tough month, and as VP of Operations Chris Lennert quipped “this wasn’t just another GABF for us – we needed to cut loose collectively, celebrate 20 years of making great beer, thank all of our customers for their support during the flood and tell the world we’re stronger than ever.” And did we ever – on the opening night of the Great American Beer Festival, Left Hand introduced two new Nitro beers in 12oz bottles – Sawtooth Nitro & Wake Up Dead Nitro – to an audience of over 1,500 friends and industry guests at the brewery’s 20th Anniversary party.
Two days later, Left Hand won the most medals in its 20th year since its first GABF in 1994. Sawtooth Ale, the brewery’s original flagship and still going strong, took Gold (just like ’94) for Ordinary / Special Bitter. Left Hand’s best seller, Milk Stout took Gold for Sweet Stout. Finally, in the first year Left Hand has brought back Fade to Black Volume 1 since its 2010 Gold win for Export Stout, FTB 1 took another Gold medal home Saturday for the same category. The latest hardware additions bring Left Hand’s GABF medal count to 22.