757 Breweries Win Awards (via Jeff Maisey @ VEER Magazine)

Breweries from Hampton Roads scored medals in Richmond on Monday where the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild announced the 2020 winners in its ninth annual statewide competition. 

Norfolk’s Benchtop Brewing Company was the most successful 757 brewery, taking home a gold medal for its Mermaid’s Lure in the Fruit/Vegetable category and a silver in the Specialty – Other category with its Friar Storm entry.

The Vanguard, a brewpub and distillery in Hampton that produces beer under the Caiseal label, won a gold for its House Beer in the Kolsch category. 

Silver medals went to Elation Brewing Company (Norfolk), Tradition Brewing Company (Newport News), and St. George Brewing Company (Hampton). St George won for its Honey Mead Lager, which has won multiple awards in the past three years. 

Taking home bronze medals were Big Ugly Brewing Company (Chesapeake) and Maker’s  Craft Brewery (Norfolk).

This year’s Virginia Craft Beer Cup competition was managed by Head Judge Charlie Harr. In all, 267 beers in 20 categories competed for awards. Gold, silver and bronze medals are presented in each category. 

“This was a challenging year due to the pandemic. However, we made several adjustments to operate in a safe environment and follow established guidelines. In the end we had a lot of fun, made new friends and tasted some great Virginia beers,” said Charlie Harr, Head Judge. 

The first place winning beers in each category contend for the Best in Show medals with the overall top beer determining the Cup champion. 

Black Hoof Brewing Company, a family-owned microbrewery located in downtown Leesburg specializing in traditional German-style beers, became the first brewery from Northern Virginia to win the Virginia Craft Beer Cup when its Muzzle Loader Munich Dunkel was crowned Best in Show.

New Realm Brewing Company (2019) and Smartmouth Brewing Company (2017) — both located in Hampton Roads — are past Cup winners.

The 2020 Virginia Craft Beer Cup winners are as follows: 

BEST IN SHOW 

First Place: Black Hoof Brewing Company, Muzzle Loader Munich Dunkel

Second Place: Cedar Run Brewery, Goats in the House Pilsner

Third Place: Port City Brewing Company, Optimal Wit

AMBER ALE 

First Place: The Board Room VA, Ticket to Ride Red Ale 

Second Place: Random Row Brewing Co., Scouser Red Ale 

Third Place: 7 Dogs Brew Pub, Scottish 80

AMBER LAGER 

First Place: Fairwinds Brewing Company, High Barbary

Second Place: Tasting Room at Mount Ida Reserve, First Edition 

Third Place: Mustang Sally Brewing Company, Half Moon Rising 

BROWN ALE 

First Place: Old Ox Brewery, Black Ox Rye Porter

Second Place: Ballad Brewing, Fast Mail Mild Ale

Third Place: Rocket Frog Brewing Company, Wallops Island

BOCK 

First Place: Black Hoof Brewing Company, Broadside Maibock 

Second Place: Barking Rose Brewing Company + Farm, Dopplebock 

Third Place: Big Ugly Brewing, Accelerator

DARK LAGER 

First Place: Black Hoof Brewing Company, Muzzleloader Munich Dunkel 

Second Place: Gloucester Brewing Company, Mobjack Black

Third Place: Maker’s Craft Brewery, Thurinigan 

FRUIT/VEGETABLE 

First Place: Benchtop Brewing Company, Mermaid’s Lure 

Second Place: Elation Brewing Company, Rosé Gosé

Third Place: Mustang Sally Brewing Company, Getaway Plan 

Honorable Mention Stable Craft Brewing, Blueberry Blonde 

IPA 

First Place Stone Brewing Co., Stone IPA 

Second Place: Fairwinds Brewing Company, Howling Gale 

Third Place: Heliotrope Brewing, Oxfordcommadisiac 

Honorable Mention: Random Row Brewing Co., Windswell DIPA

SAISON 

First Place: Old Ox Brewery, Sightseer Saison 

Second Place: Bingo Beer Co, Patio Vibes 

Third Place: Ardent Craft Ales, Ardent Saison

PALE ALE 

First Place: Beltway Brewing Company, Approachable Guise

Second Place: Twin Creeks Brewing Company, Keep Ya Distance Cream Ale 

Third Place: Barking Rose Brewing Company + Farm, Conviction

Honorable Mention: Random Row Brewing Co., Mosaic Pale Ale

KOLSCH 

First Place: The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery/Caiseal, House Beer 

Second Place: Sweetwater Taven, Barking Frog Kolsch

Third Place: None

PALE LAGER

First Place: Cave Hill Farms Brewery, Loafing Shed Lager 

Second Place: Port City Brewing Company, Helles Lager 

Third Place: Dynasty Brewing, Dynasty Lager

PILSNER 

First Place: Cedar Run Brewery, Goats in the House Pilsner 

Second Place: Tradition Brewing Company, Tradice

Third Place: Bingo Beer Co, Bingo Lager 

SPECIALTY – OTHER 

First Place: Blue Mountain Barrel House, Raspberries on Acid 

Second Place: Benchtop Brewing Company, Friar Storm

Third Place: Extra Billy’s Smokehouse & Brewery, Capital Kolsch

SOUR 

First Place: Reason Beer, Gryffon’s Red

Second Place: Audacious Aleworks, Anniversary Flanders Red Ale 

Third Place: None

SPECIALTY MIXED 

First Place: 2 Witches Winery & Brewing Company, Franc-n-Stein

Second Place: Fine Creek Brewing Company, Wine Barrel Aged Golden Sour 

Third Place: Fine Creek Brewing Company, Herbarium Wild Saison 

SPECIALTY – ALTERNATIVE 

First Place: That Damn Mary Brewing Company, Holden in the Rye 

Second Place: St. George Brewing Company, Honey Mead Lager

Third Place: Dirt Farm Brewing, Honey Helles 

SPECIALTY WOOD 

First Place: Caboose Brewing Company, Fireside Ale

Second Place: 2 Silos Brewing Company, Barrel Reserve Imperial Stout 

Third Place: Blue Mountain Barrel House, Dark Hollow 

STOUT 

First Place: Dynasty Brewing, 838 Stout 

Second Place: Great Valley Farm Brewery, Stout

Third Place: None

STRONG ALE 

First Place: Garden Grove Brewing Co., Fergus Wee Heavy

Second Place: Lake Anne Brew House, 2020

Third Place: Lake Anne Brew House, Quadiversary

Honorable Mention: Tasting Room at Mount Ida Reserve, Murcielago Madison Stout

WHEAT BEER 

First Place: Port City Brewing Company, Optimal Wit 

Second Place: Trapezium Brewing Co., Chasing Ponies 

Third Place: Spencer Devon Brewing, Pontoon Bridges

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