2 MN Breweries Win At U.S. Open Beer Championship
Two Minnesota beer makers—August Schell Brewing Company and Badger Hill Brewing Company—received medals at the 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship, which judged entries from both professional breweries and home-brewers from throughout the world.
The competition judged more than 2,500 beers that represented 68 different categories. Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded for each category. Breweries were then ranked by their awards, receiving three points for each gold medal, two points for silver, and one point for bronze.
New Ulm-based Schell’s received a gold medal in the American Amber/California Common category for its Schell’s FireBrick beer. It also won two bronze medals—one in the German Lager/Pilsener group for its Schell’s Pils, and one in the American Cream Ale category for its Schell’s Deer Brand beer.
Minnetonka-based Badger Hill, meanwhile, received a bronze medal in the ESB (Extra Special/Strong Bitter) category for its Minnesota Special Bitter beer.
While this is the first year Badger Hill has won a medal at the U.S. Open Beer Championship, Schell’s has won numerous awards in the past. In 2012, the brewery received two silver medals and one bronze medal and in 2011, it was ranked among the top 10 breweries overall.
Middleton, Wisconsin-based Capital Brewery was named this year’s Grand National Champion, having received three gold medals, two silver, and two bronze. Click here for the full list of winners.
In addition to receiving U.S. Open Beer Championship medals, Schell’s Grain Belt Premium beer was recently ranked first among the best “36 Cheap American Beers” by the Gawker Media-owned website Deadspin.com, which focuses primarily on sports news.
Schell's President Ted Marti told New Ulm-based newspaper The Journal: “I don’t know if I care for calling it a ‘cheap’ beer, but if you characterize it as a list of ‘value’ beers, it’s a pretty good honor.”
In March, Schell’s announced plans for a $2 million expansion that would boost its brewing capacity by 66.7 percent. That expansion began Monday. Meanwhile, the Brewers Association recently ranked Schell’s 25th on its list of the top 50 U.S. brewing companies, based on 2012 beer sales volume.