The craft beer competition at the Colorado State Fair put Summit County's Backcountry Brewery on the map, with recognition for six beers during an awards ceremony Aug. 25.
Backcountry Brewery in Frisco submitted six beers for the competition, and all six were awarded medals, exceeding the expectations of the brewery's staff.
"This is an unprecedented achievement for the brewery," said Charlie Eazor, owner of Backcountry. "We submitted six beers for judging and were recognized for all six - we are more than mildly ecstatic about this."
Frisco's one-and-only brewery received five silver medals and one bronze medal, second overall to Rockyard Brewing Company in Castle Rock, which took home eight total medals.
Backcountry's plan to expand its production to distribute bottled product throughout the Front Range is aided by the recent accolades.
"This recognition adds momentum to our bottling effort and creates excitement around the quality and reputation of our product," Eazor said.
The Colorado State Fair competition is open internationally to all commercial breweries, but attracts mostly Colorado craft breweries.
Among other breweries gaining recognition from the competition were Elk Mountain Brewery in Parker, Ska Brewing Company in Durango, Crabtree Brewing Company in Greeley and Tommy Knocker Brewery in Idaho Springs.
This year's competition attracted approximately 70 breweries from Colorado and New Mexico.
Backcountry brewmaster Alan Simons said that he is most proud of Imperial Saison, which took silver in the Belgium Specialty Beer category.
"The competition within the specialty beer categories are a little more intense because judges are tasting beers with a wide range of flavors," Simons said. "It is great to see the Saison being able to stand out among the others."
The Saison, which Simons describes as a "straight forward, flavorful beer that has a lemony citrus front with a subtle peppery spice," also won a silver medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.
Simons looks at the recognition in the state fair as a good indication of success at this year's Great American Beer Festival in October.
"I think that this recognition gives us more clout in the America beer festival," Simons said. "Colorado is known for craft beer - it's definitely a good feeling that we are getting recognized for producing quality product."
The festival is slated for Oct. 11-13 at the Colorado Convention Center in in downtown Denver.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com.