We love a good sporting competition, but beer competitions are even better. The U.S. Open Beer Championship, which recently took place in Atlanta, Georgia, is awesome because they are an equal opportunity competition. With more than 68 different categories, nearly anyone can enter – from the biggest breweries, to craft breweries to even homebrewers. Not every homebrewer was allowed into the competition… only the best of the best. Last year’s gold medal winners at the American Homebrewers Association National Homebrew Competition were invited and they ended up winning a record 4 medals at the U.S. Open.
This year, over 2,500 beers were sent in from breweries around the world and judges were from England, Canada and the United States (how do we get a gig like that?!). So, who was the biggest winner in this competition? Drum roll, please…
Capital Brewery from Middleton, Wisconsin.
Capital Brewery was named Grand National Champion, winning three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. They beat last year’s champion, Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing, who came in second this time. Third place went to Stevens Point Brewing in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, which is also one of the country’s oldest breweries.
One of our favorite categories is the “Judges Award” for the top ten “Most Creative Names” because we love a good creative beer name. The top ten this year were:
1. Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus – Sawdust City
2. Brew Free! Or Die IPA – 21st Amendment
4. The Abyss – Deschutes Brewery
5. Bitch’n Camaro – Sun King Brewing
6. Naked Pig Pale Ale – Back Forty Brewing
7. Triple Lindy – Big Bear Brewing
8. MassWhole Hefe Weizen – Wormtown Brewing
9. Hotter than Helles – Cigar City Brewing
10. Octopus Ink – Pike Brewing
For the full list of winners (there are a lot of categories), visit the U.S. Open Beer Championship website.