Happy St. Nicholas Day! To honor St. Nicholas, the patron saint of brewers, the U.S. Open Beer Championship would like to announce the medal winners and Grand National Champion on St. Nicholas Day.
Breweries from Luxembourg to Louisiana sent in more than 6,000 beers representing over 140 different styles for the 2020 U.S. Open Beer Championship. This competition is the only one to include beers from professional breweries and beers from gold medal winners from the National AHA Homebrew Competition.
Deschutes Brewery of Bend Oregon is the 2020 Grand National Champion, winning three gold and two silver medals. Deschutes is the first three-time Grand Champion winner in the U.S. Open Beer Championship’s 12-year history, having also won the honor for 2009 and 2011. Deschutes’ gold medal winners included Wowza! Light IPA, Home at Port Aged in a Port Barrel and Lil’ Squeezy Juicy Ale. Deschutes’ silver medal winners are The Ages Barrel Aged Sour Ale and Obsidian Stout.
Monday Night Garage Brewing out of Atlanta, Georgia placed second, winning three gold medals and a silver, all from beers judged best in the barrel-aged category, which includes Rum Barrel Aged, Blended Barrel-Aged, Barrel-Aged Strong Stout Specialty and Barrel Aged Dark beers.
Narrow Path Brewing out of Loveland, Ohio took third place overall, earning three gold medals for their Barrel-Aged Cerise Sauvage, English Dissent Mild Ale and Tri-Kettle Tripel. The U.S. Open Beer Championship judges more beer styles than any other competition in the world and is the only major beer competition that includes beers from professional breweries and gold medal winners from the National American Homebrewing Association competition. Homebrewer Justin McClenahan Silver Spring, Maryland, won a national bronze medal for his Baltic porter.
For the 2020 competition, a special Black is Beautiful Imperial Stout category was added earlier this year after U.S. Open board of directors sampled several outstanding imperial stouts. The U.S. Open Beer Championships will donate 100 percent of the entry fees in this category to a foundation or organization that supports equity, inclusion, and justice, which will be determined by the gold medal winner. Pontoon Brewing in Atlanta, GA earned the inaugural Black is Beautiful gold.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, judging was held in both the U.S. and Canada, at locations including Atlanta, GA; Oxford, Ohio; and Welland, Ontario. Judging in the U.S. Open Beer Championships is blind; judges know only the categories, not the names or locations of beers being judged.
Top 10 Breweries in 2020’s U.S. Open Beer Championships
1. Deschutes Brewery – Oregon
2. Monday Night Garage – Georgia
3. Narrow Path Brewing – Ohio
4. Barnaby Brewing – Alaska
5. Rueben’s Brew Taproom – Washington
6. Amsterdam Brewing – Ontario
7. Big Sexy Brewing – California
8. Main & Six Brew Company – Florida
9. Spearfish Brewing – South Dakota
10. Wellington Brewery – Ontario
U.S. Open beer judges always enjoy the creativity behind the names that breweries demonstrate for their products, selected subjectively – based on laughter volume — at the conclusion of the judging. This year’s Top 10 Favorite Beer Names included:
1. Menace to Sobriety Stout – Hank Hudson Brewing – New York
2. Purple Floors and Dinosaurs IPA – Double Branch Brewing – Florida
3. Breaking Bud IPA – Knee Deep Brewing – California
4. Flavus Maximus Ale – Soul Fire Brewing – Texas
5. Straight Kick to the Scotch Ale – Urban Brew Labs – Illinois
6. Double Rogg Dare You – Gezellig Brewing – Iowa
7. Fog Eat Fog World Hazy DIPA – Slice Beer Company – California
8. I Don’t Give A Schnitzel Oktoberfest – de Bine Brewing Co. – Florida
9. Arrowmatic DIPA – Arrow Lodge Brewing – California
10. Tipsy Goat Bock – Oak Highlands Brewery – Texas