Call it beginner's luck (though certainly skill was involved) as several upstart breweries from Pennsylvania and New Jersey won medals over the weekend at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
The veterans showed up, too, of course. Iron Hill Brewery's Media location took home two silvers, bringing its medal count to 47 in a 21-year winning streak. Sly Fox Brewing in Pottstown struck gold in the Belgian- and French-Style Ale class with Grisette Summer Ale. Yards Brewing's Extra Special Ale won the silver among 73 entries. Man Full of Trouble, a brown porter from West Philadelphia's Dock Street Brewery, won bronze. Tripel Horse, a Belgian-Style Tripel from River Horse Brewing Co. in Ewing, won bronze.
Delco captured the gold and silver medals in the Imperial Stout class as Aston's 2SP Brewing won gold for The Russian and Iron Hill Media coined silver for the Russian Imperial Stout. Iron Hill's second 2017 silver medal was for Solzhenitsyn, in the Aged Beer category.
For the second year, Croydon is Burning, a smoke beer from Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co. in Croydon, won the bronze.
Riserva, from Weyerbacher Brewing Co. in Easton, won bronze in the Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer class.
Check out the strong finish for breweries that opened in 2016:
Porter Aged on Palo Santo Wood from Spellbound Brewing in Mount Holly won gold among 70 entries in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer category.
Bethlehem's Bonn Place Brewing double-medaled, scoring a silver in Ordinary or Special Bitter with Mooey, and a bronze in the English-Style Mild Ale class with Nemo. (Good luck now finding Nemo.)
Bad Hombre, a chili beer from Eight & Sand Beer Co. of Woodbury, won the silver among 98 entries.
DTB Schwarzbier from Desperate Times Brewing Co. in Carlisle, won silver among 74 entries in the Dark Lager class.
Co-Conspirator Apricot Sour, a gluten-free beer from Revelation Craft Brewing Co. in Rehoboth Beach, Del., won the bronze among 33 entries.
Cousin Stoopid, from Stickman Brews in Royersford (founded in December 2015), won bronze in the Other Belgian-Style Ale category.
Western Pennsylvania's winners:
Penn Gold, a Munich-Style Helles from Pennsylvania Brewing Co. in Pittsburgh, won the gold among 105 entries. JFP, a robust porter from Rivertowne Pour House in Monroeville, won bronze. Night of the Living Stout, an American-style stout from Full Pint Brewing Co. in North Versailles, won bronze. Heini's Good Cheer, an Old Ale or Strong Ale from Roundabout Brewery in Pittsburgh, won the silver.