Sunday, April 11, 2010

DC/MD/VA brewers vs. the world

The World Beer Cup is the global flip-side of the Great American Beer Festival. The GABF occurs once every year, in Denver. The WBC is conducted bi-annually, with no real festival, but the results are announced at the conclusion of that year's US Craft Brewers Conference, which itself is held in a different US city every year. The US-based Brewers Association produces both competitions. This year, Chicago, Illinois, was the site, 7-10 April.

Breweries had the choice of 90 (!) categories in which to enter a beer, for a bronze, silver, or gold medal in each. Out of 270 possible awards, 268 were awarded at at a gala beer dinner on Saturday night. The judges declined to award top honors in the categories of Foreign-Style Stout and the clumsily-named American-Belgo-Style Ale.

a record crowd of 2,000 people attended the awards dinner for the World Beer Cup. It is believed to have been the world’s largest beer dinner, and the five course meal was created and prepared by [beer writer] Randy Mosher and Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef.

World Beer Cup Awards 2010
by Jay Brooks
April 10, 2010
Brookston Beer Bulletin

World Beer Cup 2010

The list of winners: here.


As I'm a charter member of C.R.A.B.B. (Chesapeake Region Alliance of Beer Bloggers), it's time now for me to be a proud hometown blogger.

Out of those 268 awards, 14 went to 8 breweries in Virginia and Maryland (but, unfortunately, none to the three brewpubs in the District of Columbia). One of those Virginia breweries, Devils Backbone, and its brewer, Jason Oliver, were honored as the Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2010 Champion Small Brewpub and Brewmaster .

  • English-Style India Pale Ale (category #53)
    Silver Medal: Brewer's Alley India Pale Ale
    Brewer's Alley Restaurant and Brewery: Frederick, MD
    brewer: Tom Flores
    PERSPECTIVE: Tom began his mid-Atlantic brewing career as the original head brewer for Clipper City Brewing Company in 1995. He joined Brewers Alley in 1998. His IPA recently won bronze at the 2009 GABF.

  • Aged Beer (category #19)
    Silver Medal: Gonzo Imperial Porter Vintage 2007
    Flying Dog Brewery: Frederick, MD
    brewer: Bob Malone
    PERSPECTIVE: Flying Dog is the reining Mid Size U.S. Brewery of the Year, winning that honor at the 2009 GABF.

  • Classic English-Style Pale Ale (category #52)
    Bronze Medal: Heavy Seas Pale Ale
    Heavy Seas Brewing Co.: Baltimore, MD
    (formerly known as Clipper City Brewing)
    brewer: Ernesto Igot
    PERSPECTIVE: Mr. Igot (pronounced "EEE go") was the brewmaster for San Miguel, in Manilla, Phillipines, for 25 years. He retired, moved his family to the US, and joined Clipper City in 1999.

  • Golden or Blonde Ale (category #79)
    Gold Medal: Heavy Seas Gold Ale
    Heavy Seas Brewing Co.: Baltimore, MD

  • Vienna-Style Lager (category #27)
    Bronze Medal: Heavy Seas Märzen (formerly know as Balto MärzHon)
    Heavy Seas Brewing Co.: Baltimore, MD
    PERSPECTIVE: This beer has medaled 5 years in a row: 4 times at the GABF.

  • Scottish-Style Ale (category #57)
    Gold Medal: Highland Courage
    Rock Bottom Brewery: Bethesda, MD
    brewer: Geoff Lively
    PERSPECTIVE: Brewer Geoff Lively has accumulated a plenitude of awards for his beers. Click on the brewery link for his resume.

  • American-Style Wheat Beer (category #2)
    Silver Medal: Rockfish Wheat
    Blue Mountain Brewery: Afton, VA.
    brewer: Taylor Smack
    PERSPECTIVE: Blue Mountain was the first brewery in the mid-Atlantic to package its beers in cans.

  • Baltic-Style Porter (category #40)
    Gold Medal: Danzig
    Devils Backbone Brewing Co.: Roseland, VA
    brewer: Jason Oliver
    PERSPECTIVE: Devils Backbone has been in operation for less than two years. At the 2009 GABF, it garnered four medals. Now, a few months later, Devils Backbone and its brewer, Jason Oliver, have won four medals in this global competition and have been honored as the World Beer Cup 2010 Champion Small Brewpub and Brewmaster. For several years prior, Jason was the brewer for the Gordon-Biersch brewpub in Washington, D.C.

  • Coffee Flavored Beer (category #7)
    Bronze Medal: Morning Bear
    Devils Backbone Brewing Co.: Roseland, VA
    German-Style Schwarzbier (category #30)

  • Bronze Medal: Schwartz Bier (category #30)
    Devils Backbone Brewing Co.: Roseland, VA

  • Traditional German-Style Bock (category #31)
    Bronze Medal: Kollaborator
    Devils Backbone Brewing Co.: Roseland, VA

  • Traditional German-Style Bock (category #31)
    Silver Medal: Sidewinder Bock
    Great American Restaurants: Centreville, VA
    (also known as Sweetwater Tavern)
    Brewer: Nick Funnell
    PERSPECTIVE: A degreed British brewmaster, Nick Funnell has won many awards over his nearly 15 year career at Sweetwater. Most recently at the 2009 GABF, his beers garnered two awards. A chef at another of the restaurant/brewery's three locations was a contestant on Gordon Ramsey's 'reality' cooking competition, Hells' Kitchen.

  • Coffee Flavored Beer (category #7)
    Gold Medal: Dude! Where's My Vespa?
    Rock Bottom Brewery: Arlington, VA
    brewer: Dave Warwick
    PERSPECTIVE: Originally formulated by long-time past head brewer Chris Rafferty, this beer, brewed with locally roasted coffee beans, took an earlier gold at the 2009 GABF.

  • Rye Beer (category #4)
    Gold: Harvest Moon Rye
    Rock Bottom Brewery: Arlington, VA

Support your local brewery. The Mid-Atlantic has award-winning breweries and beers right here at home.

Caveat lector: As an employee of northern Virginia wine/beer wholesaler Select Wines, inc., I sell the beer of Heavy Seas in northern Virginia.


  1. Hey Tom, Devils Backbone Brewing Company is in Roseland not Rosemont, VA btw.

    Keep up the good work.

    -Jason Oliver
    Head Brewer
    Devils Backbone Brewing Company
    Roseland, VA

  2. Corrected!

    And YOU keep up the good work. Congratulations on the medals and award. Well-deserved.


Comment here ...