The results are in from the Great American Beer Festival held this weekend in Denver, and two area breweries came away with medals. Back Forty Beer Company of Gadsden, Alabama won a silver medal for their Truck Stop Honey Ale in the Specialty Honey category, and Yazoo Brewing Company of Nashville, Tennessee won a silver medal for their Sue in the Smoked Beer category.
Back Forty’s Truck Stop Honey entered the Specialty Honey category and went up against 24 other entries. Truck Stop came away with the silver medal. The gold medal went to Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat Ale, and the bronze was awarded to Samuel Adams Honey Porter. This is a monster showing by the small Back Forty Brewing Company as they showed that they could hang with two giant brewers in the category. A big congratulations is in order and much deserved for this win.
Truck Stop Honey is a honey brown ale, and is a great everyday drinking kind of brew. I just recently did a review of it, and you can click here if you are interested in reading more about the beer. Truck Stop is brewed year around, and it can be easily found in Birmingham and throughout most of the state. Here is the brewery’s description of the beer:
“Truck Stop Honey is a medium bodied American brown ale brewed with local honey from Mobile, roasted malts and fresh hops. The balance of sweet wildflower honey and earthy hop aromas come through in every batch. Whether preparing a delicious meal or sitting fireside, Truck Stop Honey will always keep the good times rolling!”
Yazoo sent Sue up against 38 other entries in the Smoked Beer category and they walked away with the silver medal. The gold medal was given to Alaskan Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter 2009, and the bronze was awarded to Gordon Biersch (also of Nashville, TN) Rauchbier. Coming in second to Alaskan Smoked Porter is kind of a big deal because not only is it considered one of the best smoked beers year after year, it is also considered one of the better beers in the world. This is great company for Sue to find itself in. A big congratulations again goes out to Yazoo.
Yazoo Sue was the brewery’s first high-gravity beer. It is a smoked beer with a huge malt base that makes this a tasty treat. It comes in at 9% ABV, so it is a slow sipper that is meant to be savored. Sue can be found around Birmingham, but it is a rotating release from Yazoo’s Brewmaster’s Reserve. This pretty much means if you see it around, buy it then because it will not last very long. It is no secret around here how good this beer is, so do not tell yourself it will be on the shelf on your next visit to your favorite beer retailer. Here is Yazoo’s description of Sue:
“The south is famous for smoking everything. Why not beer? Sue is a big, rich, smoky malt bomb of a beer, with mellow smokiness coming from barley malts smoked with cherry wood, and assertive bitterness from Galena and Perle hops to cleanse the finish.”
The Great American Beer Festival is held each year in Denver, Colorado. It is both a beer festival and beer competition. The competition consists of “five different three-hour judging sessions [taking] place over the three-day period during the week of the festival. Judges are assigned beers to evaluate in their specific area of expertise and never judge their own product or any product in which they have a concern”. Medals from this competition are highly sought after and are a mark of achieving excellence in the brewing craft. For a full list of winners at the festival, click here.
Once again, I would like to extend my congratulations to Yazoo and Back Forty. Thanks for making fantastic beer and helping get the word out about the amazing things going on in craft beer here in the South. Keep up the great work, guys. Prost!