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Springfield Brewing Co.’s Bull Creek Brown Ale wins a gold award at the Great American Beer Festival.
Springfield Brewing Co.’s Bull Creek Brown Ale wins a gold award at the Great American Beer Festival.

SBC takes home festival award as production rises

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As the company grows its production levels, Springfield Brewing Co. recently took home a gold award at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

SBC’s Bull Creek Brown Ale won the top award in the American-style brown ale category. At the Oct. 5-7 festival hosted by the Brewers Association, 296 winners were chosen among 7,923 entries from 2,217 breweries nationwide, according to a news release.

SBC’s new GABF medal is its 12th since the brewery opened in December 1997.

“For us to win, at our size, is a huge win for Springfield,” SBC Community Relations Coordinator Catherine Wellever told Springfield Business Journal this morning. “We’re still small compared to many other breweries in our playing field.”

SBC officials project to brew 3,000 barrels by the end of 2017. Last year, the company brewed roughly 2,300 barrels, Wellever estimated. With $1 million in expansions made in late 2015 and throughout 2016, the downtown brewery has the capacity to produce 5,000 barrels annually.

“That’s big growth for our production facility,” Wellever said. “We also crossed state lines for the first time.”

The brewery began distributing to Rogers, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale and Eureka Springs, Arkansas, through distributor Premium Brands of Northwest Arkansas in April, Wellever said. Additionally, SBC spent approximately $8,000 to move into Columbia through N.H. Scheppers Distributing Co. in August.

Seven other GABF medals were awarded to Missouri breweries, according to the festival’s website, including Cinder Block Brewery LLC in Kansas City and Perennial Artisan Ales and Schlafly, both in St. Louis. No other southwest Missouri breweries were recognized.

Lost Signal Brewing Co. owner Tyler Hoke said he did not submit any entries for the competition. He said the company was not up and running when the entries were due.

“For me, the categories just don’t make much sense for what I brew,” Hoke said, adding he’s unsure if he’ll enter in the future.

Mother’s Brewing Co. owner Jeff Schrag said his company submitted several entries, though they did not receive any honors.

“But our friends at Springfield Brewing Co. continue to do a great job,” Schrag said. “I’m happy for them.”

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