Dayton-area breweries collected some impressive hardware in the 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship, according to results released this morning by organizers of the event that attracted 6,000 entries representing more than 100 styles of beer.
The competition was decided by trained judges from England, Canada and the United States, organizers said in a release. And this isn’t one of those competitions in which dozens of gold, silver and bronze medals are bestowed liberally to multiple wines in each category. Like the Olympics, only three medals are awarded in each category, making the gold, silver and bronze captured by local breweries even more significant.
The event drew entries “from Vermont to Vietnam,” organizers said, and the final round of judging was held at the Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub in Oxford, Ohio. Judging in the U.S. Open Beer Championships is blind; the judges do not know what beers they are tasting.
Darren Link, the head brewer at Fifth Street Brewpub, was pretty stoked this morning at the results.
“This is huge to be able to repeat a gold medal in this category,” Link said. “For those that bought bottles of this beer a couple weeks ago (during FSB’s fifth anniversary celebration), Cheers!”
Jeff Fortney, co-founder and head brewer at FigLeaf Brewing in Middletown, said, “We're very proud and excited to have earned a medal in competition like this while we're still less than a year old.
“I've always believed strongly in Ponderous, and porter has always been one of my own personal favorite styles. We look forward to more new beer releases, including a barrel-aged stout later this year, possibly for our anniversary in early October.
The event’s organizers gave a shout-out to a very young Cincinnati brewery in their release as well.
"We're also excited that one of newest breweries in the U.S. and one of the oldest breweries in the world took home medals," said Dow Scoggins, director of the U.S. Open Beer Championship. "Cincinnati's Brink Brewing, which opened in February, won a bronze medal in the golden ale and a gold for its cream stout. The oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan, founded in 1040 out of Freising, Germany, won a gold for its Hefeweissbier."
Other southwest Ohio winners included a gold medal for Rhinegeist Brewery in the English Mild Ale category for the brewery’s Uncle; and a silver medal for Taft’s Ale House for its Gustaw Vienna-style beer.
TOP 10 BREWERIES 2017
No Ohio breweries cracked the “Top 10 Breweries 2017” list that honored the highest-performing medal winner breweries. That Top 10 list was:
1. Cherry Street Brewing Cooperative – Cumming, Georgia
2. Black Tooth Brewing – Sheridan, Wyoming
3. Lynnwood Brewing Concern – Raleigh, North Carolina
4. Cigar City Brewing – Tampa Bay, Florida
5. Ecliptic Brewing – Portland, Oregon
6. La Quinta Brewing – La Quinta, Texas
7. Appalachian Mountain Brewing – Boone, North Carolina
Mark Fisher, a 1981 graduate of Ohio State University and a 1976 graduate of Beavercreek High School, is a third-generation Dayton-area resident who has worked for the Dayton Daily News since 1983. He covered higher education and K-12 education accountability issues for nearly 20 years before taking over the food and dining beat in 2006.