Historic Beer Birthday: Bert Grant

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Today would have been Bert Grant’s 88th birthday, and he is still definitely missed. Bert opened the country’s first brewpub in 1982 in Yakima, Washington and was a fixture in the industry until his death in late July of 2001. Join me tonight in lifting a pint to Bert’s memory.

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Bert Grant and me at OBF in the mid-1990s.

Corks & Suds Benefit For Autism Friday Night In Novato

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Tomorrow night in Novato, at the Unity In Marin church, located at 600 Palm Drive, a benefit for Autism — a cause near and dear to me — will be held. Corks & Suds will take place from 7:00-10:00 PM, and will feature music by “The Decades” and special guest piano performance by young man with autism.

Lagunitas, Anchor Brewing, Iron Springs and many more special guest beers from San Francisco Brewing Collective, Food from Alta Cuisine and Sonoma wines plus much more will be there! An evening of fun for a great cause.

Tickets are available at both Eventbrite and Global Offerings and there’s more information at the event’s Facebook page. I’m not sure how long this coupon will work, but put in Coupon code “CAS-SPECIAL” and get your ticket for $45 instead of $70!

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World Beer Cup Awards 2016

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The 2016 World Beer Cup Awards were announced this evening in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was the 11th time for the biennial international competition, with a record 6,596 entries from 1,907 breweries in 55 countries, judged by 253 judges (including yours truly). This year, 287 awards were given in 96 separate categories to breweries in 16 countries. Congratulations to all the winners.

This is the second time that the competition used a lottery system. Any brewery that wants to enter their beer first registers their desire to participate in the World Beer Cup over a set period of time. Once the number of interested breweries is known, then the number of different beers each one can enter is determined. This year, every brewery could enter up to four beers. As a result, the winners were far more diverse than in any previous year. Of all 287 award winners, six breweries won three awards and 22 breweries won two, with 225 winning only one.

Not surprisingly, the category with the highest number of entries was American-Style IPA, with 275. Second was Imperial India Pale Ale, with 181 entries, and the third most-entered category was American-Style Pale Ale, with 167. The average number of entries for each category was 69 beers.

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Overall, the United States won the most medals, with 230. Germany was second, with 17, and Japan came in third, with 9. Canada won eight and the United Kingdom won seven. Belgium picked up 3 awards, while Austria and Australia each brought home two.

Within the U.S., California won the most medals, with 49. Colorado was second with 37 and Oregon was third, with 19. Pennsylvania won 11, Virginia brought home 9 and New Mexico won 7. Ohio nabbed six, Massachusetts picked up 4 and Utah 3, while Connecticut, Maine, Nebraska and New Jersey each won two.

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Category: 1 American-Style Wheat Beer – 28 Entries
Gold: Whammy Bar Wheat, Amplified Ale Works, San Diego, CA
Silver: Whacked Out Wheat, Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride, CO
Bronze: Flash Bang, Excel Brewing Co., Breese, IL
Category: 2 American-Style Wheat Beer with Yeast – 39 Entries
Gold: Fuzztail, Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, OR
Silver: Haybag Hefeweizen, Philipsburg Brewing Co., Philipsburg, MT
Bronze: Lost Meridian Wit, Base Camp Brewing Co., Portland, OR
Category: 3 Fruit Beer – 77 Entries
Gold: Shady Spot, Susquehanna Brewing Co., Pittston, PA
Silver: Razz Against the Machine, Little Machine, Denver, CO
Bronze: That Guava Beer, Legacy Brewing Co., Oceanside, CA
Category: 4 Fruit Wheat Beer – 46 Entries
Gold: First Peach Ale, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Mr. Pineapple, SanTan Brewing Co., Chandler, AZ
Bronze: Raspberry Wheat Beer, Meantime Brewing Co., London, United Kingdom
Category: 5 Belgian-Style Fruit Beer – 58 Entries
Gold: Rosetta, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Silver: Coal Kriek, Gravity Brewing, Louisville, CO
Bronze: Sunken City, Insight Brewing Co., Minneapolis, MN
Category: 6 Pumpkin Beer – 25 Entries
Gold: Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 4 Noses Brewing Co., Broomfield, CO
Silver: Tributary Jacques, Tributary Brewing Co., Kittery, ME
Bronze: Pumpkin Down, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits – Scripps Ranch, San Diego, CA
Category: 7 Field Beer – 57 Entries
Gold: Ponce, Quest Brewing Co., Greenville, SC
Silver: Coconut Delight, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Goochland, VA
Bronze: Cranberry Beet Wild Night, Swamp Head Brewery, Gainesville, FL
Category: 8 Chili Beer – 58 Entries
Gold: Yellow Fever, Comrade Brewing Co., Denver, CO
Silver: Hellcat, Fort George Brewery + Public House, Astoria, OR
Bronze: Thunder Axe, Brew Hub, Lakeland, FL
Category: 9 Herb and Spice Beer – 129 Entries
Gold: Sakura Mankai Lager, Chateau Kamiya Ushiku Brewery, Ushiku, Japan
Silver: Squatters Bumper Crop Honey Ale, Squatters Pub Brewery, Salt Lake City, UT
Bronze: Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat, Tallgrass Brewing Co., Manhattan, KS
Category: 10 Chocolate Beer – 80 Entries
Gold: Pasteur Street Cyclo Stout, Pasteur Street Brewing Co., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Silver: Airporter Chocolate Porter, Marin Brewing Co., Larkspur, CA
Bronze: Kerplunk! Imperial Chocolate Stout, Spring House Brewing Co., Lancaster, PA
Category: 11 Coffee Beer – 154 Entries
Gold: Mocha Machine, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Silver: Overload Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – West Chester, West Chester, PA
Bronze: Portola Breakfast Stout, Tustin Brewing Co., Tustin, CA
Category: 12 Specialty Beer – 60 Entries
Gold: Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, Funky Buddha Brewery, Oakland Park, FL
Silver: Maple Tripple Ale, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Warren, VT
Bronze: Nut Smasher, Willoughby Brewing Co., Willoughby, OH
Category: 13 Rye Beer – 54 Entries
Gold: Rye Dawn, Breakwater Brewing Co., Oceanside, CA
Silver: Grimlock, Loowit Brewing Co., Vancouver, WA
Bronze: Uncle Dave’s Rye IPA, Discretion Brewing, Soquel, CA
Category: 14 Honey Beer – 55 Entries
Gold: Honey Chamomile Wheat, Nexus Brewery, Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Cross-Pollination, Magic Rock Brewing, Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Bronze: Long Sun Brewing Honey Beer, Long Sun Brewing, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Category: 15 Session Beer – 34 Entries
Gold: Otra Vez, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Mills River, NC
Silver: La Fete, 7venth Sun Brewery, Dunedin, FL
Bronze: Golden Dragon, Ise Kadoya Brewery, Ise, Japan
Category: 16 Session India Pale Ale – 111 Entries
Gold: Little Secret, Triptych Brewing, Savoy, IL
Silver: Down to Earth, 21st Amendment Brewery, San Leandro, CA
Bronze: Eternal, Northern Monk Brew Co., Leeds, United Kingdom
Category: 17 Other Strong Beer – 47 Entries
Gold: Brilliant, 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bend, OR
Silver: Laissez-Faire, Monday Night Brewing, Atlanta, GA
Bronze: Winter Woman, Revolution Brewing Brewpub, Chicago, IL
Category: 18 Experimental Beer – 86 Entries
Gold: Arima Japan Ale, Konishi Brewing Co., Itami, Japan
Silver: Cerise Mousseux Nouveau, Manitou Brewing Co., Manitou Springs, CO
Bronze: Iwate Kura Beer Oyster Stout, Iwate Kura Beer, Ichinoseki, Japan
Category: 19 Fresh or Wet Hop Ale – 10 Entries
Silver: High Ground IPA, Manitou Brewing Co., Manitou Springs, CO
Bronze: Double Conundrum Imperial Red Fresh Hop, Aspen Brewing Co., Aspen, CO
Category: 20 Historical Beer – 27 Entries
Gold: Archetype Historical IPA, Circle Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Silver: Great Odin’s Beard Oat Ale, Third Street Aleworks, Santa Rosa, CA
Bronze: Dortmunder Adambier, Blue Pants Brewery, Madison, AL
Category: 21 Gluten-Free Beer – 40 Entries
Gold: Glutenberg India Pale Ale, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Montreal, Canada
Silver: Glutenberg Lapsang d’Automne, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Montreal, Canada
Bronze: A Dark Night, Departed Soles Brewing Co., Jersey City, NJ
Category: 22 American-Belgo-Style Ale – 61 Entries
Gold: Snowcat White IPA, Rock Bottom – Chicago, Chicago, IL
Silver: Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
Bronze: Salad Days, Pale Fire Brewing Co., Harrisonburg, VA
Category: 23 American-Style Sour Ale – 84 Entries
Gold: Confliction, Sloop Brewing, Elizaville, NY
Silver: Ensorcelled, The Rare Barrel, Berkeley, CA
Bronze: DAM Wild – Hops and Lemon Verbena, Flat Tail Brewing Co., Corvallis, OR
Category: 24 Brett Beer – 70 Entries
Gold: Blushing Star, Liquid Riot Bottling Co., Portland, ME
Silver: Sauvage, NOLA Brewing, New Orleans, LA
Bronze: La Bonte Pear, Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, NC
Category: 25 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer – 66 Entries
Gold: Bourbon Barrel Aged Koffi Porter, La Quinta Brewing Co., Palm Desert, CA
Silver: Rye Robustito, Drake’s Brewing Co., San Leandro, CA
Bronze: Wild Warehouse, Wander Brewing, Bellingham, WA
Category: 26 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer – 151 Entries
Gold: Bourbon Barrel Aged Jinx Remover, Fall Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Silver: Omega Point, Olde Hickory Brewery Co., Hickory, NC
Bronze: Samuel Adams Utopias, Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA
Category: 27 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout – 152 Entries
Gold: A Night to End All Dawns, Kane Brewing, Ocean, NJ
Silver: Darkstar November, Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim, CA
Bronze: Ruse, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, VA
Category: 28 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 115 Entries
Gold: Love Among the Ruins, Thornbridge, Bakewell, United Kingdom
Silver: Days of Creation, Thornbridge, Bakewell, United Kingdom
Bronze: Bramble On Rose, Toolbox Brewing Co., Vista, CA
Category: 29 Aged Beer – 40 Entries
Gold: Nine-Tailed Fox, Nasu Kohgen Beer Co., Nasumachi, Japan
Silver: Solzhenitsyn, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, Media, PA
Bronze: 2012 Dr. Strangelove Barleywine, Strange Craft Beer Co., Denver, CO
Category: 30 Kellerbier or Zwickelbier – 69 Entries
Gold: Baumgartner Junghopfenpils, Brauerei Jos. Baumgartner, Schaerding, Austria
Silver: Ulmer Hexensud, Familienbrauerei Bauhoefer, Renchen, Germany
Bronze: Pilsner, Marble Brewery, Albuquerque, NM
Category: 31 Smoke Beer – 79 Entries
Gold: Ashes from the Grave, Monkey Paw Brewing, San Diego, CA
Silver: Breakside Smoked Porter, Breakside Brewery – Pub Brewery, Portland, OR
Bronze: Raucher, Wolverine State Brewing Co., Ann Arbor, MI
Category: 32 Light Lager – 45 Entries
Gold: Miller Lite, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
Silver: Asahi The Dream, Asahi Breweries, Tokyo, Japan
Bronze: Landshark, Margaritaville Brewing Co., Wildwood, MO
Category: 33 International-Style Lager – 103 Entries
Gold: BEER, La Cumbre Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Amend This!, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA
Bronze: Wonderstuff, Bauhaus Brew Labs, Minneapolis, MN
Category: 34 Baltic-Style Porter – 44 Entries
Gold: Apogee Baltic Porter, Morgan Territory Brewing, Tracy, CA
Silver: Cobaltic Porter, Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim, CA
Bronze: Black Aria Baltic Porter, Mountain Sun Breweries, Denver, CO
Category: 35 German-Style Pilsener – 108 Entries
Gold: Trumer Pils, Trumer Brauerei, Berkeley, CA
Silver: Pilsner, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – South Dock, Aurora, CO
Bronze: Saalfelder Premium, Buergerliches Brauhaus Saalfeld, Saalfeld, Germany
Category: 36 Bohemian-Style Pilsener – 65 Entries
Gold: Duchovni, Medusa Brewing Co., Hudson, MA
Silver: High Plains Pils, Canteen Brewhouse, Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: Pilsner, River Rat Brewery, Columbia, SC
Category: 37 Muenchner-Style Helles – 76 Entries
Gold: Loewenbraeu Original, Loewenbraeu, Muenchen, Germany
Silver: Aktien Hell, ABK Betriebsgesellschaft der Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren, Kaufbeuren, Germany
Bronze: Beach Blonde, Crystal Lake Brewing Co., Crystal Lake, IL
Category: 38 Dortmunder/Export or German-Style Oktoberfest – 52 Entries
Gold: Festbier, Muellerbraeu, Pfaffenhofen, Germany
Silver: Tauras Tradicinis, Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe, Panevezys, Lithuania
Bronze: Eder’s Export, Eder & Heylands Brauerei, Grossostheim, Germany
Category: 39 Vienna-Style Lager – 57 Entries
Gold: Dock Time, Stony Creek Brewery, Branford, CT
Silver: Firebrick, August Schell Brewing Co., New Ulm, MN
Bronze: Puesta del Sol, WeldWerks Brewing Co., Greeley, CO
Category: 40 German-Style Maerzen – 34 Entries
Gold: Hissy Fit Marzen Lager, Bitter Sisters Brewing Co., Addison, TX
Silver: Rhinofest, Lost Rhino Brewing Co., Ashburn, VA
Bronze: Ur-Saalfelder, Buergerliches Brauhaus Saalfeld, Saalfeld, Germany
Category: 41 European-Style Dark/Muenchner Dunkel – 56 Entries
Gold: I Dunkled in My Pants, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. – Arroyo Grande, Santa Barbara, CA
Silver: Mother in Lager, Karbach Brewing Co., Houston, TX
Bronze: Yee-Haw Dunkel, Yee-Haw Brewing, Johnson City, TN
Category: 42 German-Style Schwarzbier – 51 Entries
Gold: Schwartz Bier, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost, Lexington, VA
Silver: Magnetron Schwarzbier, Metropolitan Brewing, Chicago, IL
Bronze: TAPS Schwarzbier, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA
Category: 43 German-Style Bock or Maibock – 75 Entries
Gold: Maibock, Stoudts Brewing Co., Adamstown, PA
Silver: Pivo Bublina, Ploughshare Brewing Co., Lincoln, NE
Bronze: Engel Bock Dunkel, Biermanufaktur ENGEL, Crailsheim, Germany
Category: 44 German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock – 53 Entries
Gold: Lucubrator, Occidental Brewing Co., Portland, OR
Silver: Warning Sign, Rockyard Brewing Co., Castle Rock, CO
Bronze: ATOR 20, Brauerei S. Riegele, Augsburg, Germany
Category: 45 American-Style Lager – 82 Entries
Gold: Rainier Lager, Pabst Brewing Co., Los Angeles, CA
Silver: High Life, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
Bronze: Rocket 100, The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Category: 46 American-Style Amber Lager – 59 Entries
Gold: Steam Engine Lager, Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Silver: Ringside Red, Boxing Cat Brewery, Shanghai, China
Bronze: Holsteiner, Argus Brewery, Chicago, IL
Category: 47 American-Style Dark Lager – 29 Entries
Gold: Jump Seat Black Lager, Lancaster Brewing Co., Lancaster, PA
Silver: El Moreno, TAPS Fish House & Brewery – Brea, Brea, CA
Bronze: Saint Patrick’s Black, Saint Patrick’s Brewing Co., Littleton, CO
Category: 48 Australian- or International-Style Pale Ale – 84 Entries
Gold: Triumvirate, Reuben’s Brews, Seattle, WA
Silver: Breakside Lunch Break ISA, Breakside Brewery, Milwaukie, OR
Bronze: Bosque IPA, Bosque Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Category: 49 German-Style Koelsch – 75 Entries
Gold: Claritas, Mike Hess Brewing Co. – North Park, San Diego, CA
Silver: Feder Monde, All Rise Brewing Co., Chicago, IL
Bronze: Straub Kolsch, Straub Brewery, St. Marys, PA
Category: 50 German-Style Altbier – 56 Entries
Gold: 90 Shilling, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO
Silver: Little Red Cap, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland, CO
Bronze: Breakside Will’s Alt, Breakside Brewery – Pub Brewery, Portland, OR
Category: 51 German-Style Sour Ale – 78 Entries
Gold: Volkssekt, Bend Brewing Co., Bend, OR
Silver: Gosebusters, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Bronze: Original Ritterguts Gose, Ritterguts Gose, Borna, Germany
Category: 52 South German-Style Hefeweizen – 100 Entries
Gold: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany
Silver: Premier OB Weizen, Oriental Brewery Co., Icheon-si, South Korea
Bronze: Baumgartner Weisse Hell, Brauerei Jos. Baumgartner, Schaerding, Austria
Category: 53 German-Style Wheat Ale – 62 Entries
Gold: Franziskaner Weissbier Royal, Spaten-Franziskaner-Braeu, Muenchen, Germany
Silver: Weihenstephaner Kristallweissbier, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany
Bronze: Plank Original Hefeweizen, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany
Category: 54 South German-Style Weizenbock – 33 Entries
Gold: Ladenburger Weizenbock Hell, Brauerei Ladenburger, Neuler, Germany
Silver: Plank Heller Weizenbock, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany
Bronze: Plank Dunkler Weizenbock, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany
Category: 55 Belgian-Style Witbier – 78 Entries
Gold: Hoegaarden Wit, Hoegaarden Brewery, Inbev Belgium, Hoegaarden, Belgium
Silver: Gentleman’s Wit, Camden Town Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Bronze: Plum Island White, Newburyport Brewing Co., Newburyport, MA
Category: 56 French & Belgian-Style Saison – 116 Entries
Gold: Classic Saison, Blackberry Farm Brewery, Walland, TN
Silver: La Saison du Tracteur, Microbrasserie Le Trou Du Diable, Shawinigan, Canada
Bronze: Soleil Saison, 12Degree Brewing, Louisville, CO
Category: 57 Belgian- and French-Style Ale – 42 Entries
Gold: Barrel Aged Woodthrush, Little Fish Brewing Co., Athens, OH
Silver: Farnam House Biere de Garde, Farnam House Brewing Co., Omaha, NE
Bronze: Domaine DuPage, Two Brothers Brewing Co., Warrenville, IL
Category: 58 Belgian-Style Pale Ale or Blonde Ale – 60 Entries
Gold: La Trappe Trappist Blond, Bierbrouwerij de Koningshoeven, Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands
Silver: Raise the Roost, Portland Brewing, Portland, OR
Bronze: Golden Ghost, Lost Highway Brewing, Denver, CO
Category: 59 Belgian-Style Sour Ale – 46 Entries
Gold: Oude Geuze Boon Black Label, Brouwerij Boon, Lembeek, Belgium
Silver: Lindemans Oude Kriek Cuvee Rene, Lindemans Brewery, Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Bronze: Red Angel, Wicked Weed – Funkatorium, Asheville, NC
Category: 60 Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale – 36 Entries
Gold: Yearling, Eagle Rock Brewery, Los Angeles, CA
Silver: Oude Tart, Bruery Terreux, Placentia, CA
Bronze: 2014 Vintage Blue Sunday, New Holland Brewing Co., Holland, MI
Category: 61 Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadrupel – 73 Entries
Gold: Sanitarium, Bier Brewery and Taproom, Indianapolis, IN
Silver: Hertog Jan Dubbel, Hertog Jan Brouwerij, Arcen, Netherlands
Bronze: Three Philosophers, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Category: 62 Belgian-Style Tripel – 76 Entries
Gold: Bedotter, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Lancaster, Lancaster, PA
Silver: 33 Acres of Euphoria, 33 Acres Brewing Co., Vancouver, Canada
Bronze: Gnomegang, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Category: 63 Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale – 48 Entries
Gold: Treachery, 12Degree Brewing, Louisville, CO
Silver: Sanctuary Golden Strong Ale, Gemini Beer Co., Westminster, CO
Bronze: Deceit, Funkwerks, Fort Collins, CO
Category: 64 Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale – 37 Entries
Gold: The Sixth Glass, Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
Silver: Four Swords, Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Dallas, TX
Bronze: La Grivoise de Noel, Microbrasserie Le Trou Du Diable, Shawinigan, Canada
Category: 65 Other Belgian-Style Ale – 43 Entries
Gold: Supernatural, Crooked Run Brewing, Leesburg, VA
Silver: Chump Change, Oak Highlands Brewery, Dallas, TX
Bronze: Sugarfoot Belgian Table Beer, Spangalang Brewery, Denver, CO
Category: 66 English-Style Mild Ale – 38 Entries
Gold: Song In Your Heart, Discretion Brewing, Soquel, CA
Silver: Triple Crown Brown, The Mitten Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Bronze: Brockwell, Heist Brewery, Charlotte, NC
Category: 67 English-Style Summer Ale – 30 Entries
Gold: James Squires The Swindler Summer Ale, West End Brewery, Thebarton, Australia
Silver: Pacific Ale, Stone & Wood Brewing Co., Byron Bay, Australia
Bronze: True Blonde Ale, SKA Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Category: 68 Ordinary or Special Bitter – 36 Entries
Gold: Amber, Dry Dock Brewing Co. – North Dock, Aurora, CO
Silver: Sawtooth Ale, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
Bronze: Broken Dial, Harviestoun, Alva, United Kingdom
Category: 69 Classic English-Style Pale Ale – 33 Entries
Gold: Caldera Ashland Amber, Caldera Brewing Co., Ashland, OR
Silver: Puddlers Row ESB, Conshohocken Brewing Co., Conshohocken, PA
Bronze: Breakside ESB, Breakside Brewery – Pub Brewery, Portland, OR
Category: 70 Extra Special Bitter – 68 Entries
Gold: ESB, Bier Brewery and Taproom, Indianapolis, IN
Silver: End of Summer Beer, Mother Earth Brew Co., Vista, CA
Bronze: Old Jalopy Pale Ale, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Vancouver, Canada
Category: 71 English-Style India Pale Ale – 41 Entries
Gold: Independence Pass Ale, Aspen Brewing Co., Aspen, CO
Silver: Punjabi Pale Ale, CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing, Fort Collins, CO
Bronze: Big Wave Bay IPA, Hong Kong Beer Co., Chai Wan, Hong Kong
Category: 72 Scottish-Style Ale – 41 Entries
Gold: Kilt Lifter, Four Peaks Brewing Co. – Wilson Street, Tempe, AZ
Silver: Druthers 80 Shilling, Druthers Brewing Co., Albany, NY
Bronze: Maltopia Scotch Ale, Hermitage Brewing Co., San Jose, CA
Category: 73 English-Style Brown Ale – 50 Entries
Gold: Boar Brown, Pig Pounder Brewery, Greensboro, NC
Silver: Sweet George’s Brown, Dillon Dam Brewery, Dillon, CO
Bronze: Brewers Special Brown Ale, New English Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Category: 74 Brown Porter – 66 Entries
Gold: Capella Porter, Ecliptic Brewing, Portland, OR
Silver: Polygamy Nitro Porter, Utah Brewers Cooperative, Salt Lake City, UT
Bronze: Blue Nose Brown, Red Leg Brewing Co., Colorado Springs, CO
Category: 75 Robust Porter – 92 Entries
Gold: P.M. Porter, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – West Covina, West Covina, CA
Silver: Gaspar’s Porter, Florida Beer Co., Cape Canaveral, FL
Bronze: Stranger than Fiction Porter, Collective Arts Brewing, Hamilton, Canada
Category: 76 Sweet Stout or Cream Stout – 63 Entries
Gold: Chocolate Milk Stout, Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Silver: Buried at Sea, Galway Bay Brewery, Galway, Ireland
Bronze: Udder Love, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Category: 77 Oatmeal Stout – 67 Entries
Gold: Scaredy Cat, Vintage Brewing Co., Madison, WI
Silver: Stumblers Stout, Columbia River Brewing Co., Portland, OR
Bronze: Sasquatch Shadow, Elk Horn Brewery, Eugene, OR
Category: 78 Scotch Ale – 70 Entries
Gold: Clan Warrior Scotch Ale, Odyssey Beerwerks, Arvada, CO
Silver: AleSmith Wee Heavy, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Bronze: Glasgow Butcher, Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House, South Bend, IN
Category: 79 British-Style Imperial Stout – 53 Entries
Gold: Arch Devil Imperial Stout, DevilCraft, Shinagawa-ku, Japan
Silver: Russian Imperial Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, Media, PA
Bronze: Corvo Negro, Novo Brazil Brewing Co., Chula Vista, CA
Category: 80 Old Ale or Strong Ale – 55 Entries
Gold: Ninja Pirate, Black Lotus Brewing Co., Clawson, MI
Silver: Heini’s Good Cheer, Roundabout Brewery, Pittsburgh, PA
Bronze: Irish Walker, Olde Hickory Brewery Co., Hickory, NC
Category: 81 Barley Wine-Style Ale – 71 Entries
Gold: 2013 10&2 Barleywine, Fifty West Brewing Co., Cincinnati, OH
Silver: Old Bounder, Boundary Bay Brewery, Bellingham, WA
Bronze: Stormwatcher’s Winterfest, Pelican Brewing Co. – Pacific City, Pacific City, OR
Category: 82 Irish-Style Red Ale – 66 Entries
Gold: Reilly’s Red, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost, Lexington, VA
Silver: Piper Down, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, San Diego, CA
Bronze: Red Molly, Pale Fire Brewing Co., Harrisonburg, VA
Category: 83 Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout – 42 Entries
Gold: Minoh Beer STOUT, A·J·I Beer, Minoh, Japan
Silver: Irish Stout, Carver Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Bronze: O’Connor’s Dry Irish Stout, O’Connor Brewing Co., Norfolk, VA
Category: 84 Export Stout – 52 Entries
Gold: Fade to Black, Volume 1, Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, CO
Silver: Spetsnaz, The Grumpy Troll Brewpub, Mount Horeb, WI
Bronze: Dirty Frank Stout, River’s Edge Brewing Co., Milford, MI
Category: 85 Golden or Blonde Ale – 82 Entries
Gold: Power & Light Pale, Independence Brewing, Austin, TX
Silver: Squatters Chasing Tail Golden Ale, Squatters Pub Brewery, Salt Lake City, UT
Bronze: German Blonde, Bemidji Brewing Co., Bemidji, MN
Category: 86 American-Style Pale Ale – 167 Entries
Gold: Pistol River Pale, Arch Rock Brewing Co., Gold Beach, OR
Silver: Pale Ale, North High Brewing, Columbus, OH
Bronze: Knotty Pine Pale Ale, Lumberyard Brewing Co., Flagstaff, AZ
Category: 87 American-Style Strong Pale Ale – 118 Entries
Gold: Lucky Day, Central Coast Brewing Co., San Luis Obispo, CA
Silver: IPA 2016, Yo-Ho Brewing Co., Saku, Japan
Bronze: Paladin, Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside, CA
Category: 88 American-Style India Pale Ale – 275 Entries
Gold: I Love It!, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Silver: IPA, Great North Aleworks, Manchester, NH
Bronze: Santilli, Night Shift Brewing, Everett, MA
Category: 89 Imperial India Pale Ale – 181 Entries
Gold: Hop JuJu Imperial IPA, Fat Head’s Brewery – Middleburg Heights, Middleburg Heights, OH
Silver: Trebuchet, Second Street Brewery, Santa Fe, NM
Bronze: Nobility, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Category: 90 American-Style Amber/Red Ale – 96 Entries
Gold: Epiphany Red Ale, Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, Fairfax, CA
Silver: Sabre-Toothed Squirrel, Smog City Brewing Co., Torrance, CA
Bronze: Beast of Bray Road, Second Salem Brewing Co., Whitewater, WI
Category: 91 Double Red Ale – 51 Entries
Gold: Summit Sunrise, Denver Beer Co. – Canworks, Denver, CO
Silver: Valentinus IPA, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Wilmington, Wilmington, DE
Bronze: Toaster Pastry, 21st Amendment Brewery, San Leandro, CA
Category: 92 Imperial Red Ale – 37 Entries
Gold: Blood Junkie, Three Weavers Brewing Co., Inglewood, CA
Silver: December Nights Imperial Red, Thorn Street Brewery, San Diego, CA
Bronze: Wreak Havoc, Bootstrap Brewing, Niwot, CO
Category: 93 American-Style Brown Ale – 81 Entries
Gold: Granola Brown Ale, Black Hog Brewing, Oxford, CT
Silver: Open Road Brown Ale, Troubled Monk Brewery, Red Deer, Canada
Bronze: Upslope Brown Ale, Upslope Brewing Co. – Flatiron Park, Boulder, CO
Category: 94 American-Style Black Ale – 67 Entries
Gold: Turmoil, Barley Brown’s Brew Pub, Baker City, OR
Silver: Carlton, Melvin Brewing – Jackson, Jackson, WY
Bronze: Midnight Moonlight, Fat Head’s Brewery – Middleburg Heights, Middleburg Heights, OH
Category: 95 American-Style Stout – 51 Entries
Gold: The Defender, Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Chicago, IL
Silver: Kilgore, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Bronze: P2P, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. – Boise, Boise, ID
Category: 96 American-Style Imperial Stout – 62 Entries
Gold: Blot Out the Sun, Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, IN
Silver: HoliDAVE, Artifex Brewing Co., San Clemente, CA
Bronze: Happy Ending, SweetWater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA

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Champion Brewery and Brewer Awards

Very Small Brewing Company Category
Arch Rock Brewing Co.
James Smith
Small Brewing Company Category
Noble Ale Works
Evan and The Giants
Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Brewery Ommegang
Brewery Ommegang Brewing Team
Large Brewing Company Category
Miller Brewing Co.
Miller Brewing Co. Brewing Team
Small Brewpub Category
12Degree Brewing
Jon Howland and Tor O’Brien
Large Brewpub Category
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Julian Shrago, Ian McCall and Gene Wagoner

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500th Anniversary Of The Reinheitsgebot

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 500 years since Bavaria signed what’s considered the first food purity law, the Reinheitsgebot, also known as the Bavarian Beer Purity Law, and later the German Beer Purity Law. That’s because in 1516, when the law was decreed, Germany did not yet exist, and wouldn’t for nearly 300 years, with the formation of the German Confederation in 1815, longer if you go by the German Empire, founded in 1871. Modern Germany consists of sixteen federal states, called Bundesländers, of which Bavaria is one.
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And it was in Bavarian town of Ingolstadt on April 23, 1516, that William IV, Duke of Bavaria wrote and signed the law, along with his younger brother Louis X, Duke of Bavaria. That 1516 law was itself a variation of earlier laws, at least as early as 1447 and another in independent Munich in 1487. When Bavaria reunited, the new Reinheitsgebot applied to the entirety of the Bavarian duchy. It didn’t apply to all of Germany until 1906, and it wasn’t referred to as the Reinheitsgebot until 1918, when it was coined by a member of the Bavarian parliament. But while today most people think of it as all about food purity, that was in reality only a small part of it, and probably not even the most important.

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Here’s a translation of the Reinheitsgebot, from a 1993 issue of Zymurgy:

We hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer:

From Michaelmas to Georgi [St. George’s Day], the price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value, and

From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig].

If this not be adhered to, the punishment stated below shall be administered.

Should any person brew, or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any higher than one Pfennig per Mass.

Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.

Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city or markets buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge one Heller more for the Mass or the Kopf, than mentioned above. Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to location), WE, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order curtailments for the good of all concerned.

Notice that the first two decrees have to do with pricing and when beer can be sold. It isn’t until paragraph six, the second last one, that the issue of what ingredients will be allowed comes up. If it had been the most important part, is seems more likely they would have led with it. Even then, it wasn’t about purity, but again commerce. Barley was designated as the only grain so that others, notably wheat and rye, were set aside to be used for baking bread.

Also, a lot of hay has been made about it not mentioning yeast, with the idea that it was because yeast wasn’t discovered until Louis Pasteur in the 19th century. But early brewers did know something about yeast, even if they didn’t have the full scientific understanding that came later. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been able to make consistent batches of beer. At the end of your brew, you’ll find a layer of billowing foam and other indeterminate matter at the bottom of the fermenter, which the Germans called “Zeug,” which means “stuff.” And early German brewers had a person, called a “hefener,” whose job it was to scoop out the Zeug, which was in effect the leftover yeast, and pitch it in the next batch of beer. So it’s hard to say they didn’t have some understanding of yeast.

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A German postage stamp celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot in 1983.

The Germans, of course, have set up a website for the 500th anniversary, and so does the Bayerischer Brauerbund, which is a a Bavarian brewers trade group along with the German Brewers Group. They also created a 50-second film marking the anniversary.

And the media is covering the Reinheitsgebot’s Quincentenary. A few examples include the BBC, Food and Wine, NPR, Spiegel, and Wired. But by far the most thorough examination of the Reinheitsgebot was by Jeff Alworth in All About Beer magazine, Attempting to Understand the Reinheitsgebot.

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It’s great that it’s been 500 years, and that German brewers are justly proud of the Reinheitsgebot. It’s clearly helped create the unique German beer scene and their many native styles. But it’s also been used as a shameless marketing tool, been used as an exclusionary tactic, and has even had little-known exceptions to its rules for years, ones that most people are not even aware of, not to mention the use of other items in the brewing process that are also not mentioned by the law, but which because they’re not strictly “ingredients” more modern brewers have interpreted as not being prohibited.

Many people have voiced criticisms against it over the years. One that’s particularly thorough is The German Reinheitsgebot — Why it’s a Load of Old Bollocks. The German magazine Spiegel’s recent coverage is entitled Attacking Beer Purity: The Twilight of Germany’s Reinheitsgebot.

Back in 2001, Fred Eckhardt wrote an entertaining tale for All About Beer entitled The Spy who Saved the Reinheitsgebot, about how a brewer was able to prove Beck’s was using adjuncts and was not in adherence with the German law.

In another recent article in First We Feast, Sam Calagione, of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, is quoted with an opinion I suspect many American brewers hold. “I hate the concept of the Reinheitsgebot, but I am essentially happy it exists.”

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Deutsche Post’s 2016 commemorative stamp.

FredFest Coming May 15

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If you’re not familiar with FredFest, it was created to mark the 80th birthday of legendary Portland beer writer Fred Eckhardt. That first festival took place in 2006 and the festival became an annual event put on by Hair of the Dog Brewing. Last year’s event celebrated Fred’s 89th birthday. Unfortunately, in August of last year, Fred passed away, which means this will be the first FredFest that he will be unable to attend. Hair of the Dog brewmaster and owner, Alan Sprints, wants to make this year a special one and make the festival a celebration of Fred’s life and his contributions to craft beer, especially in Portland. So it certainly sounds like this is the one to be at, and I’m planning on flying up for it, as well. It’s a short hop of a flight from the Bay Area, and there will be some great beers, and people, there.

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Alan Springs and Fred Eckhardt during OBF Week at the Hair of the Dog Brewery in 2008.

If you want to join me and celebrate Fred’s life, tickets are available at the Events page at Hair of the Dog. The events itself is from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Sunday, May 15 at the Hair of the Dog Brewery located at 61 SE Yamhill Street, in Portland. A ticket gets you “a commemorative glass, endless beer food buffet, and over 25 Beers from a special selection of Brewers.” Also, since “100% of FredFest ticket sales go to charity” — Hair of the Dog covers all expenses for the event — they “encourage you to pay more than the suggested ticket price,” to help support the charities, which are the Mittleman Jewish Community Center (where Fred was once an instructor) and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

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Fred and me after the OBF Parade in 2011.

The breweries expected to pour their beer at the fest include 10 Barrel, Avery, Barley Brown’s, Beachwood, Bear Republic, Berryessa, Big Island, Block 15, Breakside, Crooked Stave, Chuckanut, Commons, Ecliptic, Firestone Walker, Golden Valley, Hill Farmstead, Hair of the Dog, Holy Mountain, Jester King, Shelton Brothers (importers), Sixpoint, Stone Brewing, and Upright, with a few more to be announced as we get closer to the event.

The only remaining questions are how can I get there, and “What Would Fred Drink?” (WWFD?). Figure out the first, and we’ll help with the second. See you in Portland.

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Bistro IPA Festival Winners 2016

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Today was only a little wet in Hayward for the 19th annual IPA Festival at the Bistro. It was perfect beer-drinking weather once we emerged from judging in the basement all morning. This year’s big winner was Today Was a Good Day IPA, from Pizza Port Carlsbad, which was chosen best in show, out of 64 IPA offerings. The full list of winners is below.

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Perfect Beer Drinking Weather.

Spring Brews Festival This Weekend

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One of the best Bay Area beer festivals is taking place this Saturday — tomorrow — in Concord. It’s usually a winter festival taking place in January, but because of the brouhaha with SF Beer Week moving because of the Super Bowl in San Francisco sucking up all the event spaces and hotel rooms (or tripling their prices) they decided to move out of the way, and wait until spring. So this year, the Brewing Network is putting on their annual festival, temporarily renamed the Spring Brews Festival. It will take place on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, from Noon to 4 pm at Todos Santos Plaza.

Here’s more info from the Eventbtrite page where you can also buy tickets:

The Brewing Network’s Winter Brews Festival returns to in Concord to celebrate its seventh year as one of the best craft beer festivals in the Bay Area. And while we are a little late this year due to schedule conflicts and the threat of inclement weather, we’re bringing the same great lineup of amazing beer and another awesome day for beer lovers in Concord!

Tickets are now on sale and are $40 pre-sale or $50 at the gate and include unlimited pours and a commemorative glass. Designated Drivers are just $5, however this is a 21 and over only event so all attendees must be of legal drinking age.

The event is conveniently located just two blocks away from the Concord BART station so mark your calendars for a craft beer infused day for a wonderful cause.

We are very proud that this year’s event is a benefit for the TSBA Arts Foundation, which helps fund the summer music program in Todos Santos Park, as well as youth music programs around Concord.

Unlimited Tasting From Over 50 Craft Breweries

Live Music From Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix Tribute Band

The brewery list is still being built so stay tuned, but below is a look at who will be there as of now to give you a good idea of how many wonderful breweries attend:

21st Amendment Brewery – San Leandro
Drake’s Brewing Co.
White Labs
Ale Industries
Almanac Beer Co
Altamont Beer Works
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Beechwood Bbq & Brewing
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Berryessa Brewing co
Black Diamond Brewery
Cali Craft Brewing Co.
Cider Brothers
Cleophus Quealy Beer Company
Coronado Brewing Company
Deschutes Brewery & Public House
Dust Bowl Brewing Company
Eagle Rock Brewery
Eight Bridges Brewing
E.J. Phair Brewing Company
Epidemic Ales
Faction Brewing
Fieldwork Brewing Company
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Flat Tail Brewing
Gillman Brewing Company
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Heretic Brewing Company
Hermitage Brewing Company
Highwater Brewing Company
Iron Springs Pub & Brewery
Kinetic Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Co
Libertine Brewing Company
Linden Street Brewery
Lost Coast Brewery
Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery
Marin Brewing Company
Moonlight Brewing Company
Moylan’s Brewing Company
Mraz Brewing Company
Nectar Creek
New Belgium Brewing
North Coast Brewing Company
Pizza Port Brewing Co.
The Rare Barrel
Russian River Brewing Company
Sierra Nevada
Societe Brewing Company
Sonoma Springs Brewing Company
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Sudwerk Brewing Co.
Three Weavers Brewing Company
Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse
Working Man Brewing Company

For more information on the event please visit: BNbrewfest.com.

Rain or shine, we’ve got you covered. And with the Concord BART station just two blocks away, this afternoon event will be sure to satisfy locals wanting to enjoy some beers for a great cause. SORRY, NO DOGS OR CHLDREN WITHIN FESTIVAL GATES. NO SMOKING IN TODOS SANTOS PARK OR DOWNTOWN CONCORD (INCLUDING E-CIGARETTES).

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Beer Birthday: Dave Buhler

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Today is Dave Buhler’s 57th birthday. Interestingly, like Dick Cantwell, whose birthday was yesterday, Dave is also a co-founder of Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington. Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.

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Fal Allen and Dave Buhler at OBF.

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Dave and Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf (at right). Neither Tom or I could identify the fellow in the middle, sorry about that. Can anybody help me out and tell me who that is?

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At the Celebrator’s best of the West Beer Festival in 2009.

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Dave with his business partner and Elyisian co-founder Dick Cantwell at GABF in 2006.

Orval Day 2016

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Merchant du Vin, which was started by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, is an importer of beer. But not just another importer, but one of the earliest in America to begin bringing in some of the world’s best beers. Like many people, one my first introductions to Belgian beer was Orval, which they started importing in 1978, along with others like Lindemans, Rochefort, Westmalle and others. This year, they’ve decided to promote Orval by creating “Orval Day” to celebrate the beer. It’s certainly one of my favorites. So it may be a marketing ploy, but so are many other holidays, and I think the beer is so good that it deserves its own day.

Here’s the info about Orval Day from Merchant du Vin’s website:

On March 26th, devotees of Orval Trappist Ale – and even some folks who haven’t tried it yet – will convene upon their favorite bar to celebrate one of the world’s most unique beers. Orval was the first Brett beer to land on US shores, and has become the favorite beer for many star American brewers. Orval sells one beer, brewed to exquisite perfection within the walls of Notre Dame d’Orval Monastery in Belgium. It’s delicious when it leaves the brewery, but also evolves in the bottle for five years or more. A portion of the proceeds from Orval Day will be donated to MAP International.

2016 will be the first year of Orval Day: visit our events page to find a great beer.

I last visited Orval in early 2014, so I thought I’d share a few of the photos I took of the brewery and abbey during that trip. Enjoy. And happy Orval Day.

Orval Day Tour

James Beard 2016 Semifinalists Announced

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The 2016 semifinalist nominations for the James Beard Awards were announced Wednesday, and the good news is there are quite a few beer professionals among the nominees for “Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional.” If you’re not familiar with the prestigious food awards, here’s how the James Beard Foundation describe their annual awards. “Covering all aspects of the industry — from chefs and restaurateurs to cookbook authors and food journalists to restaurant designers and architects and more — the Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America.” Until very recently, the awards were almost exclusively food and wine-centric, but more recently “beverage professionals” has slowly been expanding to include craft beer and spirits, too. It’s been nice to see the prejudice against beer in the food, cooking and restaurant world finally beginning to slide away. Too slowly, perhaps, but still … it’s about time and nice to see.

The list released Wednesday is the semifinalists. On March 15, a smaller list of finalists will be announced from among the semifinalists and the award winners will be announced May 2. In the category “Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional,” six of the twenty semifinalists work in the beer world. Last year it was five and the year before there were seven beer professionals nominated. Hopefully, many of them will make the cut next month. Here’s the beer people for this year:

  • Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
  • Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA
  • Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, NY
  • Jim Koch, The Boston Beer Company, Boston
  • Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

Congratulations to all the semifinalists. It’s a great list, all deserving, though I’m especially pleased to see Vinnie Cilurzo, who’s a friend and neighbor.

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