This past weekend over 50,000 people attended the 31st Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo. While over 500 breweries (with more than 2,700 beers) are at the festival, last year I noted the only thing missing was the presence of breweries from Charleston. That changed in 2012, with both Palmetto Brewing and Holy City Brewing venturing out west to showcase their beers.

Within the first 20 minutes of the festival I ran into two Charlestonians supporting Charleston craft beer.

Later on I stumbled across Christopher Winn from Palmetto Brewing. Luckily, I got a pour of Ginger Slap early, as it was pretty popular and they ran out halfway through the day session on Saturday.

I had a lot of fun during my three-day stay in Denver, but the moment of glory was seeing Chris Brown, brewmaster of Holy City Brewing, walking around with a permanent grin on his face. I ran into him right after the awards ceremony on Saturday and he was wearing a gold medal.

Holy City Brewing put their Pluff Mud Porter up against 44 other Brown Porters from across the country and came out on top, beating out SweetWater’s Exodus Porter, which came in second place.

In celebration, there will be two events held this week.

Closed For Business will host a Holy City Gold Medal Tap Night this Thursday from 6-11 p.m. They’ll be pouring Pluff Mud Porter, Category 2 IPA, Pecan Dream, and Highcountry Pale Ale. Discounted pints of Pluff Mud Porter will be available to help savor the victory.

On Friday from 4-8 p.m., Carnival Night returns to the brewery. Without any shadow of a doubt, this one has Pluff Mud Porter celebration written all over it: Pluff Mud Porter-braised barbecue pork sandwiches from Hello My Name is BBQ, Pluff Mud Porter Chocolates from Sweeteeth Chocolates, Pluff Mud Porter Bread from EVO Craft Bakery, and Pluff Mud Porter Pops from King of Pops. Music will be provided by The Bluestone Ramblers with special guest Philip Barker.

Congratulations to Holy City Brewing for a well-deserved win. This is great news for Charleston and our growing craft beer community.

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