Wisconsin Brews Do Well in U.S. Open Beer Championship

Jul. 14, 2016
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Photo via Sprecher Brewery Facebook

Wisconsin beers made another good showing in this year's annual U.S. Open Beer Championship. The competition pits almost 5,000 beers against each other in over 90 different styles. It's open to professional breweries and home brewers alike, and is judged blind. Categories include typical beer types like IPA and German hefeweizen as well as more unique styles like vegetable beer, barrel-aged beer, experimental styles and even root beer. In past years, Wisconsin breweries have fared well, including a grand national champion award going to Capital Brewery out of Middleton.

This year, the top Wisconsin breweries were Capital Brewery and Sprecher Brewery in Glendale. Both won four medals. In a press release, Anne Sprecher, communications manager for Sprecher, talks about the competition. “The U.S. Open is an increasingly tough contest reflective of all the good brewers in the world... Given the competition, we're delighted our brewmaster, Craig Burge, and his crew earned so much recognition. We'd also like to congratulate the other Wisconsin breweries that won awards in this competition. Well deserved.”

Here are the Wisconsin winners:

Gold medals:

Sprecher Brewing's Twelve, Belgian quadrupal

Sprecher Brewing's Hard Root Beer

Sprecher Brewing's Root Beer

Capital Brewery's Wisconsin Amber, American amber

Silver medals:

Capital Brewery's Munich Dark, Munchner dunkel

Capital Brewery's Maibock

Point Brewing's Point S.P.A, sessions beer

Bronze medals:

Raised Grain Brewing's Paradocs Red IIPA

Stevens Point Brewery's Point Special Lager, American premium lager

Capital Brewery's Lake House Lager, Munchner helles

Sprecher Brewing's Commando, wood/barrel-aged strong Scotch

This year's top brewery overall went to Firestone Walker Brewing in California. Unfortunately, no Wisconsin breweries cracked the top 10.

Since I'm not actually tasting any of these beers right now—though I did had the Sprecher Twelve on a recent brewery tour and it was fantastic—my favorite category of competition has got to be the “most creative beer names.” So here's the top 10, just for your reading pleasure: 

1. Wit or Wit Out You – Middleton Brewing
2. Tall, Dark and Mandarin – Big Island Brewhaus
3. Shitnit – Port Jeff Brewing Company
4. Big Booty Golden Ale – Wild Ride Brewing
5. Sexapeel – Infamous Brewing Company
6. Bolshevik Bastard – Nickel Brook Brewing
7. You Bretta Run – Perrin Brewing Company
8. Guava the Hutt – Wynwood Brewing Company
9. There Gose My Heart – Hop Dogma Brewing Company
10. Toxic Sludge Black IPA – Blue Point Brewing

Upcoming Beer and Dining Events

July 14-17: Bastille Days in Cathedral Square Park. French food, drink, and a replica Eiffel Tower. There will be two wine tastings this year, both on Saturday evening. Tickets for the tastings are $35 at the event, $25 in advance. Entrance to the festival is free.

July 15-17: Elkhorn Ribfest at the Walworth County fairgrounds. A national rib competition, plus live music, craft fair and kids activities. Benefits The United Way, Elkhorn Rotary and the fairgrounds. Free admission. 

July 15-17: South Shore Frolics at South Shore Park. Despite this year's fireworks debate, there's still a lot of fun to be had: live music, fish fry, games and a classic car show.

July 16: Art on Tap opening party at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend. Live music by the Squeezettes at the opening party of an exhibit of early Wisconsin brewery art and advertising. Beer will be available!

Follow BCB on Twitter for more news and events: @BrewCityBooze.

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