Big Ugly Brewing Wins Golden Tap Award

Big Ugly Brewing Wins Golden Tap Award

Big Ugly Brewing stacked up well against the competition in 2020

Chesapeake’s Big Ugly Brewing edged-out two-time defending champion Benchtop Brewing Company to take home Veer Magazine’s 2020 Golden Tap Award.

Breweries from across the 757 region were invited for the seventh year to self-nominate up to 10 beers in the individual categories following below, starting with Amber & Brown American Beer and ending with the Wood Beer category. Points earned within these categories were based upon votes cast online by Veer readers as well as scores provided by our panel of judges that included Brian Koski, Diane Catanzaro, Chris Jones, Jennifer McDonald, and a couple of craft beer enthusiasts who eternally wish to remain anonymous.  

Gold medals were awarded 3 points, silver garnered 2 points, and bronze received one. The overall top points earner was crowned winner of the Golden Tap Award.  

The overall Top 5 are as follows: 

  1. Big Ugly Brewing – 24 points
  2. Benchtop Brewing Company – 21 points
  3. Alewerks Brewing Company – 17 points
  4. (Tie) O’Connor Brewing Company – 14 points

     (Tie) Pleasure House Brewing Company – 14 points

In addition to the individual beer categories, we included categories for cider, product packaging and design, collaborations, hard seltzer, and the timely curbside service reflective of the ongoing pandemic. 

Veer Magazine’s 2020 Golden Tap Awards were presented by City of Hampton Economic Development and the Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau with additional supporting sponsorships from Southern Bank and Spacemakers General Contractors.

Amber & Brown American Beer

GOLD: Alewerks Brewing Company, Tavern Brown Ale 

SILVER: Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co., Red Ale

BRONZE: Deadline Brewing Project, Airline Cookie Amber

Honorable Mention:

The Garage Brewery, Rusted Nail Amber Ale

Back Bay Brewing Co., False Cape Amber

Billsburg Brewery, Planet 4 Red Ale

Amber Malty & Bitter European Lager

GOLD:The Bold Mariner Brewing Company, Frogman Lager

SILVER: Tradition Brewing Company, Oktoberfest

BRONZE: Alewerks Brewing Company, Oktoberfest

Honorable Mention:

The Garage Brewery, Attack of the Marzens Marzen

Wasserhund Brewing Company, Marzen

MoMac Brewing Company, Pata De Palo (Peg Leg) Vienna Lager

St. George Brewing Company, Oktoberfest

Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co, Oktoberfest 

American Porter & Stout

GOLD: Benchtop Brewing Company, Walter’s Brunch

SILVER:Big Ugly Brewing, Ghost Rider Porter

BRONZE: The Garage Brewery, Builder From Hell Imperial Coffee Milk Stout

Honorable Mention: 

Young Veterans, Smoke Almond Porter

Commonwealth Brewing Co, Marvoloso V6 Barrel-Aged Stout

MoMac Brewing Company, Rt. 58 P-Nut Butter Porter 

American Wild Ale

GOLD:Benchtop Brewing Company, Long Funky Streaks-Cashmere

SILVER: Alewerks Brewing Company, Lover’s Greed

BRONZE: Reaver Beach Brewing Co., Reaver’s Revenge Ale Refermented in Oak Barrels w/Raspberries

Honorable Mention:

Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, Moment in Time

Reaver Beach Brewing Co., The Reaver Ale Fermented in Oak Barrels

Belgian Ale

GOLD: Smartmouth Brewing, Alter Ego Saison

SILVER: Pleasure House Brewing, Glo Belgian-style Blond Ale

BRONZE: Back Bay Brewing Co., Apricot Tripel

Honorable Mention:

The Bold Mariner Brewing Company, Witty American

COVA Brewing Co., Lemondrop Saison

Bull Island Brewing Co., Magical Monk Singel Abbey Ale

British & Scottish Ale

GOLD:  MoMac Brewing Company, P.O.E.T.S. Day

SILVER: Pleasure House Brewing, O’Brien Clan 

BRONZE:  St. George Brewing Company, English IPA

Honorable Mention:

Capstan Bar Brewing Company, Wee Heavy

Thin Brew Line Brewing Co, Greyfriar’s Bobby

Maker’s Craft Brewery, English Pub Ale

Czech Lager

GOLD:Tradition Brewing Company, Tradice

SILVER: Elation Brewing, Larchmont Lager

BRONZE: Pleasure House Brewing, Aloha Snacks Bohemian Pilsner

Honorable Mention:

The Bold Mariner Brewing Company, Lafayette Pilsner 

St. George Brewing Company, Pilsner

COVA Brewing Co., Old Regulator

Dark & Strong British Beer

GOLD: Pleasure House Brewing, OB’s Wattleseed Export Stout

SILVER: Maker’s Craft Brewery, Aunt Patty’s Porter


European Dark & Strong Lager

GOLD: Big Ugly Brewing, Accelerator Doppelbock

SILVER:O’Connor Brewing Company, Imperial O’Ctoberfest

BRONZE: Rip Rap Brewing Co., New Moon Schwarzbier

Honorable Mention:

Maker’s Craft Brewery, Thuringian Black Lager

Elation Brewing, Schwaz 

Young Veterans, Death By PowerPoint Black Lager 

New Realm Brewing Company, Munich Dunkel

European Sour Beer

GOLD: Big Ugly Brewing, POG Gose

SILVER: Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, Das Yummy

BRONZE: Benchtop Brewing Company, Mermaid’s Lure

Honorable Mention:

Elation Brewing, Rosé Gosé

Precarious Beer Project, Daddy’s Gone 

MoMac Brewing Company, Purple Lady

Fruit Beer

GOLD: The Garage Brewery, Boss Lady Vol 3 Fruit Beer Sour

SILVER: Reaver Beach Brewing Co., Teredo (Blend #3 with Blueberries & Peaches) Berliner Weisse

BRONZE: The Bold Mariner Brewing Company, Direct Deposit Gose

Honorable Mention:

Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, Crazy Pants Sorbet Inspired Sour w/Tangerine & Basil

COVA Brewing Co., Razzleberry Gose

The Virginia Beer Company, Pie Problem Key Lime Pie Gose

Commonwealth Brewing Co, Pink Fluffy Unicorns Triple IPA w/Pink Guava 

German Wheat Beer

GOLD:Wasserhund Brewing Company, Shepheweizen

SILVER: Young Veterans, Pineapple Grenade

BRONZE: Commonwealth Brewing Co, Hipster Kryptonite Wheat Doppelbock

Honorable Mention:

Smartmouth Brewing, Sommer Fling Hefeweizen

St. George Brewing Company, Knight’s Respite Hefeweizen

Maker’s Craft Brewery, Uncle Dunkel’s Dunkelweiss 

Historical and Smoked Beer

GOLD:Benchtop Brewing Company, Disturbance in the Schwartz

SILVER: St. George Brewing Company, Slumbering Dragon Scotch Ale


International Lager

GOLD:  O’Connor Brewing Company, Proper Lager

SILVER: Big Ugly Brewing, Peake Lager

BRONZE: Commonwealth Brewing Co, Mano del Puma Blonde Mexican Lager 

Honorable Mention:

Young Veterans, El General Mexican Lager 

The Bold Mariner Brewing Company, Lucky Cat Japanese-style Pilsner

Wasserhund Brewing Company, Hank’s Lager

Smartmouth Brewing, Señorita Vesa Mexican Golden Lager w/Limes  

Benchtop Brewing Company, Friar Storm


GOLD: Benchtop Brewing Company, Proven Theory

SILVER: Big Ugly Brewing, Rockers IPA 

BRONZE: O’Connor Brewing Company, El Guapo Agave IPA

Honorable Mention:

New Realm Brewing Company, Hoptropolis

Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co, Snap Guns IPA

Elation Brewing, Notice This

St. George Brewing Company, Hop Sentry IPA

Juicy/Hazy IPA

GOLD: Big Ugly Brewing, Imperial Leaf Peepers

SILVER: Benchtop Brewing Company, Robot Squirrel

BRONZE: New Realm Brewing Company, Hazy Like a Fox

Honorable Mention:

Precarious Beer Project, Lyfe-Solv

Precarious Beer Project, Everything Is Lava

MoMac Brewing Company, Skeeder Juice Juicy IPA

O’Connor Brewing Company, Hip Hop Anonymous Vol. 3

The Virginia Beer Company, Free Verse IPA

Double IPA

GOLD:  Benchtop Brewing Company, Why the Gong Face

SILVER: Alewerks Brewing Company, Bitter Valentine

BRONZE: Reaver Beach Brewing Co., Hoptopus Double IPA

Honorable Mention:

Smartmouth Brewing, Hopes and Dreams DIPA 

Young Veterans, Jet Noise DIPA 

Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, FML COVID Inspired Hazy DIPA

The Garage Brewery, F-Bomb DIPA

O’Connor Brewing Company, Anglers End Double IPA

Irish Beer

GOLD: O’Connor Brewing Company, ODIS Dry Irish Stout

SILVER: Big Ugly Brewing, Ride on Red

BRONZE: Rip Rap Brewing Co., Running Rust Red Ale

Honorable Mention:

Tradition Brewing Company, Red Willie

Elation Brewing, Riverpoint Red

Thin Brew Line Brewing Co, An Garda Siochana

Pale American Ale

GOLD: Benchtop Brewing Company, Hazing Face

SILVER: Big Ugly Brewing, Wet-Hopped Mods Pale Ale

BRONZE: Tradition Brewing Company, We Run This Ship

Honorable Mention:

The Virginia Beer Company, Saving Daylight Citrus Wheat

Rip Rap Brewing Co., Leucothea DDH Pale Ale

Pale Bitter European Beer

GOLD: Smartmouth Brewing, Safety Dance Pilsner

SILVER: New Realm Brewing Company, Euphonia

BRONZE: Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co, House Beer

Honorable Mention:

Benchtop Brewing Company, Crispy Whip

Wasserhund Brewing Company, Purebred Pilsner 

Tradition Brewing Company, Festbier

Bull Island Brewing Co., King Street Kolsch

Pale Malty European Lager

GOLD: Alewerks Brewing Company, Weekend Lager

SILVER: Smartmouth Brewing, Princess Oktoberfest 

BRONZE: Elation Brewing, Festbier

Honorable Mention:

Wasserhund Brewing Company, Oktoberfest

Young Veterans, Life Finds a Way Lager 

COVA Brewing Co., COVA Helles

Specialty Beer

GOLD: Big Ugly Brewing, S’Mores Brown Ale

SILVER: O’Connor Brewing Company, SNAX! Oatmeal Chocolate Imperial Milk Stout

BRONZE: St. George Brewing Company, Honey Meade Lager

Honorable Mention:

Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, Green Beer’s My Jam 

Commonwealth Brewing Co, Hemingway Key Lime Gose  

Pleasure House Brewing, Jumping the Shark Blueberry Sour 

Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co, Coffee Blonde

Spiced Beer

GOLD: New Realm Brewing Company, Oaxaca Choca

SILVER: Alewerks Brewing Company, Pumpkin Ale

BRONZE: Big Ugly Brewing, Hot Pursuit 

Honorable Mention: 

The Bold Mariner Brewing Company, Bold Jack Pumpkin Ale

Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, I’m a Mouse, Duh 

Pleasure House Brewing, Snatch You Baldheaded Spiced Belgian Quad  

Wasserhund Brewing Company, Haywire Husky Coffee Lager

The Virginia Beer Company, Evil Santa Spiced Milk Stout  

Standard American Beer

GOLD: Rip Rap Brewing Co., Breakwater Cream Ale

SILVER: Tradition Brewing Company, Tradition Craft Lager

BRONZE: COVA Brewing Co., East Beach Blonde

Honorable Mention:

The Garage Brewery, Light Bulb American Light Lager 

Billsburg Brewery, Classic Lager 

Smartmouth Brewing, Party On Thor Kveik Lager

New Realm Brewing Company, United Craft Lager

Strong American Ale

GOLD: Alewerks Brewing Company, Cinnamon Bun Barleywine

SILVER: The Virginia Beer Company, Rob Your Head Dry-Hopped Imperial Red Ale 

BRONZE:Rip Rap Brewing Co., Wind’s Eye Wheatwine

Strong Belgian Ale

GOLD:Pleasure House Brewing, Day Pirate Belgian Golden Strong Ale

SILVER: Legend Brewing Depot, Bad Santa Belgian Strong 

BRONZE: Rip Rap Brewing Co., Dubbel Time Belgian Dubbel

Honorable Mention:

Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co, Namur the Merrier Belgian Quad

Trappist Ale

GOLD:Pleasure House Brewing, Liquid Communication Tripel

SILVER: Rip Rap Brewing Co., Deep Berth Belgian Tripel 

BRONZE: Bull Island Brewing Co., Laura’s Favorite Tripel

Honorable Mention:

Capstan Bar Brewing Company, Belgian Quad

Wood Beer

GOLD: O’Connor Brewing Company, IBRIK Turkish Coffee Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels

SILVER: Smartmouth Brewing, Legend of Vagar Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial Stout w/vanilla, coffee, & cocoa beans

BRONZE: Alewerks Brewing Company, Cafe Royale

Honorable Mention:

Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, Demure Defiance Barrel-aged Sour Blend w/Blueberries 

The Virginia Beer Company, Grand Marnier Barrel-aged Waypost Imperial Stout


GOLD: Smartmouth Brewing/Weathered Souls Brewing/Taste Unlimited/Vessel Coffee/Chelsea Bakehouse/Murphy & Rude Malting, Black is Beautiful Hazelnut Coffee Imperial Stout

SILVER: Benchtop/Dancing Gnome, Infinite Gong Pack 

BRONZE: Commonwealth Brewing Co/Deciduous Brewing, Dance Battle Double IPA 

Packaging Design

GOLD: St. George Brewing Company, Core packaging refresh

SILVER: O’Connor Brewing Company, Hip Hop Anonymous Series 

BRONZE: Alewerks Brewing Company, Fun Old Fashion Family Christmas Ale

Honorable Mention:

New Realm Brewing Company, Tyrannosaurus FLEX 

Back Bay Brewing Co., 757 Lager Collab with Something in the Water

Can Design

GOLD: New Realm Brewing Company, Tyrannosaurus FLEX

SILVER: Smartmouth Brewing, Susan B Votin’ Centennial Double IPA

BRONZE: The Bold Mariner Brewing Company, Lucky Cat


O’Connor Brewing Company, Children of the Gourd 

Young Veterans, Hazies in a Halfshell Mixed Berry IPA

Back Bay Brewing Co., 757 Lager

St. George Brewing Company, Hop Sentry IPA

New Beer Release

GOLD:Smartmouth Brewing, Pedal Pusher IPA with Bike Month

SILVER: O’Connor Brewing Company, Hip Hop Anonymous

BRONZE: New Realm Brewing Company, Mas Macho

Honorable Mention:

Benchtop Brewing Company, Twice Proven

Big Ugly Brewing, The Hand You’re Dealt (Death) Barrel-aged RIS

Curbside Service

GOLD:The Virginia Beer Company

SILVER:Alewerks Brewing Company

BRONZE:  Big Ugly Brewing

Honorable Mention: 

O’Connor Brewing Company

The Bold Mariner Brewing Co.

Hard Seltzer

GOLD: Smartmouth Brewing, Cirrus Key Lime Pie

SILVER: The Bold Mariner Brewing Company, Party Pineapple Mango Hard Seltzer

BRONZE:Rip Rap Brewing Co., Pomegranate Hibiscus Hard Seltzer

Honorable Mention:

New Realm Brewing Company, Cucumber Lime

Maker’s Craft Brewery, Grapefruit Seltzer

Billsburg Brewery, Hard Seltzer

Heritage Cider 

GOLD:Back Bay’s Farmhouse Apple Blossom Cider

SILVER: Sly Clyde Ciderworks, Gold Rush 

BRONZE: Sly Clyde Ciderworks, Stayman & Rome

Modern Cider 

GOLD:Sly Clyde Ciderworks, Submersive

SILVER: Back Bay’s Farmhouse, Black Berry

BRONZE: Sly Clyde Ciderworks, Surf Hopper

Fruit Cider 

GOLD:Sly Clyde Ciderworks, Sandbar 

SILVER: Sly Clyde Ciderworks, Inkjet 

BRONZE: Back Bay’s Farmhouse, Pungo Strawberry

Full Article via Jeff Maisey at Veer