six cheers for Minnesota beer!
5,507 beers from 1,309 breweries were submitted to the Great American Beer Festival this fall. Out of the vast sea of beer, 234 breweries earned recognition in the form of gold, silver, and bronze. Minnesota was awarded six medals despite the competition being more stiff than ever!
The Wee Heavy from Steel Toe took another gold in the Scotch Ale category. No surprise to the regular taproom crowd which anticipates to the release of this beauty far more than other much-hyped, nationally-ranked bottles. It warms my heart to know that a beer from my hometown took such high honors at a national competition. Neighbors far and wide can get their 10.9% fix quite soon, as the brewery just announced an 11/16 release of Wee Heavy.
Not surprisingly and most reassuringly, a bronze goes to Summit’s Extra Pale Ale. The essence of our state, bottled (and now canned) deserves much recognition not just as a stand-out beer but also for what it represents: our brewing history. With decades of experience but no lack of innovation, Summit should never go unnoticed. Knowing that national judges handed it a bronze is a reminder, though, that we don’t just love EPA because of its story, we love it because it is a damn good beer.
Finally, two bronze medals were awarded, first to Bent Paddle for their 14° ESB, a balanced and classic extra special bitter representing the steady growth and dedication among north shore brewers. Despite the huge success of their seasonals, year-round beers from Bent Paddle still fly off shelves and are in high demand even in small towns and out-of-state. The second bronze went to Town Hall for their Buffalo Bock, a beer I do not believe I have ever tried.
Congratulations to these and all Minnesota breweries for displaying such skill and prowess to the rest of the brewing nation. You make us very proud! Wisconsin also garnered six medals spanning all different styles. For the complete listings, click here.