Greater Cincinnati breweries made another strong showing at the 2021 U.S. Open Beer Championship, despite a much larger, tougher field than last year.
Leading the way for the Queen City was Fretboard Brewing, which came in ninth in the overall brewery rankings. Fretboard scored a trio of gold medals, including back-to-back wins for Crazy Train Belgian pale ale and Bootsy brut IPA. The third medal came in the international-style pilsner category, where Vlad captured gold.
Overall, Cincinnati breweries brought home 14 U.S. Open Beer Championship gold medals, one of which is shared between two local breweries for a gold medal-winning collaboration beer in the Barleywine Specialty category. That beer, MysteRye, was brewed in collaboration between Narrow Path and the Common Beer Co.
Both breweries also had excellent individual showings. Narrow Path scored three bronze medals on its own, while the Common took two silver medals and one bronze. Narrow Path’s medals came in the Marzen/Oktoberfest (Lovetoberfest), Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale (BA Panic) and Aged Beer (Gentle Giant) categories. The Common’s two silver medals came in the Schwarzbier (Dark Cloud) and Bock (Bock-A-Fella) categories, while the bronze was awarded for Maggs 59 in the Honey Beer category.
Others earning Gold included:
- Big Ash Brewing – Vanilla Cream (Honey Beer)
- Brink Brewing – Hold the Reins (English Mild Ale)
- Cartridge Brewing – Smokestack (Smoked/Rauchbier)
- FigLeaf Brewing – Black Solstice (American Imperial Stout)
- Listermann Brewing – Iceman Cometh (India Pale Lager)
- Municipal Brew Works – Saaz Who? (Bohemian Pilsner)
- Samuel Adams – Stoutopias (Spirits/non-whiskey Barrel Aged Beer)
- Sonder – French 75 (Spirits/non-whiskey Barrel Aged Beer)
- Third Eye Brewing – Higher Purpose (Cream Stout); Higher Consciousness (Strong Scottish Ale)
No, the Spirits/non-whiskey Barrel Aged Beer category winners aren’t misprints. Judges couldn’t decide between Sonder French 75 and Samuel Adams Stoutopias in the Spirits/non-whiskey Barrel Aged Beer category, so both were awarded gold medals. And yes, Samuel Adams is a Cincinnati craft brewery. The more you know!
Oh, and if you’re into civic pride, here’s a number that will give you some: Of the 61 total medals awarded to Ohio breweries, 39 of them came out of Greater Cincinnati. When it’s said that Cincinnati is one of the best beer cities in the country, it’s no joke.
Below is a complete list of the Cincinnati-based medal winners, listed alphabetically by brewery. Each individual medal is formatted by category, medal level and beer name.
Big Ash: Belgian Quadrupel – Bronze – Fat Chants; Honey Beer – Gold – Vanilla Cream.
Braxton Brewing: New England/Juicy IPA – Bronze – Tropic Flare; Imperial Stout Specialty – Bronze – Cafre de Olla.
Brink Brewing: English Mild Ale – Gold – Hold the Reins.
Cartridge Brewing: Munchner Helles, Light – Silver – Up The Hill; Smoked/Rauchbier – Gold – Smokestack; Tea Beer – Bronze – Hollowpoint.
Esoteric: Belgian Dubbel – Bronze – Virtue.
FigLeaf Brewing: American Imperial Stout – Gold – Black Solstice.
Fretboard: 9th overall, Brut IPA – Gold – Bootsy; Belgian Pale Ale – Gold – Crazy Train; International Style Pilsner – Gold – Vlad.
Grainworks Brewing: Specialty Pale Ale – Bronze – Rebel Yell; Scottish Ale – Silver – Scottish MISTS; Aged Beer – Silver – BBA Old Motor Oil (2018).
HighGrain Brewing: Altbier – Silver – Marketplace; Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale – Silver – Oost; Barrel Aged Pale and Dark Beer (under 6.5% ABV) – Silver – Boost.
Listermann Brewing: Imperial Stout Extreme (ABV: 12.5%+) – Bronze – I Hated Listermann Before It Was Cool; India Pale Lager(IPL) – Gold – Iceman Cometh.
Municipal Brew Works: English Summer Ale – Silver – Approachable Blonde; Bohemian Pilsner – Gold – Saaz Who?.
Narrow Path Brewing: Marzen/Oktoberfest – Bronze – Lovetoberfest; Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale – Bronze – BA Panic; Aged Beer – Bronze – Gentle Giant; Barley Wine Specialty – Gold – MysteRye (in collaboration with the Common Beer Co.).
Northern Row: Marzen/Oktoberfest – Silver – Brewer.
Rhinegeist: English Mild Ale – Bronze – Uncle; German Kolsch – Bronze – Shuffle.
Samuel Adams: Spirits/non-whiskey Barrel Aged Beer Barrel Aged Beer – Gold – Stoutopias.
Sonder: Spirits/non-whiskey Barrel Aged Beer – Gold – French 75; Barrel Aged Strong Beer – Silver – Double Oaked Illuminati; Barrel-Aged Fruit Beer – Bronze – Black Forest Cake Otto.
The Common Beer Co.: Barley Wine Specialty – Gold – MysteRye (in collaboration with Narrow Path); Schwarzbier – Silver – Dark Cloud; Bock – Silver – Bock-A-Fella; Honey Beer – Bronze – Maggs 59.
Third Eye Brewing: Cream Stout – Gold – Higher Purpose; Strong Scottish Ale – Gold – Higher Consciousness.
Urban Artifact: Sour/Belgian Lambic – Bronze – Fire Iron; Gose – Silver – Harrow; Cucumber Beer – Silver – Hotel Water.