Dayton craft brewery Branch & Bone Artisan Ales scored some prestigious hardware at last weekend’s Festival of Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer, a national beer competition and tasting held annually in Chicago.
The Wayne Avenue brewery’s “Silence Mill,” a foeder-aged, mixed-fermentation saison with local honey, earned a bronze medal in the FoBAB competition’s “Wild Ale” category, which drew 19 entries, a festival spokeswoman said today, Nov. 12.
This year’s 17th annual FoBAB competition attracted entries from 223 breweries A panel of industry leaders and certified judges evaluated the entries, awarding Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals as well across only 12 style categories.
“Anytime you medal in a competition of this caliber, it's a big deal, because you are up against some incredible competition,” Branch & Bone co-founder Brett Smith said. “FOBAB is the world's largest festival and competition for barrel-aged beer. It has been around for 17 years and is one of the most respected festival/competitions in existence.”
Smith said the medal is significant for the young brewery, which opened in June 2018 at 905 Wayne Ave. Competitions are tricky,” the Branch & Bone co-founder said. “We don't worry too much about winning, although it does feel good. We know that we are producing very good product, so it's nice for the validation aspect and to be honored in a room full of your peers.”
“More significant to me personally is that Silence Mill began in my back yard,” Smith said. “Not much has changed with that beer besides now it's made in a French-oak Foeder instead of in a carboy in my cellar.”
Branch & Bone’s specialty beers are made in relatively small quantities, but the award-winning Silence Mill is currently available in 500-ml bottles, and for now anyway, is still available on tap at the brewery, although it’s the last keg.
“Once all of that is gone, it may be nine to 12 months until we see it return,” Smith said. “But it is a beer we will always make.”