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Local breweries recognized nationally at Great American Beer Festival

Three Eugene Breweries win medals at Great American Beer Festival

EUGENE, Ore. - For the first time ever, three Eugene breweries took home medals from a national beer competition last week, effectively putting Eugene on the map as a staple in the craft beer community.

There were more than 8,000 entries from breweries around the country for the Great American Beer Fest, a three-day annual event held in Denver, Colorado that allows breweries to compete from around the nation for gold, silver or bronze medals.

Coldfire, Alesong and Elkhorn Brewery all took home medals in last week's festival, with Coldfire receiving a silver medal, and Alesong and Elkhorn winning bronze.

More importantly than being nationally recognized, these local breweries are just proud to represent Eugene.

"It's huge for Eugene because there's 200 plus breweries in the state, and everyone talks about Portland and Bend, but Eugene has awesome beer and this kind of shows that we can make great beer as well," said Matt Van Wyk, of Aleson Brewing and Blending.

On Saturday, the Elkhorn Brewery is hosting a celebration of sorts with the other local contestant winners.

Elkhorn is using this celebration as a way to give back to police officers who were wounded or killed in the line of duty, and a portion of Saturday's proceeds will go to the Cops Foundation.

Elkhorn owner, Stephen Sheehan, says Eugene and Springfield officers will be at the restaurant for support.

"You're getting to meet someone that's not in uniform that's just like us, you know, they are good people that they don't get enough credit for, and I appreciate what they do for us," said Sheehan. "I'm happy we're able to give back to them."

The event at Elkhorn is going until 11 p.m., and they will be serving a German menu for the special occasion, as well as live music.

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