Maine breweries walked away with three medals from the Great American Beer Festival, the most since Allagash Brewing Co. won three medals in 2010.

The festival, an annual event held in Denver by the Brewers Association, is the equivalent of the Olympics for U.S. breweries. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in 92 beer styles, from oatmeal stout to herb and spice beer.

Allagash Brewing won two of Maine’s medals at this year’s competition: the gold medal in the Belgian-style witbier category for its flagship Allagash White and a silver medal in the Belgian-style tripel category for its Allagash Tripel.

Allagash Brewing of Portland won the gold medal in the Great American Beer Festival's Belgian-style witbier category for its flagship Allagash White.

Allagash Brewing of Portland won the gold medal in the Great American Beer Festival’s Belgian-style witbier category for its flagship Allagash White.

Allagash has been a perennial favorite at the Great American Beer Festival. The Portland brewery has brought home at least one medal in eight of the past 11 years.

The third medal was won by Baxter Brewing in Lewiston, which captured silver for its Window Seat Coconut Almond Porter in the field beer category, a style that includes a vegetable in some portion of the brewing process. It was Baxter’s first award in the festival.

The last time a Maine brewery other than Allagash won an award was in 2004, when Casco Bay Brewing won a bronze medal in the Irish-style red ale category for its Casco Bay Riptide Red Ale.

John Holl, editor of All About Beer magazine and a judge at the Great American Beer Festival, said Maine breweries hold their own against stiffening competition at each year’s festival.

“Good beer production is also often directly related to consumer demand,” Holl said. “Educated drinkers want better and more flavorful beer, are willing to pay for it, and will seek it out. In Maine, I’ve seen great passion from consumers and brewers have stepped up to meet that, and it’s clearly translating to medals at GABF.”

In its roundup of results, the Brewers Association highlighted Maine for being the state with the highest ratio of medals to entries. Maine breweries submitted 14 entries to the contest and won three medals, a 21 percent win ratio, the highest of any state. Rhode Island came in second with a 10 percent win ratio, followed by North Dakota with an 8 percent win ratio. For comparison, California breweries won 67 medals this year. The Brewers Association didn’t disclose the number of beer entries from California breweries, but there must have been at least 800 – any more and it would have surpassed North Dakota’s 8 percent win ratio.

Holl makes a trip to Maine at least once a year, returning with a trunk full of beer. This year’s showing by Maine breweries made him realize something.

“I might need to get a bigger car.”