Twisted Pine Brewing Claims Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival®

Patio Pounder Wins Prestigious Brewing Honor in Session India Pale Ale Category

Boulder, Colorado • October 7, 2017 — Twisted Pine Brewing Co. received a silver medal at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States. The top three winners in the competition’s 98 beer-style categories were announced October 7 at the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. 

Photo © 2017 Jason E. Kaplan   Founder of the Brewers Association Charlie Papazian, left, with the Twisted Pine Brewing staff - Matt Crosson, Hannah Olbrich, Gabe Toth, Nick Wilson, and Kevin Mayer - at the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony

Photo © 2017 Jason E. Kaplan

Founder of the Brewers Association Charlie Papazian, left, with the Twisted Pine Brewing staff - Matt Crosson, Hannah Olbrich, Gabe Toth, Nick Wilson, and Kevin Mayer - at the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony

“We're really excited about taking home some hardware. It's great vindication for our hard work," said Gabe Toth, Head Brewer at Twisted Pine Brewing. "This was a very competitive category and we're thrilled to see a beer that we really love get the recognition it deserves."
Twisted Pine Brewing Co. was recognized in the Session India Pale Ale beer-style category for Patio Pounder, a session pale ale that pours a beautiful deep gold with sweet, white grape and tropical fruit aromas. Patio’s refreshingly light body and approachable hop profile makes it the perfect companion for lounging the day away.

"It's really great timing," said Hannah Olbrich, Marketing Director at Twisted Pine Brewing. "We already planned on releasing [22 ounce] bombers of Patio Pounder on October 13th. Now people can take home an award-winning beer and enjoy it whenever they want." Bombers of Patio Pounder will be available to purchase at Twisted Pine Brewing's alehouse on Friday, October 13th.

The 2017 GABF competition winners were selected by an international panel of 276 expert judges from 7,923 entries, plus 118 Pro-Am entries, received from 2,217 U.S. breweries.
“Each year the Great American Beer Festival showcases the best that American brewers have to offer,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Great American Beer Festival. “With a record 8,000 + entries, this year’s competition was the most competitive to date. Congratulations to all the winners who truly demonstrated why the U.S. is the world’s best and most diverse brewing nation.”
For more GABF competition information, including the 2017 winners list and photos, visit

Twisted Pine Beer Guide to the Holidays

Thanksgiving is ready to pounce upon us like a panther stalking its prey, and the rest of the holidays are hovering over our heads. As much as the unseasonably warm weather in our neck of the woods has inspired thoughts of tanning rather than turkey, Twisted Pine Brewing Company has beers to pair with every mood and occasion.

"Carefully crafted beer has a vital place at any dinner table, no matter the occasion."

Whether you’re head chef or sofa king, you’re bound to get thirsty on Thursday. I spend most of my time in the kitchen that day, so in an effort not to cut my fingers off, I prefer pilsner to fuel my feast preparations. Pinky Ring is a light, crisp German pilsner with a full bouquet of floral and grassy hop notes, a snappy bitterness to cleanse and refresh the palate, and, at 4.8% ABV, it’s easy-drinking and approachable. Pilsner pairs perfectly with just about every traditional Thanksgiving dish as the crispness and bitterness mitigate the fatty richness of green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and the like, while the bready malt and noble hop notes complement even the most delicate piece of turkey, especially if the bird has been treated with the classic trinity of rosemary, sage, and thyme.

However, pilsner is not the only choice, or perhaps even the best choice. La Petite Saison is actually my personal favorite meal matchmaker. At 4.7% ABV and 25 IBU, neither the alcohol nor the hop character stands out, but the farmhouse yeast profile matches the intensity of a bonafide Thanksgiving bacchanalia. Sun-dried hay, overripe lemons, cracked white pepper, and a hint of fresh sourdough bread are the calling cards of this beer, creating a tantalizing tango of flavors as the spritzy citrus and subtle spice cut through even the most decadent gravy, while congenially mingling with the rest of the feast. In addition, its light body and dry finish elevate the cornucopia of taste and textures of a full Thanksgiving spread without further overburdening the palate. La Petite Saison is wonderfully complex in its simplicity, which is why it pairs so perfectly with the wide array of dishes on any holiday table.

"Pairing beer with food should be a transformative experience that enhances both components to create something new and unforgettable."

Carefully crafted beer has a vital place at any dinner table, no matter the occasion. While I tend to favor lighter, simpler beers for my main course, dessert is the perfect time to reach for some darker, richer, more robust beers. Pumpkin pie is as essential to Thanksgiving as turkey, and no other beer of ours compliments the flaky, buttery crust and sumptuously spiced filling as well as Big Shot Espresso Stout. Creamy, bold, and fecund cold-steeped Peruvian coffee permeates every sip and blends beautifully with the pumpkin spices, creating, simply, a sense of home.

Pairing beer with food should be a transformative experience that enhances both components to create something new and unforgettable. Save the imperial stout and double IPA to savor while cleaning the dishes and putting away leftovers; instead, focus on finding beers that will easily compliment and contrast the multitude of holiday dishes while also being exceedingly drinkable. Whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or just Tuesday night, matching the beer’s flavor intensity to the food’s is the first step to any successful pairing.

Cheers and happy holidays!

The Great American Beer Festival: A Brewer's Perspective

It’s that time of year again: beer lovers’ right index finger tendinitis is slowly subsiding after anxiously refreshing the Ticketmaster website over and over and over again in hopes of scoring tickets to the most anticipated bacchanalia of the year – the Great American Beer Festival. As important as the dog days of summer are for potential festival goers, late July and early August are crunch time for us brewers as we agonize over which beers to enter into which categories, most likely brew those beers so they are as fresh as they can be for judging, and bottle, deliver, and pray for our precious creations as they await their fate for six weeks in a warehouse before reaching a trained palate. GABF is a tremendous production, which the Brewers Association executes very well year after year, and Twisted Pine Brewing Company is quite pleased to once again participate in the competition and, above all, pour tasters for all you thirsty patrons.

    By the time the festival rolls around, all the hard work for us is done. To me, GABF is sweat-drenched, stifling, late afternoons cleaning the kettle after brewing a beer I believe in. GABF is not pretzel necklaces and ooohing and aaahing about every single plastic tasting vessel clattering to the floor. The only thing I want around my neck is a medal. Let’s face it, as fun as it is to catch up with brewers from around the country and share a sip and a story or two with attendees from all over the world, GABF is really about hearing the sonorous voice of Chris Swersey, the Brewers Association’s MC, beckoning your brewery to take the stage. Every ounce of sweat in August could be worth its weight in gold come October.

    As a lucky brewer, this year will be my fourth GABF, and despite having won three medals since 2012, I still have no idea what makes for an award-winning beer in the judges’ eyes, noses, and palates. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t. Or, as one very successful veteran brewer once told me, “Beers don’t change, but judges do.” Winning a medal at GABF of any shade is very difficult. Last year, 275 total medals were split among 242 breweries. Judging certainly is not easy, and from what I have heard from those who have participated is that it’s almost like sprinting a marathon with one’s palate. Tasting one style after another for several hours a day over several days – no matter how properly ordered and spaced out they are – sounds pretty brutal and not all that enjoyable.

    Nonetheless, the festival always lives up to its name. The number of beers to sample is, quite frankly, overwhelming. Every year, I’ve made a list of specific breweries to check out, and every year I have failed to get to most of them because I was sidetracked by so many other tasty options. With so many breweries in attendance, waiting in line for any one of them is ludicrous to me. Spending ten minutes or more of a single session on one ounce of one beer is both dedicated and shortsighted. Trying a beer from an unknown brewery and finding a few hidden gems in the ocean of beer is often more rewarding than catching whales and figuring out if a brewery is worth the hype.

    Twisted Pine Brewing Company is excited to spend time and share tasters with all of you, and just like last year, we will be pouring in the Meet the Brewer Section, meaning instead of volunteers doing all the hard work, it will be one of us. After all, we’ll be there to do what we love most- meet consumers and enjoy beer together. Hope to see ya’ll in October. Cheers!

An Open Letter to Twisted Pine Consumers

Dear Twisted Pine Patrons,

As Twisted Pine Brewing Company is approaching its 21st birthday, we have made the life-changing decision to shed the shackles of wide-scale distribution and embrace who we really are: proud brewers who want to serve our Boulder community one pint at a time. From a brewer’s perspective, focusing solely on supplying our 24-tap alehouse is a dream come true because instead of packaging our core products, we are planning new recipes for our ever-rotating specialty taps. Furthermore, by serving every drop of our beer across the bar instead of in liquor stores near and far, we are able to ensure that our patrons are enjoying our beer the way we as brewers intended—fresh, unique, and of top quality.

To me, brewing is about control, creativity, and pride. We control our brewing parameters as tightly as possible to craft the best beers possible. Packaging and distribution rob us brewers of control because we don’t know if our beers are being cared for the way we cared for them in the brewhouse and in the cellar. We have no control over what our patrons’ experience will be once our precious creations leave our brewery.

Distribution hems creativity because it dictates the production schedule, leaving fewer opportunities to experiment with new ingredients, processes, and beer styles. Billy’s Chilies is one of our most sought-after beers, Ghost Face Killah is a one-of- a-kind creation, Big Shot Espresso Stout has won more awards than any other of our beers—all are wonderful in their own right—but those beers shouldn’t define us as brewers by virtue of their wide distribution. We’re hop heads. We adore lagers. We like to keep beers simple and sessionable. 

We’re proud of all the beers we brew, but distribution has a way of eroding that aspect of brewing as well. For better or for worse, I consider beer to be extremely personal. It’s not only a personal expression of the brewer. Everyone’s palate is nuanced, people’s taste preferences can be just plain different, and sometimes the same beer will taste different based on one’s mood—seriously. Whether it’s praise or pooh-poohing, receiving instantaneous feedback from our patrons by exclusively serving our beers in the taproom makes us better brewers. As much as we, the brewers, love the beers we choose to brew and present to our patrons on tap, YOUR satisfaction is the lifeblood to the company and the key to a brewer’s heart. We take tremendous pride in our beers and the community we serve them to, and the best way to enhance both is by sharing as many pints and experiences in the cozy confines of our taproom as possible.

Kay Witkiewicz, Head Brewer


On Thursday, 2/25, we will have the pleasure of hosting an art show for Imagine! as our February Party with a Purpose.  The event will run from 4-8pm and feature works created by Imagine! artists that work for Twisted Pine and others that participate in this great organization’s art program.  Artwork will be displayed and available for purchase through a silent auction -- plus we’ll have a live art display by one of our crafty coworkers! 

Over the past five years of working with Imagine!, we’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing individuals and have really grown to appreciate the tremendous efforts of this local, Boulder County non-profit.  Gerald Stopa, who works here as our Beer Inventory Specialist and is one of our dearest friends, was recently honored at the Imagine! Celebration where this video was debuted.  It’s a nice glimpse into the life of a strong man with a powerful will, and we’re proud to have him employed here. 


See you all next Thursday for good cheer and great beer!


Twisted Pine helps raise over $30k for community in 2015

It’s October -- the spookiest month of the year & one dedicated to awareness of the spookiest part of the body: the boob! At Twisted Pine Brewing Company, it’s been another opportunity for us to open our ale house to host a community non-profit & help raise some cash for a good cause. For this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we just finished a Pints with a Purpose night ($1 from every pint sold that day goes to charity!) for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, plus completed a team walk with Making Strides (the Pink Ribbon walk) in Denver over the weekend.

But boob health & cancer awareness aren’t the only causes we care about at The Pine. We’ve helped raise over $30,000 since January for over a dozen local charities. To name a few, we’ve hosted such organizations as Rocky Mountain Riding Therapy, which offers therapeutic horseback riding to kids & adults with physical, emotional & cognitive disabilities; Joseph’s Journey, a wilderness experience for kids with life-threatening illnesses; and Bridges to Prosperity, an organization that provides materials & knowhow for rural communities worldwide to build footbridges over impassable rivers.

We host deserving non-profits through a suite of pretty cool events, the two most popular of which include:

  • Pints with a Purpose: One dollar from every beer sold on a given day goes to that day’s featured organization. Mobilize your audience to down a few (responsibly) for charity!

  • Party with a Purpose: Ten percent of the day’s sales go to charity & silent auctions are encouraged. Joseph’s Journey took home $16,000 from their silent auction!

It seems that fostering community & sharing the spotlight should be an essential part of any craft brewery. At Twisted Pine, especially, where our community provides the bulk of our business, giving non-profits the space to treat to locals makes our house feel ten folds (Ben Folds?) larger than it really is. It turns the humble cement cavern that is our brewery into a bucolic frasca -- a countryside gathering place where locals can share homemade wine & spit-roasted hog meat & discuss the world’s great philosophical mysteries. Or, in our case, swill IPAs with pizza and argue about bike lanes.

Next up for October, we’ve got a Party with a Purpose planned for Attention Homes on 10/17. Ten percent of the day’s sales will go to an organization that assists at-risk youth. We’ll have barbecue (speaking of hog meat), paired flights, and all sorts of other fun stuff planned.

Be sure to check the Events Calendar at for more upcoming event info & don’t forget to #staytwisted.