The results are in and Southwest Florida has brought home seven medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze) from the Best Florida Beer Competition, the most prestigious professional beer competition in Florida!
There were 110 breweries from Florida that submitted over 850 beers which were all competing for only 93 beer-style medals. That means that only around 10% of the beers submitted head home with some hardware. Any brewery going home with a medal should be proud especially when competing against the likes of Cigar City, Big Storm, and Funky Buddha!
The Best Florida Beer Competition is an American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) sanctioned professional event and is culminated with a celebration of the winners at the Brewer's Ball held at Water Works Park in Tampa. At the Brewer's Ball every beer that won a medal is on tap and this is where the breweries find out what medal they actually won (up to this point, it's only known that the beers on tap finished in the top 3).
Since the odds are stacked against the breweries, I'm especially proud of my current employer and favorite SWFL brewery... Momentum Brewhouse! Owners Brian & Kate Hahn and Head Brewer Tom Gambino managed to bring home not one but TWO medals! They earned bronze medals for both Tricked Out (Export Stout) and 566 (Scotch Ale). This is the second year in a row they have brought home medals (earned a gold medal for Twisted Cap barleywine in 2016). Three medals in their first two years of business is sure to keep the momentum goingg.
I had the pleasure of joining the Momentum Brewhouse crew to the Brewer's Ball last year and what a great afternoon of celebrating... and drinking it was! Never have I seen so much great beer and brewers in such a small area. If you work for a Florida brewery and get the chance to attend the Brewer's Ball I highly recommend you don't pass up the chance! Not only is there great beer to be had but also live music, food, and great raffles. It is an afternoon you won't forget.. or maybe you will if you don't stay hydrated.
I'd also like to give a huge shout out to the three other SWFL breweries that earned medals this year! Point Ybel Brewing Co. led the way with three medals (1 gold & 2 silver) and nearly brought home the Best Small Brewery award as well! The area's oldest brewery, Fort Myers Brewing Co., earned a bronze medal and first year brewery, Big Blue Brewing, also earned a bronze medal.
It's great to see our local breweries, old and new, get recognized for all of their hard work and dedication to the craft.
Here's a quick breakdown of the medal's won by our local brewers:
Point Ybel Brewing Co.
Be sure to get out all of these local medal-winning breweries and try some of the best beers Florida has to offer!
It's our support that keeps these breweries pumping out the best beers in Florida
Best of Show Results
Best Large Brewery - Motorworks Brewing
Best Small Brewery - Walking Tree Brewery
Best Brewpub - Wicked Barley Brewing Co.
Best Beer in Florida - Walking Tree Brewery - Barnacled Manatee
Best Cider/Mead - Green Bench Cider & Mead - Purple Rain
Congratulations to all of the breweries that earned medals but especially to the breweries of Southwest Florida!