Monday, September 25, 2023

Ohio Craft Brewers Win Big at Great American Beer Festival

Ohio Breweries Set New State Record at Great American Beer Festival

Thirteen of Ohio’s independent craft breweries combine for 19 medals, including eight gold.

DENVER – Ohio’s independent craft breweries brought home an impressive number of the industry's most prestigious awards at the 2023 Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony, held on Saturday, September 23. The 19 medal haul smashes the previous Ohio record of 15, set in 2019.

Fat Head's Brewery, Ohio’s most decorated brewery at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions, led the state with three gold medals. Head Hunter took home top honors in the American-style India Pale Ale category, toping a field of 206 entries from across the country. Head Hunter also earned gold in the same category at this year's World Beer Cup awards, giving them unquestioned bragging rights to the best beer of its style. Fat Head's popular Weizenbock, Alpenglow, struck gold for a fifth time at the Great American Beer Festival, reinforcing their dominance in the German Wheat Ale category. Goggle Fogger earned a second gold in the South German-style Hefeweizen category after winning its first in 2020.

Third Eye Brewing made a strong showing at this year's competition, earning three solo medals, a medal in the collaboration beer category – shared with Narrow Path Brewing – and the award for Brewery of the Year (1,001-2,000 barrels). The Sharonville brewery brought home gold for Chai Eye Captain in the Herb and Spice Beer category, another gold for Double Astral in the Chocolate Beer category, and a silver for Gourd Darn-it in the Pumpkin Beer category. Mounds of Importance, earning the collaboration silver medal, was inspired by Third Eye's Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup award-winning Higher Purpose milk stout and Narrow Path's U.S. Open Beer Championship medalist Coconut Porter.

Narrow Path earned their own solo medal at this year's competition for Restless Seas in the German-style Sour category. The beer also has earned a bronze award at the 2022 World Beer Cup.

Akron's Hoppin' Frog Brewery continued the trend of winning awards on both of the country's most prestigious stages with a Great American Beer Festival gold medal for Smashing Honey Blonde in the Honey Beer category after taking silver in this year's World Beer Cup. Hoppin' Frog has earned a total of eight medals at the Festival dating back to 2008.

Cincinnati’s seemingly unstoppable Brink Brewing continued their medal streak with a gold for Lil Zoomie in the Coffee Stout or Porter category and a bronze for Moozie in the Sweet Stout or Cream Stout. Brink has won at least one medal in each year of competition since the brewery’s founding in 2017.

Rhinegeist took home top honors in the New Zealand India Pale Ale category with Kiwi (the Bird). This marks the brewery's third Great American Beer Festival medal, and first gold, since 2015.

Also returning to the medal stand in 2023 were The Brew Brothers of Columbus and Royal Docks Brewing of North Canton. Breweries earning their first Great American Beer Festival awards include Eudora Brewing of Dayton, Inside the Five Brewing of Sylvania, Noble Creature Wild Ales & Lagers of Youngstown and Seventh Son Brewing of Columbus.

Since 1987, 60 Ohio craft breweries have combined to win 202 medals – 70 gold – at the Great American Beer Festival.

"Our independent breweries are proving without a doubt that Ohio is a top-tier destination for craft beer," said Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. "From our perennial powerhouse breweries to our impressive young upstarts, you can find award winning, world-class beer all over the state."
2023 medal-winning Ohio craft beers:
Fat Head's Brewery
  • Alpenglow – Gold – German Wheat Ale
  • Goggle Fogger – Gold – South German-Style Hefeweizen
  • Head Hunter – Gold – American-Style India Pale Ale
Third Eye Brewing 
  • Chai Eye Captain – Gold – Herb and Spice Beer
  • Double Astral – Gold – Chocolate Beer
  • Gourd Darn-it – Silver – Pumpkin Beer
Brink Brewing
  • Lil Zoomie – Gold – Coffee Stout or Porter
  • Moozie – Bronze – Sweet Stout or Cream Stout

Hoppin' Frog Brewery

  • Smashing Honey Blonde – Gold – Honey Beer


  • Kiwi (The Bird) – Gold – New Zealand India Pale Ale

The Brew Brothers

  • Toasty – Silver – English Mild or Bitter

Eudora Brewing

  • Daytonian Rhapsody – Silver – Bohemian-Style Pilsener

Inside the Five Brewing

  • Megaphone – Silver – Irish-Style Red Ale

Narrow Path Brewing

  • Restless Seas – Silver – German Sour Ale

Noble Creature Wild Ales & Lagers

  • Earth & Aether – Silver – Belgian-Style Sour Ale

Seventh Son Brewing

  • Stone Fort – Silver – English-Style Brown Ale

MadTree Brewing Company

  • Legendary Lager – Bronze – Light Lager

Royal Docks Brewing

  • Pumpkinslayer – Bronze – Pumpkin Beer

Narrow Path/Third Eye

  • Mounds of Importance – Silver – Collaboration Beer

Founded in 2007, the Ohio Craft Brewers Association is a nonprofit guild that exists to promote, preserve and unify Ohio’s craft brewing industry. We aspire to be recognized as the industry leader at both state and national levels for preserving the art of making high-quality, unique craft beer; to serve as the unified voice for craft brewers across the state; to advocate on behalf of the Ohio craft beer industry; to contribute to systemic, local community development by driving economic and job growth, while creating experiences that bring people together; to promote safe, responsible enjoyment of Ohio craft beer; and to serve as a beacon for local production and manufacturing through craft beer, resulting in diverse choices for consumers.


Photos below (credit to Ohio Craft Brewers Association):
1) Brewers from Third Eye Brewing and Narrow Path Brewing accept their silver medal for Mounds of Importance collaboration beer.
2) Zachary Bastin and Fred Karm of Hoppin' Frog Brewery accept their gold medal for Smashing Honey Blonde.
3) Brewers from Fat Head's Brewery accept their gold medal for Head Hunter American-style IPA.
4) Brewers from Third Eye Brewing accept their Brewery of the Year award.

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