Fans of funky, fruity, spicy, yeast-driven beers take note, the King of Ohio contest is returning this fall with the single-minded goal of identifying the best Belgian-style beer brewed in the Buckeye State. The annual contest, organized by beer bloggers and writers in the Buckeye State, is open to all commercial breweries in Ohio and focuses on a different family of beers each year.
This is the fourth year for the event. The inaugural King of Ohio competition showcased IPAs, with Hoof Hearted Wet Musk of the Minotaur taking home top honors. In 2016 we turned the focus to session beers and Cincinnati’s Streetside Brewery bested the competition with Raspberry Beret, not a bad showing for their first month in business. Last year, dark times called for dark beers so we shifted the focus to stouts. When the dust cleared Yellow Springs Maxxdout Stout emerged as the best in a strong field of nearly 80 beers.
This year’s Belgian theme may be the most diverse grouping yet, encompassing old world sours like gueuzes and Flander’s Reds, Trappist styles ranging from patersbiers to quads, devilish golden strongs, beguiling blondes, and refreshing wits. The beers will be broken into sub-styles, depending on how the entries are distributed. The judges, including certified beer judges, will pick the best of each sub-style and then choose a “best of show” – or as we like to call it the King of Ohio.
The King of Ohio is different from other competitions because it focuses on only one style at a time. There’s also no fee to enter, like the best things in life it’s free. However, there is a limit of one entry per brewery. The winner will receive a trophy, be featured on the Ohio Beer Blog and Pat’s Pints websites, and be highlighted in the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper.
Judging for this year’s contest will take place at Smokehouse Brewing Co. in Columbus on Saturday, October 20. Any brewery interested in competing can contact Rick Armon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pat Woodward at email@example.com for specific details on entering. Beers will be judged according to the 2015 BCJP guidelines (see page 74 for a list of Belgian styles). The deadline to notify us about competing is Friday, Oct. 5.
Also, any beer judges, Cicerones, bottle shop employees or lovers of Belgians interested in volunteering to help serve at the event or judge beers please reach out to us as soon as possible.