SW Washington Medal Count Rises at GABF

Up until this past Saturday, the Great American Beer Festival medal count for the Northbank region was two. Those medals were awarded to Barrel Mountain Brewing in Battle Ground last year for their Starway Stout (silver) – a stout that has also received consecutive World Beer Cup awards – and to Walking Man Brewing in 2005 for High Road Scotch Ale (gold). Starway Stout and High Road Scotch Ale stood alongside Loowit’s Grimlock Rye Porter as World Beer Cup medalists and the only 3 major beer awards in the region.

That total doubled on Saturday morning when 54-40 Brewing, Grains of Wrath and Loowit Brewing all captured honors at the GABF Awards.

Charles Vandeventer, Bolt Minister and “Badger” celebrate Kascadia Kolsch’s silver medal at GABF on Saturday.


54-40 Brewing, led by Bolt Minister, received the silver medal for Kascadia Kolsch in the category for German-Style Kolsch. Minister is no stranger to accolades, having brewed award-winning beers in the past at Old Town Brewing, Rock Bottom Brewing and Walking Man Brewing. But this silver medal for 54-40’s Kascadia holds unique value for being the first major award for the Washougal brewery’s flagship beer. Jeff Alworth of Beervana may have summed up Minister’s prowess for Kolsch best on Twitter:

The Grains of Wrath team celebrates their bronze medal for Vienna Lager at GABF on Saturday.

Grains of Wrath shot right out of the gates in their first state-wide competition at the Washington Beer Awards, so hopes were elevated as they submitted entries for their first GABF competition. Head Brewer and co-owner, Mike Hunsaker, is widely known for his IPAs dating back to his award-winning ways at Fat Head’s Brewing, so it may come as a surprise to some that GOW’s first national award comes as a bronze medal in the style of Vienna Lager. Simply named, Grains of Wrath Vienna Lager is true to style and available now at their taproom in Downtown Camas, WA.

Loowit appears on the giant screen at the GABF Awards in Denver with their bronze medal for Shimmergloom Stout.

Loowit Brewing Company is home to many “firsts” in Vancouver. They were the first brewery with a downtown taproom and brewery open to the public for tastings and tours. They’re the first brewery many visitors to Vancouver experience as they step out of the Hilton Hotel across the street. They brought home the first World Beer Cup award for the city of Vancouver, WA with a Silver for Grimlock Rye Porter in 2016. Now they’ve brought home the city’s first GABF award with a bronze medal for Shimmergloom Stout in the category of Oatmeal Stout.

You’re Invited To The Celebration

Final Draft Taphouse in Vancouver, WA invites everyone to celebrate these awards alongside the brewers and owners of 54-40, Grains of Wrath and Loowit on Thursday, October 4th at 6:30PM. Enjoy pours of each of the award-winning beers and congratulate the makers in person.

Michael Perozzo
Michael Perozzo

Michael Perozzo is a life-long resident of Southwest Washington and father of 4. At his day job, he leads a digital marketing and graphic design team supporting food/beverage clients at ZZEPPELIN. Michael helped start Brewcouver – the passport to Vancouver’s breweries – and co-founded NorthBank Beer Week. He also manages beer buying for the Vancouver Brewfests and helped create Brewing Bridges Collaboration Fest. Portland Trail Blazers fans may remember him as DarthBlazer circa 2008-2012.