Over 7,000 beers from around the world were judged in over 130 style categories for the 2019 U.S. Open Beer Championship, and seven Minnesota breweries came away with 10 total medals.
The U.S. Open Beer Championship was judged blind by judges from England, Canada, and the United States. Unlike other beer competitions, it is the only competition of its kind to include beers from professional breweries and winning beers from the AHA’s National Homebrew Competition.
This year, the new styles included a half dozen new barrel-aged beers including wine, tequila, rum, and brandy barrel categories. This year’s competition also included a Hemp Beer category. Hemp Beer is a form of beer infused with elements of the cannabis plant, and this year’s gold medal winner was Mango Kush brewed by SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Indianapolis’ Sun King Brewery was crowned Grand National Champion, with three gold medals and three silver medals. Sun King’s gold medal winners included Pachanga Pilsner, Cherry Busey Belgian Fruit Beer and Midnight Choir Wild Beer. Sun King’s silver medal winners were Shadow Proof Imperial Stout, Barrel Aged Proof and Brandy Barrel Aged Touched by an Angel.
One group of homebrewers, David Byer & John O’Brien, pulled in a medal in this year’s competition—a bronze for their Don’t Swallow the Cap English Barley Wine Ale.
Among the winning breweries from Minnesota, Foxhole Brewhouse in Willmar claimed gold for The Hunted in the English Barley Wine Ale category and gold for 4th St Wheat in the American Wheat (Light and Dark) category.
Waconia Brewing also scored gold, winning for its Cookies and Cream Milk Stout in the Specialty Beer / Anything Goes category.
Spilled Grain Brewhouse in Annandale walked away with a silver medal for Bearded Man in the Old Ale / Strong Ale category.
New Ulm’s August Schell Brewing Company scored a silver for its Binary Storm in the Berliner Weisse category. Binary Storm is a part of Jace Marti’s Noble Star Collection made at the Starkeller.
Lift Bridge Brewing in Stillwater took home three total medals: A silver medal in the Barrel Aged Strong Stout / Porter category for its Barrel Aged Silhouette; a silver in the Root Beer category for its Root Beer; and a bronze in the soda category for its Mini Donut Cream Soda.
Northeast Minneapolis’ Able Seedhouse + Brewery walked away with a silver for BLK WLF in the Session Beer category.
And Lakeville Brewing Company rounded out Minnesota’s winning streak with a silver medal for its Knee High in the American Cream Ale category.
The medal total for Minnesota breweries was up from last year when six breweries took home eight total medals.
Visit the U.S. Open Beer Championship website for the complete list of winners.