Seven Richmond-area breweries took home a total of nine awards at the 2020 Virginia Craft Beer Cup.
The awards were announced Monday at the Bon Secours Training Center during a ceremony put on by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. This year’s event had a different feel compared to years past, with attendance down from typically more than 400 to 100-plus. Face masks and hand sanitizer abounded.
The all-day event included discussion on the challenges facing the craft brewing industry as it seeks to rebound from economic hardship induced by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The first three months we felt like we were in an absolute free-fall. And folks just didn’t know where they were going to land,” said Brett Vassey, president and CEO of the guild, adding that this year’s event was the most logistically challenging he’s overseen.
But starting in late April and May, as Virginia approached its Phase 2 and eventually Phase 3 of reopening, Vassey said the industry began to recover.
“We’re always optimistic. It’s going to be a slow slog, it’ll be harsh, but they’ll come out of it. These guys are incredibly resilient,” Vassey said Monday.
This year’s competition featured 267 beers in 21 categories ranging from best in show to bock, saison, Kölsch, sour and stout. The judging took place July 25 at Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn.
Richmond-area breweries’ honors include:
First place in IPA for its Stone IPA.
Bingo Beer Co.
Second place in saison for its Patio Vibes; third place in Pilsner for its Bingo Lager.
Ardent Craft Ales
Third place in saison for its Ardent Saison.
Extra Billy’s Smokehouse & Brewery (Midlothian)
Third place in specialty — other, for its Capital Kölsch.
Fine Creek Brewing Company (Powhatan)
Second place in specialty mixed for its Wine Barrel Aged Golden Sour; third place in specialty mixed for its Herbarium Wild Saison.
Garden Grove Brewing & Urban Winery
First place in strong ale for its Fergus Wee Heavy.
Trapezium Brewing Co. (Petersburg)
Second place in wheat beer for its Chasing Ponies.