You can't put a pin into a map of the United States nowadays without landing within 50 miles from a craft brewery. As big beer continues to battle back against craft beer that's capturing a growing percentage of the market, craft breweries are becoming household names. Brands like New Belgium, Blue Owl, Jester King, and Saint Arnold Brewing Co. are referenced the same way one would reference Budweiser or Miller. What's interesting, though, is how predominately craft beer is expanding in Texas.
Per the Brewer's Association, there were 251 breweries at the end of 2017, which equals 1.3 breweries per capita. Due to Texas' (often silly) distribution laws, the Lone Star State only ranks 46th in number of breweries per capita. However, we've secured the 9th position for the most breweries in a state. Overall in 2016, Texas breweries produce 1.1 million barrels of craft beer each year and the good news is that many of those barrels are coming from the best breweries in the United States right now. If the 2017 Great American Beer Fest results weren't enough with Texas taking home a record number of medals, we're here to report that the Lone Star State captured 11 medals at the 2018 World Beer Cup in Nashville, Tennessee.
Before we get into the winners, let's cover the basics: What is the World Beer Cup? It's an international beer competition organized by the Brewer's Association held every two years in conjunction with the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America. It's important to note that only beers that pay to enter the competition are judged, and the majority of these entrants are from the United States.
Texas earned six gold medals, two silver medals, and three bronze medals. Here's the full list of Texas winners at the World Beer Cup Awards.
Category 15: Honey Beer - 65 Entries
Gold: Honey Please, Armadillo Ale Works; Denton, TX
Category 18: Other Strong Beer - 51 Entries
Gold: Anodyne, Revolver Brewing; Granbury, TX
Category 20: Fresh or Wet Hop Ale - 21 Entries
Silver: This Year's Crop Wet Hop, Pinthouse Pizza - Burnet; Austin, TX
Category 27: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer - 59 Entries
Silver: Double Barrel Knotty, Twin Peaks Brewing Co.; Irving, TX
Category 29: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout - 190 Entries
Gold: Thunder Hug, Wild Acre Brewing Co.; Fort Worth, TX
Category 53: German-Style Altbier - 41 Entries
Bronze: Altstadt Ale, Altstadt Brewery; Fredericksburg, TX
Category 56: South German-Style Hefeweizen - 127 Entries
Gold: National Park Hefeweizen, Big Bend Brewing Co.; Alpine, TX
Category 57: German-Style Wheat Ale - 44 Entries
Gold: Saint Arnold Weedwacker, Saint Arnold Brewing Co.; Houston, TX
Category 70: Other Belgian-Style Ale - 49 Entries
Bronze: Lux Mundi, Save the World Brewing Co.; Marble Falls, TX
Category 92: American-Style Strong Pale Ale - 124 Entries
Gold: Green Battles, Pinthouse Pizza - Burnet; Austin, TX
Category 93: American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA) - 377 Entries
Bronze: Bailing Room, Pinthouse Pizza - S. Lamar; Austin, TX
As a beer enthusiast, these medal-winners aren't anything to shake a stick at. These are quality craft beers, brewed with heart and good ol' Texas determination, and it doesn't hurt that I already dubbed Big Bend Brewing Co.'s National Park Hefeweizen as my river beer of the summer. I don't know about you, but I'm already excited for this year's Texas Craft Beer Festival to check out some of these winners that I haven't tried before, like the Lux Mundi from Save the World Brewing in Marble Falls.
If you're lucky enough to live in Texas, take a road trip this summer to one of these winner's taproom and enjoy that fresh session beer straight out of the tap.
To view the other list of winners and categories, like the Fruit Beer category, the American-Style Sour Ale category, American-Style Amber Lager category, the American-Style Wheat Beer category, the Belgian-Style Witbier category, the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category, and the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer, check it out here.
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