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Alaskan Brewing wins big at 'Olympics of Beer'

Juneau brewery takes home silver, two bronze medals

Posted: May 12, 2012 - 11:10pm
Alaskan Brewing Co. brewer Greg Morgan holds one of three awards the company won for three of their beers in the World Beer Cup in San Diego. Morgan has been working for the company for six years.
Alaskan Brewing Co. brewer Greg Morgan holds one of three awards the company won for three of their beers in the World Beer Cup in San Diego. Morgan has been working for the company for six years.

What’s better than frosty cold beer? Award-winning frosty cold beer. With three new World Beer Cup medals to hang around its neck, Juneau’s very own Alaskan Brewing Co. is the place for award-winning beer.

With nearly 4,000 beers judged from 54 different countries in 95 categories, the 2012 World Beer Cup, its organizers said, was world’s largest commercial beer competition to date. This marked the ninth meeting of the bi-annual event.

“It’s called ‘The Olympics of Beer Competition’ for good reason,” Brewer’s Association President Charlie Papazian stated in a press release. “A brewer who wins a World Beer Cup gold knows that their winning beer represents the best of that beer style in the world.”

Alaskan Brewing’s Alaskan Amber Ale won a silver medal in the Irish Red Ale category. Alaskan Stout won bronze in the oatmeal stout category and the Alaskan India Pale Ale took third in the American-style Strong Pale Ale category.

“It’s an honor to win at the World Beer Cup, in the presence of so many great brewers from around the world,” Curtis Holmes, plant manager of Alaskan Brewing stated in a release. “To represent Alaska and come home with three medals was just amazing, especially given the number of entries in the competition this year.”

The awards were announced at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego, Calif. on May 5. Judges from 27 countries, comprised of professional brewers and industry experts, determined winners by blind taste evaluations.

“The judging criteria are exacting,” according to a Brewers Association press release. Second or third place in some categories may not be awarded, “if the panel decides that the entries do not merit recognition.”

Alaskan Brewing won a bronze in the barely wine category in 2008 and 2010.

The brewery’s Alaskan Summer Ale brought home gold in 2008 out of 39 entries in the golden or blonde ale category. Alaskan received another top honor in 2010 with its 1998 Alaskan Smoked Porter in the aged beer category.

Alaskan Brewing started with its award-winning Alaskan Amber Ale in 1986. It has since added Pale, White, IPA, Stout, Smoked Porter, Winter Ale, Summer Ale and a variety of limited edition beers in the Alaskan Pilot Series. The Alaskan Birch Bock is the brewery’s current Pilot Series beer — a Doppelbock-style ale brewed with Alaska birch syrup.

Alaskan Brewing competed against breweries from Canada, Mexico, Germany and Singapore to name a few. Nearly 4,000 beers from 54 countries were judged in the competition. Haiti entered one beer, an award winner.

For more information visit www.alaskanbeer.com and www.worldbeercup.org.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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