There’s a lot of awards given out at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) every year (293 this year, to be exact), which means there’s a big chunk of breweries out there with some medals hanging. But to get a bronze, silver or gold every year? Well, that just might deserve its own medal. Hats off to Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, which might need to change its name to Iron Horse Brewery as it earned its 47th medal at the GABF this year, extending its record-setting consecutive winning streak to 21 years, the longest by an independent craft brewery in GABF history.
Iron Hill won two silver medals this year: for its Russian Imperial Stout, in the Imperial Stout category, and for their Solzhenitzen, in the aged beer category. Both were brewed at their Media, Pa.,location, which is important to note, because Iron Hill has a lot of locations.
In addition to their success at GABF, Iron Hill has long been recognized as an innovator in the hospitality industry; they have earned the coveted “World Champion Brewpub” title at the World Beer Cup (WBC) three times and “Brewpub of the Year” title at GABF once. In addition to their GABF success, they have collected another 30 medals at the WBC.
To put Iron Hill’s remarkable achievement in perspective, consider the ever-changing landscape of the craft beer industry in the United States. In 1997, the first year Iron Hill participated at GABF, there were only 1,700 total beers entered in the competition, from just 400 breweries nationwide in only 50 categories. In 2017, an estimated 7,923 total beers were submitted and judged at GABF, from 2,217 breweries across 13 countries in 98 categories — an astronomical jump that further proves Iron Hill’s dedication to brewing the highest quality beer.
Founders Kevin Finn, Mark Edelson and Kevin Davies are proud to congratulate their talented team of brewers as Iron Hill looks to expand into more markets in 2018 and beyond.
“Our established history of earning national awards for our beers, along with our many repeat wins, is a testament to the exceptional quality and consistency of our beers,” said Iron Hill’s Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson. “Each of our 12 locations is led by their own individual head brewer, producing world-class beer day in and day out. We’re proud to congratulate them as they carry on our winning ways.”
Iron Hill’s most award winning beers
Russian Imperial Stout, a full-bodied stout that starts with a complex, malt-y sweet, high-roasted character, balanced with the use of citrus-y American hops: 2003 GABF gold; 2006 GABF gold; 2006 WBC bronze; 2010 GABF gold; 2010 WBC gold; 2011 GABF silver; 2012 WBC gold; 2012 GABF bronze; 2013 GABF silver; 2014 WBC gold; 2015 GABF silver; 2016 WBC silver; 2017 GABF Silver.
Bedotter, a traditional Belgian-style golden ale with complex aroma and notes of plum, spice and banana, with refreshing balanced bitterness: 2002-2004 GABF bronzes; 2014 GABF silver; 2016 WBC gold.
The Cannibal, a golden Belgian-style ale with complex flavors and a dry finish accented by a nose of tropical fruit and dry spice: 2005 GABF gold; 2006 WBC silver; 2015 GABF silver.
Lambic du Hill, a traditional, unfiltered Belgian-style lambic made with wild yeast and bacteria and aged in oak barrels for two years for aromas of banana, oak and hay and a nutty flavor with refreshing sourness: 2003 GABF gold; 2008 GABF gold; 2010 WBC bronze.