Sunday, August 24, 2014

Here's to the winners of the 2014 Virginia Craft Brewers Cup!

More than fifty Virginia 'craft' breweries —out of more than eighty-two operating in the state— presented and poured their beers at this year's Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, where they competed for recognition as the best beers in Virginia. From our friends at Virginia Beer Trail comes the news.

Roseland, Va. August 23, 2014 – The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild hosted the 2014 Virginia Craft Brewers Fest and the third annual Virginia Craft Brewers Cup competition Saturday, August 23th at Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub. There were more than 2,500 in attendance to enjoy tastings from 51 Virginia craft breweries.

This year’s competition, managed by master Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) judge Tom Cannon, had 28 judges review 221 beers in 23 different categories. George Stewart, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, presented the awards for Best in Show. The winners of Best of Show and each category are as follows:

Best of Show winners 2014 Virginia Craft Brewers Cup
American and German Lager
Vienna and Oktoberfest
Kolsch and Blonde Ale
Light and Amber Hybrid Beer
English, Scottish, and Irish Ale
American Pale Ale
American Amber and Brown Ale
India Pale Ale
Imperial IPA
German Weizen
Strong Ale
Belgian and French Ale
Belgian Strong Ale
Sour Ale
Fruit Beer
Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer
Smoke-Flavored/Wood-Aged Beer
  • Silver: Starr Hill – Bourbon Barrel Bandstand Barleywine
Specialty Beer
  • Silver: Starr Hill – Whiter Shade of Pale Ale
The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild is a coalition of independent, small, commercial breweries dedicated to growing the craft beer industry in the Commonwealth. The Beer Institute reports the beer industry in Virginia accounts for 8,123 jobs with an economic impact of $623 million.

Virginia Craft Brewers Fest

To put it all into some perspective, I've arranged the winners by the total number of gold medals won, (listing first by total gold, then by total medals overall, breaking ties alphabetically), and finally by non-gold medal winners (listed first by totals, and then alphabetically). They are:
    • Devils Backbone Outpost * (Lexington)
      3 (6 medals totals, including gold: best of show)

    • Devils Backbone Basecamp * (Rosemont)
      2 (4 medals total, including silver, bronze: best of show)
    • Apocalypse Ale Works
      2 (3 medals, total)
    • Lost Rhino Brewing Company (Ashburn)
      2 (3 medals, total)

    • Champion Brewing (Charlottesville)
      1 (3 medals, total)
    • Starr Hill (Crozet)
      1 (3 medals, total)

    • AleWerks Brewing Company (Williamsburg)
      1 (2 medals, total)
    • Blue Mountain Barrel House * (Arrington)
      1 (2 medals, total)
    • Bull and Bones Brewhouse (Blacksburg)
      1 (2 medals, total)
    • Chaos Mountain Brewing (Callaway)
      1 (2 medals, total)
    • Old Ox Brewery (Ashburn)
      1 (2 medals, total)
    • Parkway Brewing Company (Salem)
      1 (2 metals, total)
    • Wild Wolf Brewing Company (Nellysford)
      1 (2 metals, total)
    • Wolf Hills Brewing Company (Abingdon)
      1 (2 medals, total)

    • Beach Brewing Company (Virginia Beach)
      1 (1 total)
    • O’Connor Brewing Company (Norfolk)
      1 (1 total)
    • Three Brothers Brewing (Harrisonburg)
      1 (1 total)

    • Sunken City Brewing Company (Hardy)
      3 total
    • Triple Crossing Brewing (Richmond)
      3 total

    • Blue Mountain Brewery * (Afton)
      2 total
    • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (Richmond)
      2 total
    • Old Bust Head Brewing Company (Vint Hill)
      2 total

    • Ardent Craft Ales (Richmond)
    • Capitol City Brewing Company (Arlington)
    • Center of the Universe Brewing Company (Ashland)
    • Extra Billy’s (Midlothian)
    • Legend Brewing Company (Richmond)
    • Mad Fox Brewing Company (Falls Church)
    • Midnight Brewery (Rockville)
    • Port City Brewing Company (Alexandria)
    • Smartmouth Brewing Company (Smartmouth)
    • South Street Brewery (Charlottesville)
    • Strangeways Brewing Company (Richmond)
    • Three Notch’d Brewing Company (Charlottesville)
* Considering the mutual ownership of Blue Mountain Brewery and Blue Mountain Barrel House, the combined total of those two breweries would equal one gold and four medals overall, putting them near the top of the leader board. Of course, then the totals for the two Devils Backbone facilities (Basecamp and Outpost) should be combined, as well. And they would run clear away from the rest of the pack, with five gold medals, and ten medals, overall, taking home all three best-of-show medals.

Thanks should go to the festival and competition organizer, the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, and to Mark Thompson (of Starr Hill), its director. Thanks, as well, to Devils Backbone for hosting for the third time.

Congratulations to all the winning breweries. And, hearty congratulations to Jason Oliver and his entire brewing team at Devils Backbone. He, and they, hold the cup, again, of best in Virginia.

There are eight days remaining in August; eight more days of Virginia Craft Beer Month. At the pub, at the store: make it a Virginia 'craft' beer.

  • Useful tools for finding 'craft' beer and breweries in Virginia:
  • Virginia celebrates the month of August as Virginia Craft Beer Month. The back story: here.
  • The press release mentions fifty-one breweries as participating in the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest. The festival website lists only twenty-five.

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