Well, the GABF just ended. And I got a real kick out of reading the list of medal winners. Yes, the familiar names were there – the big boys of craft. But so, too, were the little guys, breweries you probably only know if you live down the road. These are places without national distribution that prove once again that great beer can come from anywhere. And that dedication, hard work, skill, creativity, and great ingredients are all (all?) it takes to produce something extraordinary. Many of the award winners are breweries we at Beer Geeks know exceedingly well. Because we’ve been there – brewed there – and featured them on the show.
O’So Brewing Company in Plover, Wisconsin took Gold in the “American-style wheat beer with yeast” category for The Big O.
Noble Ale Works in Anaheim took a Gold with Nose Candy in the category of “Session India Pale Ale.”
Titletown Brewing Company in Green Bay and brewer David Oldenburg won “Large Brewpub” and “Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year.” They also won two silvers for individual beers.
And when it comes to the bigger or better known breweries we’ve featured, medalists included Stone, Avery, Rogue and The Lost Abbey.
But the highest note for me from the winners list was two Golds for BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. It was Michael Ferguson’s swan song heading up brewing for BJ’s (he’s now a Vice President at 47 Hops) and he got to cross the stage twice to pick up the medals.
A big congratulations to Michael, all of our friends who medalled, and all of the other winners and participants as well. And consider this a reminder of just how many great craft beers there are to try. So get drinkin’.
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