Two Ohio breweries, Akronym and Jackie O’s, had a strong showing at the National Honey Beer Competition earlier this month. The competition, which is sponsored by the National Honey Board, features 13 different style categories. BJCP-certified judges use the standard criteria (aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel) for evaluating the beers, plus take into account the role honey played in the beer.
Akronym Brewing (located in Akron, obviously) nabbed no less than three silver medals: Spicer St. Christmas Ale in the Fruit/Vegetable/Spiced beer category; Pervasive, an English-style barleywine in the always competitive “other” category; and the Barrel aged version of Pervasive in the Barrel Aged category. The latter beer is made with 1200 lbs. of malt and 30 lbs. of orange blossom honey, then aged for 7 months in Heaven Hill and Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels. In related news Akronym’s Henry was selected as the top beer from the midwest region in the Hazy IPA category at the United States Beer Tasting Championship (USBTC) Summer competition.
Jackie O’s accolades go for two beers that will be familiar names to many Ohio beer lovers. Wood Ya Honey was awarded the gold medal in the Barrel Aged category, and Chomolunga took home the bronze in the Amber/Brown category. The former is a wheat wine brewed with a generous helping of local widlflower honey and aged in bourbon barrels for 12+ months. The latter, a brown ale made with seven Malts, three hops, and 100 pounds of local honey, gets its moniker from the Tibetan name for Mt. Everest. In last year’s competition Chomolunga was honored with the Best in Show award.
Two additional Ohio breweries brought home medals from the competition. Maggs 59 by Common Beer Co. in Mason took the bronze in the Braggot category, while the Vanilla Creme Ale by Big Ash Brewing in Cincinnati was the bronze medalist in the general ale category. For those not in the know a braggot is a hybrid between a beer and a mead, with substantial fermentables coming from both malts and honey.
Best in Show honors for the 2020 competition went to Honey Kolsch by Rogue Ales.