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Laramie Local Brewer Wins Silver in Pro-Am Competition at the Great American Beer Festival

Burgeoning Craft Beer Industry Creates Niche Market For Limited Release Beers
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A local Laramie brewer won a silver medal at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival as part of the GABF Pro-Am competition.

Daniel Tomkins, a Laramie home brewer, teamed up with Black Bottle Brewery out of Fort Collins, CO to win the silver medal. In the Pro-Am competition, a home brewer is paired with a commercial brewery in order to give the home brewers the opportunity to work with a local brewery to brew their recipe on a larger scale.

Tom Moseman, head brewer for Black Bottle Brewery, said the Pro-Am competition gives great brewers the opportunity to get their recipe to a wider audience.

“I think it gets all homebrewers involved more in commercial brewing,” Moseman said. “When they come in to brew, they get to see larger scale stuff and see what differs between home brewing and professional brewing ways they can make changes.”

Moseman said working with homebrewers is also beneficial for commercial brewers. He said in doing so, he works with ingredients he may have not tried before.

“Commercial breweries can take a lot from homebrewers,” “Homebrewers are usually on the front lines of innovative beers and different ways to do things. I think it’s great just to have everyone together, brewing beer.”

One of the reasons Black Bottle Brewery was interested in partnering with Tomkins, Moseman said, was the historical beer style that Tomkins brewed, called Lichtenhainer.

“I’ve always liked the Lichtenhainer style, the style of beer that we did,” Moseman said. “I thought it was a really awesome representation because it’s a pretty hard beer to brew balanced the way it should be.”

Moseman said the Pro-AM category is difficult to medal in, due to it being a ‘best in show’ award, meaning there are no categories for specific styles of beers. Of the 118 entries, only three medals are awarded.

For those who want to try the beer, Moseman said he will be working with Tomkins to brew another batch of the Lichtenhainer for Black Bottle Brewery.

“I’m going to be in touch with Daniel to see if he wants to brew it again so we have more of it, because there’s going to be more of a demand for it now,” Moseman said.

Wyoming breweries won a number of awards at the GABF 2017. Laramie-based Coal Creek TAP won a bronze in the Scottish-Style Ale for their Heavy 80 Scotch Ale. Melvin Brewing Co. won two gold medals, one in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale and one in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category and was named “Brewing Group of the Year.”  Snake River Brewing won a gold medal in the Coffee Stout or Porter category and Black Tooth Brewing Co. won a silver medal in the Irish-Style Red Ale at the competition.

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