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Cogstone, Goat Patch Brewing Companies lauded at 2018 GABF

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Cogstone's Chips & Salsa cream ale earned a bronze at 2018's GABF. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Cogstone's Chips & Salsa cream ale earned a bronze at 2018's GABF.
The 2018 Great American Beer Festival is over; the kegs are empty and the revelrous attendees have vacated the Colorado Convention Center. And for awards — what the whole crazy affair’s partly about, remember — across 102 categories, Colorado’s breweries showed their excellence once more, taking home a total of 30 medals, of which a staggering 16 were gold.

Colorado Springs’ breweries brought home two awards. Goat Patch Brewing Company’s It Takes a Tribe red ale took home a bronze medal for best Scottish-style ale, and Cogstone Brewing Company’s Chips & Salsa cream ale earned a bronze for best experimental beer.

“I was kind of surprised, a little dumbfounded,” says Darren Baze, co-owner and brewer for Goat Patch.

Baze says he kept the recipe for It Takes a Tribe simple and straightforward, brewing a clean, malty ale to-style — no frills or fireworks. It’s also the brewery’s community beer, and 25 cents from every pint sold at both the brewery and Weidner Field, where the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC play, goes to a choice of rotating nonprofits. Currently, patrons can choose between the Realm of Caring Foundation and Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center.

Robert Hemphill, half-owner and brewer for Cogstone, was just as surprised at his brewery’s win. “Our first two entries did not make it, and I was thinking I wasn’t going to make it,” he says.

Hemphill says the oddball beer’s exactly what the name suggests. He brews it with 49 percent corn, the maximum allowed for any non-barley grain by Brewers Association rules, to get the tortilla chip flavor. During fermentation, it’s aged on a mix of salsa verde — store-bought for now — and Hatch green chiles, the former for flavor and the latter for heat.

“You can taste the corn component, a subtle bit of lime, and it’s a green chile flavor but a bit more complex than that,” he says. Chips and salsa cream ale’s on tap at Cogstone now, and Hemphill expects his supply to last roughly through November.

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