Tröegenator did not win a medal and other strange tales from GABF 2012.

[This post has been updated and corrected to reflect two medals won by Dock Street Brewery, one of which I lost in the shuffle because that’s what I do with these summaries every single damned year. Thanks to Jeff Norman for straightening me out.]

If I had predicted in this space prior to yesterday’s GABF Awards Ceremony that Tröegs Brewing Co. would win three Gold medals and be named the Mid-Sized Brewing Company of the Year with head brewer John Trogner the Mid-Sized Brewing Company Brewer of the Year, but that  Tröegenator would not be one of them (the medals went to HopBack Amber Ale, Dreamweaver Wheat and Sunshine Pils), you surely would have laughed in my face. Tröegenator has won at GABF five of the previous six years (missing only 2008) including two Golds, two Silvers and a Bronze. Weird how things work out, innit. I doubt that any heads will roll.

Less shocking was that the Iron Hill Brewery Group won the most medals among local entrants: a Silver for Lancaster’s Rauchtoberfest  and Bronzes for Media’s Russian Imperial Stout (extending Bob Barrar’s winning streak and why don’t they just rename the category “Barrar’s Imperial Stout” and be done with it?), Phoenixville’s Roggenbier and Wilmington’s Black IPA. The latter location’s headbrewer, Brian Finn, did a very classy thing on Facebook after the award was announced by the way, giving a shout out to (I presume) the staff guy who formulated that brew:

….get to Wilmington and drink that beer and congratulate Andrew Johnston! Great work Andrew, you are a world class brewer!

Speaking of classy moves, Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant posted this on Facebook prior to the medal ceremony…

A Taste of the GABF

Today from 3pm-6pm

The Great American Beer Festival is this weekend. It just seemed wrong to send beer there that wasn’t available here. To alleviate that concern we set aside some beer for you to enjoy today. After all, we do not brew for judges in Denver; we brew for you our guests.

Pure brilliance and rewarded when Nodding Head won two medals, Silver for George’s Fault (specialty beer) and Bronze for George’s Funk (sour and barrel-aged beer). Head brewer Gordon Grubb is building up a nice portfolio of GABF medals of his won and maybe we need to be showing him a tad more love. Comes to that, maybe the same is true for  Home Sweet Homebrew’s George Hummel  who was, I presume involved with the second beer as much as I know he was with the first (which already has Gold and Silver medals to its credit). How many homebrewers out there can lay claim to partial ownership of four GABF medals in the professional categories?

What else? Rock Bottom King of Prussia won the area’s fourth Gold and, well, that Exit Series keeps on gittin’ ‘er done for Flying Fish and Casey Hughes, do it not? A Bronze for Exit 8 kept the Garden State from being shut out (as were all too many East Coast states). And just across the Delaware state line in Bear (a town which is only 15 minutes away from anywhere), a Silver for Stewart’s Oyster Stout is a reminder that head brewer Ric Hoffman, like Grubb, keeps on adding to his medal total.

(Speaking of Delaware, you will note, if you go over to the Beer Yard site (see link below), I include Old Dominion as part of the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley region, which is stretching things a bit. My rationale? So is including Tröegs and Dogfish Head. But OD beers are even available in the city and suburbs? Neither are those from Stewart’s. My decision and I’m the boss of here, so live with it.)

Dock Street Brewery and head brewer Scott Morrison also won two medals, its first wins in its current incarnation, Bronze for Abt 12 and Silver for a beer which is one of two  medals I saved for last because they are, in many ways, my favorites. Yards Brewing Extra Sepcial Ale (ESA) took Bronze and, with apologies to the original Dock Street, the debut of ESA in the spring of 1995 marked the real beginning of the current beer scene; it was the first gotta-have-it cult beer in Philly. Dock Street/Thiriez Table Saison, brewed by Morrison and French brewer Daniel Thiriez, is, on the other hand, part of the one of the hottest trends in current day craft, collaborative brews. These two beers represent, in a way, the Alpha and the Omega of craft brewing in Philadelphia.

S’all I got. For them as likes a more serious look at how things went in Denver, I have provided such over at the Beer Yard site.

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