Best Kōkua IPAs -Maui Wildfire Relief Fundraiser
Oxford, Ohio(November 14) – To help the folks who had their homes and businesses destroyed by Maui wildfires, the U.S. Open Cider Championship donated all the Pineapple Cider entries to the Maui Brewing Kōkua Relief Project. We also worked with breweries across the country who brewed Kōkua IPA, a session IPA whose profits went to the relief fund. Some of these breweries submitted their IPA to our competition and we donated the entry fee to Maui relief efforts. Kōkua IPA and Kōkua Session IPA were judged in separate categories, alongside the wide array of cider entries at the U.S. Open Cider Championship. Tasting one beer recipe brewed by many different breweries from across the country is a unique, exciting prospect for judges. Here are the results.
Kokua Session IPA
GOLD – Twin Creeks Brewing – Virginia
SILVER – Aspire Brewing – New York
BRONZE – Shovel Town Brewery – Massachusetts
GOLD – HighGrain Brewing – Ohio
SILVER – Forbidden Peak Brewery – Alaska
BRONZE – Movement Brewing – California
BRONZE – Buck Wild Brewing – California
Oxford, Ohio (July 10, 2023) – Breweries from Maui to Miami sent more than 9,000 beers(3,107 entries) representing over 160 different styles to the 2023 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Today, the U.S. Open Beer Championship announces the medal winners and Grand National Champion.
Toppling Goliath Brewing of Decorah, Iowa was awarded the 2023 Grand National Champion by winning 4 gold medals. Their gold medal winners included Pseudo Sue Hazy Pale Ale, Seismic Sue Triple IPA, King Sue Hazy DIPA, and KBBS Reserve 2022. Toppling Goliath is known for brewing some of the best beers in the world and was the 2021 Grand National Champion at the U.S. Open.
Flix Brewhouse in Carmel, Indiana placed second overall by winning 3 gold medals for their Inside the Moone Foreign Stout, Who is this Hans? Hefeweizen and Dunkel Dimension Münchner Dunkel. Their Ursula’s Agreement Gose took Silver. This accomplishment is especially amazing since they had to completely close down during COVID.
Schulz Brau Brewing out of Knoxville, Tennessee placed Third by winning 2 golds for their Barrel Aged Maibock and their Historical Beer, Grätzer. They also took home a silver for their roggenbier and two bronzes for their Hefeweizen and Oktoberfest Märzen. Schulz Brau is also known for having one of the best beer gardens in America.
The U.S. Open Beer Championship judges more beer styles than any other competition in the world. The U.S. Open is also the only major beer competition to allow the gold medal winners of the AHA’s National Homebrew Competition to participate. This year, 3 homebrewers won medals which ties the U.S. Open record. Big congratulations go to Alex Cigan from Brooklyn for winning a bronze medal for his Contrived Spontaneity Wheat Wine, to Joseph Belevender from Warren, Michigan for winning a silver medal for his North Biere Belgian Ale, and to Caleb Meinke from Cambridge, Wisconsin for winning silver for his Len’s Light Lager.
The U.S. Open judging was held at the new U.S. Open Event Center in Oxford, Ohio. The U.S. Open became the first beer competition to be held in its own venue, a 6,000-square-foot Amish pole barn on a small farm. The barn consists of a judging area, a serving area, two 450-square-foot coolers, an office, and a nano brewery. To see “The Barn”, Click here to see a YouTube video of the 15th Anniversary of the U.S. Open Beer Championship.
Top 10 Breweries in 2023’s U.S. Open Beer Championships
1. Toppling Goliath Brewing — Iowa
2. Flix Brewhouse – Carmel – Indiana
3. Schulz Brau Brewing – Tennessee
4. Urban Artifact – Ohio
5. Boulevard Brewing Company – Missouri
5. Bull & Bush Brewery – Colorado
5. New Heights Brewery – Tennessee
5. Sun King Brewery – Indiana
9. Pontoon Brewing – Georgia
10. Lupulin Brewing Company – Minnesota
10. Woodland Farm Brewery – New York
2023 U.S. Open Beer Championship Medal Winners – Click Here
Pink Boots Category: Barrel Oak Brewery takes home the Gold
The U.S. Open Beer Championship partnered with the Pink Boots Society, an organization that assists, inspires, and encourages women and non-binary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage profession through education, to create the Pink Boots Blend Category. The organization has partnered with Yakima Chief Hops for several years to sell a special hops blend to benefit the Pink Boots scholarship fund, and all beers developed using this hop blend were eligible to enter the category. Pink Boots Hazeberry Sour Ale, brewed by Barrel Oak Brewery in Delaplane, VA, brought home the gold medal. All entry fees for the category – more than $3,000 will be donated to the scholarship fund.
What’s in a Name?
U.S. Open beer judges always enjoy the creativity behind the names that breweries choose for their products, and judge winners subjectively (based on laughter volume) at the competition’s conclusion. This year’s Top 10 on the laughs meter included:
Top 10 Beer Names at the U.S. Open Beer Championship
1. Miniature Giant Space Hamster Hazy Pale Ale – Bullfinch Brewing – New York
2. I Used to be an Athlete Session IPA – Benchtop Brewing – Virginia
3. I’ll Have What the Gentleman on the Floor is Having Barley Wine – McGuire’s Irish Pub – Florida
4. Surfing Hippos IPA – Pocock Brewing – California
5. Not Bad For A Strip Mall Brewery IPA – Lupulin Brewing Company – Minnesota
6. Old Elephant Foot IPA – Tampa Bay Brewing – Florida
7. Damn Near Kilt ‘Em – Cowtown Brewing – Texas
8. Luke I Am Your Lager – Grainworks – Ohio
9. Adios Bitchachos Mexican Pilsner – Bankhead Brewing – Texas
10. Mission Impawsible Double IPA(Proceeds to Dog rescue program) – Service Brewing – Georgia
10. Gandalph the Haze – Iron Pipe Alewerks – Virginia
10. Stud Puffin Hazy Pale Ale – King Canary Brewing – North Carolina
What’s in a label?
In addition to judging some of the world’s finest beers, in 2023 the US Open broke new ground by reviewing and recognizing excellence in label artwork. Over 500 breweries from across the globe submitted over 1,000 beers to be considered for the 1st annual beer can art awards. Olvera Street Lager brewed by Angel City Brewing won gold while the Explorium Brewpub’s Damn! That’s Good Double IPA won the “Director’s Award” for the best creative use of the US Open Beer Championship logo on their beer label design. This year’s Top 10 beer labels included: Click here to view the Director’s Award and Honorable Mentions.
Top 10 Beer Label Artwork – Click here to view the top 10 artwork.
Gold – Olvera Street Lager – Angel City Brewing
Angel City Brewing Label Artwork
Silver – Keeping it Crispy – Tactical Brewing Co
BRONZE – Just Deal Wit It – The Dreamchasers Brewery
BRONZE – Shades of Black – Akademia Brewing
5th – Viva La Otter – Pontoon Brewing
6th – Trash Panda – Metazoa Brewing
7th – Mi Nombre Es Cerveza – Roadmap Brewing
8th – Pierre Delecto – Fullsteam Brewing
9th – Udderly Galactic – Launch Pad Brewing
10th – Ten Million Flowers – Discretion Brewing
10th – Swim Shady – Epidemic Ales
10th – Cryo Scape – Batson River Brewing
10th – Chupacatawbra – Twin Oast Brewing
The 2023 U.S. Open Beer Championship Anniversary Medals