Tuesday, November 02, 2010

2010 BAM Governor's Cup (Brewers' Association of Maryland)

The Brewers Association of Maryland (BAM) is

a non-profit trade association founded in 1996, comprised of active Maryland breweries and brewpubs. The mission of BAM is to foster and promote the Maryland world-renowned brewing industry.

Fourteen breweries and/or brewpubs out of the twenty-one currently operating in the state are dues-paying members. Since 2005, the association has organized a contest to judge the best beers brewed by its members. It announces the results at its annual BAM Oktoberfest. The best of the best is awarded the Governor's Cup, an actual cup, which that brewery keeps for a year.

Maryland Governors Cup_2005
Clipper City —now known as Heavy Seas Brewing
won the Cup in 2005, the first year of the competition.

There is no mention of this year's competition or its results posted on BAM's website, so I reached out for Phil Bowers —the association's current treasurer and the owner of Brewer's Alley in Frederick, Maryland— to find out more.

YFGF: Who participated in this year's Maryland Governor's Cup?
BAM: Fourteen Maryland breweries entered a record 110 entries in 12 categories with a whopping 68 entries receiving medals. Another testament to the quality of the beers we are brewing in MD.

YFGF: What categories were judged?
BAM: Gold/Blonde Ale, Gold Lager, Belgian, Porter, Stout, Pale Ale, Oktoberfest/Märzen, Amber/Red Ale, Wheat, India Pale Ale (IPA), Experimental/Specialty/Fruit, Strong/Barleywine.

YFGF: How were these categories determined?
BAM: BAM picked them based on BJCP [Beer Judge Certification Program] guidelines. Breweries submitted both category and BJCP sub-categories.
[YFGF:The BJCP is a volunteer organization which has created guidelines and specifications for perceived beer styles.]

YFGF: What scoring method was used?
BAM: The BJCP 50 point system.

YFGF: Who were the judges? What were their qualifications?
BAM: All were BJCP qualified. We employed a local organizer of homebrew competitions [Les White of the Free State Homebrew Club Guild] and he sent out notices to all BJCP certified judges to participate.

YFGF: Where was the judging held?
BAM: The headquarters of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, in Columbia, Maryland.

YFGF: Is the winner in each category that which scores the highest average or the highest total?
BAM: Winner in each category had the highest score.

YFGF: Are there gold/silver bronze awarded in each category?
BAM: All entries that scored high enough were awarded medals.
[YFGF: Based upon the BJCP's 50-point guidelines, Gold was awarded to those beers scoring "Outstanding (45 - 50): World-class example of style." Silver was given to beers scoring "Excellent (38 - 44): Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning." Bronze was awarded to beer scoring "Very Good (30 - 37): Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws."]

YFGF: How is the overall winner —the winner of the Governor's Cup— determined?
BAM: Each category winner came out to an overall judging and the Cup winner was determined from that group.

YFGF: Does the Maryland Governor award the cup?
BAM: The current Governor has not participated. We announced and handed out at the BAM Oktoberfest a couple weeks ago.
[YFGF: Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, is the current governor. His predecesor, Bob Ehrlich, a Republican, did participate, handing out the Cup from 2005 through 2007.]

YFGF: Since the competition began in 2005, who have been the winners of the Maryland Governor's Cup?
  • 2005 Clipper City Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA
  • 2006 Clipper City Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA
  • 2007 White Marsh/Red Brick Station Something Red Amber Ale
  • 2008 Clipper City Hang Ten Weizen Dopplebock
  • 2009 Clipper City Hang Ten Weizen Dopplebock

And, the winner of this year's Governor's Cup winner is ...
Ruddy Duck Brewery for its Munich Helles. Congratulations!

The Complete List of 2010 Winners (in descending order within each category)
  • Gold/Blonde Ale
    GOLD : Brewers Alley Kölsch; DuClaw Brewing Blonde, White Marsh Avenue Ale (tie).
    SILVER: Heavy Seas Gold Ale.
    BRONZE: Eastern Shore Brewing Lighthouse Ale.
  • Gold Lager
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER : Ruddy Duck Helles; Brewer's Alley Pilsner.
    BRONZE: Heavy Seas Classic Lager.

  • Belgian
    GOLD: The Brewer's Art La Petroleuse.
    SILVER : Flying Dog Brewery Raging Bitch; Franklin's Brewery Tripel; Ruddy Duck Tripel.
    BRONZE : Heavy Seas Yuletide Tripel, Ruddy Duck Dubbel (tie); The Brewer's Art Resurrection Ale; Heavy Seas Red Sky at Night Saison.

  • Porter
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER : Oliver Breweries Pagan Porter; Oliver Breweries Dark Horse Mild.
    BRONZE: Pub Dog Brewing Brown Dog; Ruddy Duck Porter; DuClaw Bad Moon; Barley & Hops Big Ben.

  • Stout
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER: none awarded.
    BRONZE: Heavy Seas Peg Leg Imperial Stout.

  • Pale Ale
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER: Heavy Seas Pale Ale; White Marsh Big Gun Pale Ale; Pub Dog Pale Ale.
    BRONZE: Barley and Hops Annapolis Rocks, Ruddy Duck Pale Ale (tie); Barley and Hops Hoptopsy ESB; DuClaw Venom; Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale.

  • Oktoberfest/Märzen
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER: DuClaw Mad Bishop, Ellicott Mills Brewing Firecracker Bock (tie).
    BRONZE: Brewers Alley Oktoberfest; Heavy Seas Märzen; Ruddy Duck Oktoberfest.

  • Amber/Red Ale
    GOLD: Brewers Alley Wedding Alt, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager (tie).
    SILVER: Eastern Shore Brewing St. Michaels Ale.
    BRONZE: Pub Dog Amber Dog; DuClaw Misfit Red.

  • Wheat
    GOLD: Heavy Seas Hang Ten Weizen Dopplebock
    SILVER: Ellicott Mills Weizen Bock; Brewers Alley Hefeweizen.
    BRONZE: Ruddy Duck Rudd Light.

  • IPA
    GOLD: none awarded.
    SILVER: Barley and Hops Double D, Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA (tie); White Marsh Daily Crisis; Brewer's Alley IPA.
    BRONZE: Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Heavy Seas Winter Storm, Ruddy Duck IPA (tie); DuClaw Serum; Pub Dog Imperial IPA; Oliver Breweries Strongman Pale Ale.

  • Experimental/Specialty/Fruit
    GOLD: Pub Dog 10th Anniversary, Flying Dog Barrel Aged Gonzo.
    SILVER: DuClaw Exile #1, Pub Dog Very Cherry (tie); Pub Dog Raspberry Dog.
    BRONZE: DuClaw 31, Oliver Breweries Bishops Indulgence (tie).

  • Strong Beer/Barleywine
    GOLD: Oliver Breweries 3 Lions Ale.
    SILVER: DuClaw Devils Milk; Flying Dog Horn Dog Barleywine; Oliver Breweries Hot Monkey Love Strong Ale.
    BRONZE: none awarded.

  • Best of Show: Governor's Cup
    Ruddy Duck Munich Helles.
A few more observations.
  • Despite judging criteria, such things still have a strongly random subjectivity. A bock beer —Ellicott Mills Firecracker— tied for top honors as an Oktoberfest, clearly out of category.
  • Ruddy Ducks' Helles was awarded a silver medal in its category —no gold awarded. Even so, it beat out gold medal choices in other categories to be awarded the Governor's Cup.
  • Port City's Jonathan Reeves
  • Ruddy Duck's brewer Jonathan Reeves —winner of 8 medals and the Governor's Cup— is now the head brewer for soon-to-open Port City Brewing of Alexandria, Virginia.


  1. I am gad to see that Ruddy Duck had some success in the competition. I passed through that place shortly after it opened and was pleasantly surprised.

  2. I'm pretty sure Jonathan Reeves left the Ruddy Duck in early August, they have a new guy now, might want to find out who he is.


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