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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Clipper City: #1 Vienna Lager in USA

Congratulations to Hugh Sisson, Ernesto Igot, and all the brewers at Clipper City Brewing Company ...

For the second year in a row at the Great American Beer Festival, their Balto MärzHon was judged the BEST VIENNA LAGER made by any brewery anywhere in the United States.

Well, okay, that's a touch of hyberbole, but a proud employee might be forgiven for puffing up from time to time!

Last year, the Great American Beer Festival awarded Balto MärzHon the silver, with no gold bestowed on anyone. Thus it was the de facto best. This year, Balto MarzHon was indeed awarded the Gold.

Category: Vienna Style Lager

  • Gold: Balto MärzHon, Clipper City Brewing Co., Baltimore, MD
  • Silver: Dos Rios, Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co., Glenwood Springs, CO
  • Bronze: Stoudts Ofest, Stoudts Brewing Co., Adamstown, PA
Consider a Vienna Lager, for abbreviated style purposes, as a drier Oktoberfest.

Clipper City was also awarded a bronze medal, in the American-Style Lager Category, for its McHenry Lager.
  • Gold: Hamm’s, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
  • Silver: Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
  • Bronze: McHenry Lager, Clipper City Brewing Co., Baltimore, MD
It may be damning with faint praise, but Clipper City beat out Coors and Budweiser in this, their very own category! Those brands are diluted with corn and rice syrups; McHenry Lager, all malt, is not.

More Mid-Atlantic

A mid-Atlantic brewer who doesn't often get his due propers from the locals is Geoff Lively of Rock Bottom Brewpub in Bethesda, Maryland. (I'm reminded of that line from the Amy Heckerling/Michael Keaton flick, Johnny Dangerously: "Do you know your name is an adverb?" Of course, as a newspaper editor pointed out to me, 'lively' is an adjective!)

Here's Geoff's treasure trove from this year's GABF:
  • Gold: Brown Bear Brown - Scottish Style Ale
  • Silver: Firechief Ale - German Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf Style Altbier
  • Bronze: Right On Rye - Rye Beer
And rounding out the list of this area's medals were these two from northern Virginia:
  • Gold: Crazy Jackass Ale, Great American Restaurants VA - Rye Beer
  • Bronze: Arlington Milkman Stout, Capitol City Brewing Co. VA - Sweet Stout
The head brewer at Capitol City Brewing Company is Mike McCarthy, a repeat medal winner.

Great American Restaurants is the 'outside its doors' name of the Sweetwater Tavern group of 3 northern Virginia brewpubs. A couple of years ago, the Sweetwater Brewing Company of Atlanta took them to court, winning the exclusive rights to the name. Nick Funnell, Great American's executive brewer, is another repeat winner.

Two Daves

And speaking of Atlanta, my friends, the two Daves of the Atlanta Brewing Company garnered a gold medal for their Red Brick Blonde, in the Golden Ale category.

In conclusion ...

Finishing up with the mid-Atlantic area: in Delaware, Dogfish Head was awarded a silver medal in the 'Specialty Honey Lager or Ale' category for its Midas Touch, and Stewart's Brewing Co. received a silver as well for its Stewart's Oktoberfest in the 'German Style Märzen' category.

[UPDATE: more local winners, obscured by corporate listing.]

Congratulations to all! (Full list of winners here.)

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