903 Brewers is celebrating after winning its first gold medal at the U.S. Open Beer Championships.

The brewery took home first place in the “aged-beer” category with its Sasquatch Reserve imperial stout. The 2019 Beer Championships were held in Oxford, Ohio, on Tuesday and welcomed more than 7,000 entries across 130 different categories.

“It’s just cool to see that people love it as much as we do,” 903 Brewers Founder Jeremy Roberts said of his award-winning beer.

Since 903’s opening six years ago, Roberts said the brewery has entered its original Sasquatch stout in the U.S. Open four times. The chocolatey brew took home silver in 2016, bronze in 2017 and silver again in 2018, but Roberts said he and his fellow brewers were excited to tweak the recipe this year.

“We wanted to do something as a nod to Sasquatch turning five this year, so we made a reserve series,” Roberts said. “We upped the alcohol (by volume) a little bit from 10 percent to 13.5 percent and we oak-aged the beer in barrels. That makes the beer that much more special.”

Roberts declined to divulge any further details about the aging process behind Sasquatch Reserve, but described the beer as sweet and satisfying.

“We use a chocolate malt and a roasted malt and that’s what gives it that dark color and that depth of flavor,” Roberts said. “We added cocoa nibs to it as well and that flavor really shines through. It gives it more of a dark, baker’s chocolate flavor.”

903 Brewers is expected to receive its mug-shaped medal by mail in the coming weeks, but Roberts said simply coming out on top this year was plenty of prize for him and the brewery.

“More and more breweries are popping up all over the world and the competition is getting tougher,” Roberts said. “If you can medal once, that’s a pretty amazing deal. But to do it four years in a row and win and finally win a gold? That’s an even bigger accomplishment. We’re just a little brewery in Sherman, Texas, but we’re turning heads all over.”

Drew Smith is a reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at asith@heralddemocrat.com.