News 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship Announces Grand National Champion and 377 Medal Winners

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by dowab, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. dowab

    dowab Initiate (129) Nov 24, 2005 Ohio

    Breweries from South Carolina to South Korea sent in more than 6,300 beers representing more than 110 different styles for the 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship. The competition is the only one to include beers from professional breweries and award-winning home-brewers, with judges from England, Canada and the United States.

    Peticolas Brewing of Dallas, Texas was named Grand National Champion after winning three gold medals and two silver medals. It's gold-medal-winning beers were Black Curtain Imperial Stout, Great Scot! Scottish Ale and Velvet Hammer Imperial Red Ale.

    Complete Medal Listing
     
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  2. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,176) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Reubens from Seattle did OK. Was a bit surprised to see Bron Yr Aur take a couple, you pretty much have to go to the brewery or a fest to see their brew. Congrats to all!
     
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  3. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Crusader (739) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Beer Trader

    I love that they have a category for "Most Creative Beer Name". Serious question: Why is it that the most hyped breweries in the US, three of which make up almost 25% of the BA Top 250 list, never win any medals in these events?
     
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  4. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,500) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    They don’t enter?
     
  5. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Disciple (306) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    I know the brewing news IPA challenge over the years has had a few 'hyped' breweries enter. But we're talking more of the WC styling. Can't recall any true hype winners because yeah, they don't enter
     
  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,389) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The only reason to enter is that a win will enhance your brand. If you sell everything you make and have the hype, why bother?
     
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  7. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,500) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well I suppose there might be a few masochists out there who enjoy painful or tedious activities. :sunglasses:
     
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  8. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,389) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Yes, sending product to a completion takes effort to register the entries in the correct style, get the packages together, pay the entry fee, and pay to ship the package to the competition. That is some effort, cost, and time for the risk of not winning anything. If you are on the hype train it is less hassle to just keep doing what you are doing.
     
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  9. sharpski

    sharpski Champion (866) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I think that the value in a competition is the unbiased feedback (assuming it’s a blind tasting), but I realize that’s not the only way to look at it. For those hyped breweries who view the marketing aspect of medals as the main reason to enter, it’s understandable that they have little to no incentive to participate.

    Kudos to the organizers for running a competition with 6300 entries, that’s a hell of a lot of work.
     
    #9 sharpski, Jul 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  10. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,968) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Beer Trader

    For brewers confident of their product and needing more exposure the competition serves a useful purpose. For those already selling all they can make and riding a crest of high demand a competition would be just a distraction.
     
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  11. MNAle

    MNAle Savant (970) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    You guys are dancing around the real issue: afraid of not winning damaging their "hype train."
     
  12. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,500) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Oh? Where is the publicly avalable list of those who entered? Without that list nobody knows who entered and didn’t win.
     
  13. MNAle

    MNAle Savant (970) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    They'd know if they took bronze...
     
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  14. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (374) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I'm genuinely curious as to whether this would matter to anyone or not. My gut is that someone like Treehouse or Tired Hands not winning a medal* in this sort of competition would be met with the same reaction that happens every year when insert-favorite-rock-band-here isn't admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    To the extent anyone cares at all they just find the competition itself unworthy of much consideration rather than a referendum on their favorite band.

    *along with proof that they entered
     
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  15. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,176) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Maybe they enter, and don't win, because other beers are better?
     
  16. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,500) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yep, that would make them one of 377 medals in a field of over 6000 breweries and 1 beer out of way more than 6000 since a brewery can enter multiple beers. Pretty slim odds. Takes the best to win any medal at all. Even with a Bronze they are way ahead of the rest of the pack.
     
    #16 drtth, Jul 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  17. MNAle

    MNAle Savant (970) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    And, speaking theoretically, this year that would have had them behind Columbia Craft Brewing Company of South Carolina and Revision Brewing of Nevada and tied with Copperpoint Brewing of Florida and Brothers Cascadia Brewing of Washington... not a New Englander in the bunch!

    All I'm saying is in addition to the expense, bother, resources, etc., there is also the risk of actually losing. Just look at the Paste blind tests... as flawed as they are in their criteria, etc., the results do tend to deflate a bit of the hyped beers that come in way down the list.

    Blind tests are guaranteed to have surprising results.

    OTOH,

    This is a good point (at least among beer geeks). Replies calling the competition / ranking flawed because <insert favorite here> didn't win are very common here.
     
  18. zid

    zid Champion (846) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Unfortunately, "most creative name" awards essentially go to puns and pop culture references. There truly is an award for everything.

    Regarding your other comment about "hyped" breweries, other people have already addressed this, but let me add that most beer geeks have probably only heard of a dozen of the winners here. Contests like this are usually filled with many breweries seeking exposure.
     
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  19. zid

    zid Champion (846) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I always love looking at award lists like this and seeing how brewers put beers into totally different categories than how they market or formulated their beer (and then win medals). There's an illuminating lesson in there that I feel gets lost on many people.
     
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  20. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (318) Jan 12, 2014 Utah
    Beer Trader

    The two most hyped beers in that competition actually won their categories BTW
     
  21. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,500) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Off topic. Your avatar picture, Alta? Snowbird?
     
  22. oldbean

    oldbean Aspirant (295) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    In these types of competitions, beers are typically judged against style guidelines. I understand the logic behind doing this, but I personally don't see style guidelines as blueprints for the most perfect or most enjoyable beer, and neither do many brewers. I think it's notable that you see a lot more of the "hype train" breweries in the Paste blind tastings, even though they don't always blow away the field, because those aren't evaluated against a strict style guide. In other words, it doesn't make sense to enter a contest when your beer isn't going to be judged on it's own merits.
     
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  23. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Devotee (493) Nov 23, 2017 California

    I think having this name award knocks the whole championships down a level in terms of seriousness and prestige.
     
    zid likes this.
  24. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,968) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Beer Trader

    It doesn't make sense to enter any competition unless you have a reasonable expectation your beer will be favorably received.
     
  25. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Crusader (739) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Beer Trader

    How much does it cost to enter a beer for a competition like this?
     
  26. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,500) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    For this particular competition it's $75 US per beer up to a maximum of 8 beers. Then there's all this to deal with:

    http://usopenbeer.com/shipping/
     
  27. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (228) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Category for New England ipa AND New England dipa?!?!??! I was expecting some outrage in this thread, I'm dissapointed. But this seems like a cool competition compared to the others I've seen shamed around this site. Cheers!
     
  28. oldbean

    oldbean Aspirant (295) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    At least they didn't call it something stupid like "juicy or hazy pale ale".
     
  29. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (228) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Actually they called it that as well, and not one state from New England won (kinda like this year's super bowl :wink: ):
    New England/Juicy IPA
    Gold – Hop to Trot – Columbia Craft Brewing Company – South Carolina
    Silver – State of Haze – Revision Brewing – Nevada
    Bronze – WTF(Where’s the filter) – Copperpoint Brewing – Florida
    Bronze – You Like A Da Juice – Brothers Cascadia Brewing

    New England/Juicy DIPA
    Gold – Reuben’s Triple Crush – Reuben’s Brews – Taproom – Washington
    Silver – Thunder Theif – Red Brick Brewing – Georgia
    Bronze – Freak Parade – Drekker Brewing – North Dakota
     
  30. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (318) Jan 12, 2014 Utah
    Beer Trader

    The “juicy/hazy” is a BJCP style now. Personally I’m glad it’s not called NEIPA.
     
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  31. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (318) Jan 12, 2014 Utah
    Beer Trader

    DV
     
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  32. oldbean

    oldbean Aspirant (295) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Good for them.
     
  33. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,175) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm being a bit fussy here but if there is a tie for gold in a category, I don't think a silver should then be awarded in the category. Similarly a tie for silver and the bronze. Yes, I agree. I will go start my own beer championship then. :wink:
     
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  34. zid

    zid Champion (846) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I agree, at least in terms of perceived seriousness. It was much worse a few years ago when the name "winners" had sexually suggestive names. Whoever decided to include such a thing was undermining their entire brand as far as I was concerned.

    EDIT: I had to go back and look it up. "Big Booty Golden Ale" was the worst offender. Giving that a "judge's award" for most creative name is such an incredibly bad idea.
     
    #34 zid, Jul 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  35. darktronica

    darktronica Meyvn (1,449) Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    That's what I do like about Paste's tests--they aren't necessarily rating "to style," they still get experienced, knowledgeable judges, but tell them to rate it according to how enjoyable the beer was "for whatever reason." I still weigh their results against ratings here and on other sites when deciding how much I want to pursue finding some of their top-rated beers, but I do find that criterion more valuable than BJCP style guidelines in these heady days of experimentation.
     
  36. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Initiate (133) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

  37. mmmbeerNY

    mmmbeerNY Devotee (476) Mar 5, 2014 New York
    Beer Trader

    I figure if a beer wins a medal then it's probably pretty good. If a beer does not win then does not mean anything either way
     
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  38. darktronica

    darktronica Meyvn (1,449) Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I would want to know who else was competing in the smoked/rauchbier category and why that beer is listed as a weizenbock in BA's database. If there's a style mismatch, there's a possibility that BA raters were rating expecting a weizenbock. It's also not a popular style, so the average rating for a good rauchbier or weizenbock is almost certainly lower than the average for more popular styles. There's also only 12 total ratings for that on BA, but it has a similar average on untapped with nearly 2,000.

    I dunno, there are lots of variables. But I always am a bit let down when a medal-winning beer has roughly 10 ratings on BA (or isn't in the database at all!) compared to several thousand on other sites. I mean, earlier this week, I just added a small Indiana brewery that wasn't on BA despite being open for more than a year.