At this point in beer culture most beer aficionados know that it’s not just about making good beer anymore, you gotta have those sweet sweet medals.
Ok that’s only half true.
Good beer is good beer, and people will drink and blog about it regardless of how many medals it has, but a brewery as a whole has many more considerations than just brewing one good beer.
Breweries are no longer known throughout the land for having one righteous beer. In a time when great craft breweries like Deschutes and Sierra Nevada ruled the world with their legendary flagship beers Mirror Pond, and Sierra Nevada Pale, that meant dominance.
Many of these breweries focused on making these flagship beers available for purchase at the store, but the more esoteric of brews remained at the taphouses.
Much of that changed throughout the years as breweries adapted to the hunger for fresh takes on old styles.
Since 1983 the Great American Beer Festival has been tracking and handing out medals for such beers and to go back through and view their lists you get a pretty interesting picture of how tastes have changed.
Where once Busch, and Pabst Blue Ribbon commanded medals every year eventually seasonal beers emerged the new kids on the block and began stealing away medals each year with their bold flavors and limited time posturing.
The new age was born.
Since the mid 90’s the trend has been unstoppable. An arms race between breweries around the U.S. for 25 years has led to the most incredible selection of beers the world has ever seen.
Ever. Single. Year.
Where once seasonals were hip, it seems they have gone the way of the classics, fallen by the wayside to fantastically crafted one off’s from breweries in the tiniest of towns around the country.
Good beer is everywhere.
Which brings me to my main point…
Medals make the brewery.
Breweries know it’s not enough to have one great beer when you live down the street from 3 more breweries brewing gold medal barrel aged monstrosities all jockeying for notoriety.
And that’s why we love beer festivals.
In recent years the Best of Craft Beer Awards has quickly gained notoriety hosting great competition out in the beautiful, brewery dense, high desert city of Bend, Oregon.
This year was no exception, and after some fierce judging, we discovered many of the craft beers in our portfolios not only brought home medals but dominated the competition.
All in all CSB’s craft portfolio brought home 40 craft beer medals.
With Breakside’s three breweries bringing home a combined 11 of those medals in 8 different categories!
That is a serious display of versatility and depth as a brewery and the exact thing that continues to keep a fantastic brewery like breakside relevant.
It’s not enough to just brew one great beer any more, you better step up and know your art, because craft isn’t little league home brew any more, beer is serious business.
- Author – Keegan Cantrell
- Data: 2018 “Best Of Craft Beer Awards” Winners (Sorted)