Ohio Celebrates Strong Showing at the 2018 World Beer Cup

Nine Ohio breweries were recognized at last night’s World Beer Cup award ceremony in Nashville, TN.  This year’s competition featured a record setting 8234 entries from 66 different countries, almost double the 4754 entries at the 2014 competition.  Only 302 medals were awarded, which means that less than 4% of the entries were honored with a medal.  To reach the medal stand in this competition is a truly impressive achievement, especially when you consider that breweries only enter their best beers in this competition.

Without further delay here’s a list of the Ohio beers that are bringing home some hardware:

  • Gold – Fat Heads (North Olmstead) for AlpenGlow – South German Style Weizenbock
  • Gold – Fretboard (Blue Ash) for Vlad the Impaler – International Style Pilsner
  • Silver – Taft’s Ale House (Cincinnati) for Gustav – Vienna Style Lager
  • Silver – Fat Heads (Middleburg Heights) for Midnight Moonlight – American Style Black Ale
  • Silver – Fifty West (Cincinnati) for 10 & 2 – Barley Wine Style Ale
  • Bronze – Little Fish (Athens) for Petit Poisson – Wood & Barrel Aged Sour
  • Bronze – Columbus Brewing Co. (Columbus) for TBD Peach Sour – Mixed Culture Brett Beer
  • Bronze – Platform (Cleveland) for Panic Switch – Rye Beer
  • Bronze – Brink Brewing (Cincinnati) for Moozie – Sweet Stout or Cream Stout
  • Bronze – Millersburg Brewing (Millserburg) for Pope’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Pumpkin Beer

This represents a significant improvement from the six medals that five different Ohio breweries earned at the 2016 World Beer Cup.  In both iterations of the competition Fat Heads was the only Ohio brewery to make multiple trips to the medal stand.

Some of the beers on this list have enjoyed success at this competition before.  Midnight Moonlight moved up one rung from the last WBC where it was awarded a bronze medal, while 10 & 2 slipped one notch from its gold medal winning showing at the 2016 WBC. Little Fish, who received a gold medal in the Belgian and French-style ale category for Barrel Aged Woodthrush in 2016, is also a repeat medallist, albeit with a different beer in a slightly different category.

With yet another victory at a major competition Fat Heads AlpenGlow is making an increasingly strong case for the world’s best Weizenbock.  It’s already received three gold medals (2017, 2016, 2014) and a silver (2012) at the Great American Beer Festival.  In this competition it edged out Bavaria’s Schneider Weiss, one of the most iconic Weiss breweries on the planet, whose TAP 6 Mein Aventinus received a silver medal.

Fretboard Brewing is a newcomer to the party by default because the music-themed brewery has only been open for six months. Columbus Brewing Company, long known for their award winning hoppy IPAs, shows up in an unexpected category with a bronze medal for a new Brett beer.  I’m a huge fan of Brett beers, so I hope this is a sign of things to come from their barrel aging wild ale program.

Little Fish at WBC_2_cropped
Sean White (middle) and Jimmy Stockwell (right) receive their bronze medal plaque from Charlie Papazian.  (Photo courtesy of Mark Richards.)

Random Notes:

Not surprisingly, the most competitive category was the American-style IPA with a staggering 377 entries.  I’m also not too surprised to see that none of the three medalists in this category are familiar names.  The IPA from Revision Brewing in Sparks, Nevada near Reno, claimed gold.  A little internet research reveals that the people behind Revision came from a somewhat more familiar name, Knee Deep Brewing.

Interesting to see that the gold medal in the Classic English-style Pale Ale category go to Maui Brewing Company in Hawaii.

Good to see a return visit to the medal stand for Trump Hands, the gold medal winning Session IPA from Cannonball Creek in Colorado.

The judges are also international, with 72% coming from outside the USA.

Correction – In the original post I inadvertently left off three medal winners (Platform, Brink and Millersburg).  Thanks to Ned Ryerson @BigSky99 for pointing this out via Twitter.

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