2015 Oregon Beer Awards Winners and Recap

From newschoolbeer.com, by Samurai Artist
2015 Oregon Beer Awards Winners and Recap

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The first annual Oregon Beer Awards were announced last night at an Awards Ceremony to remember at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, Oregon. The Oregon Beer Awards organized by Willamette Week along with myself and Ben Edmunds of Breakside Brewery as conceptual and creative consultants was founded to give the states beer industry our own awards as chosen by those in the industry itself instead a bunch of know nothing critics like myself. About 20 experts in the field argued for 3 hours in determining the initial 15 categories for the first ever Oregon Beer Awards and narrowed down a list of nominees. At that point the voting was opened up to a large pool of 200 beer experts, mostly those who actually work for breweries and taprooms, distributors, some homebrewers and writers. This means that the Oregon Beer Awards are truly the entire local communities awards, not one person or even one publication’s picks but based on a large consensus of people who know their stuff. For the first year we elected to keep the number of categories smaller and not get bogged down with styles and sub-styles that the public may not have heard of, yet cover enough bases to cover a wide range of styles and businesses. For a first year project, I think we did pretty well.

 

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Gold medal winners received a OBA tap handle

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The Willamette Week editorial staff announced their Top 10 Beers of the Year as well, this is a very subjective list lead by Arts Editor Martin Cizmar. This year is a really wild list of entries all over the board, most of which I have enjoyed, not a lot that would be on my top 10 but an interesting highlight on some under-recognized beers. I certainly cant argue with a list that consists of the under-appreciated Upright Brewing Pilsner and my personal favorite beer from last years Portland Fruit Beer Fest – Deschutes Peach Slap.

WW Top 10 Beers of 2014

#1 – Upright Brewing’s Engelberg Pils

Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing

Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing

#2 Deschutes Brewery’s Peach Slap

New Ex Novo Head Brewer Jason Barbee with his former boss Ben Kehe of Deschutes Brewery

New Ex Novo Head Brewer Jason Barbee with his former boss Ben Kehe of Deschutes Brewery

#3 Boneyard Brewing’s Hop-a-Wheelie

#4 Feckin Brewery’s Top O’ The Feckin Mornin’

#5 Pints Brewing’s Schwarzbier

Fat Heads Head Brewer Mike Hunsaker

Fat Heads Head Brewer Mike Hunsaker

#6 Fat Head’s Brewing’s Alpenglow

#7 Breakside Brewery’s La Tormenta

#8 Caldera Brewing’s Red Sea

#9 Widmer Brother’s Altbier

#10 pFriem Family Brewers Golden Promise Single Malt Pale Ale

Jeff Alworth (Beervana), Doug Rehberg (Widmer) and Pete Dunlop (Beervana Buzz)

Jeff Alworth (Beervana), Doug Rehberg (Widmer) and Pete Dunlop (Beervana Buzz)

Rob and Kurt Widmer

Rob and Kurt Widmer

 

The first annual Oregon Beer Awards were based on categories and nominees from a 20 person pool of beer experts including the likes of John Harris, Drew Worden, Erin Grey Kemplin, Lisa Allen, Whitney Burnside, Geoff Phillips, Ben Edmunds, Jeff Alworth, Josh Grgas, Erika Huston, Steve Jones, Paul Kasten, Waylon McCallister and Amity Worden and more. When categories that people on our panel would qualify for came up, those people would leave the room. For example, I organize a number of festivals so I left the room when “Best Beer Festival” category was discussed. Our group of experts could be wider but those are who was available to come and naturally it becomes a little bit about proximity. Also this was just the first year of the OBA and organizers hope to continue to grow the voting pool so if your a beer expert, work in the industry or a homebrewer you can apply to be a voter here: http://bit.ly/obavotingacademy

With that, here are the 2015 Oregon Beer Awards Winners.

 

Best New Brewery
Gold – Buoy Beer Company

Silver – Stormbreaker Brewing

Bronze – Ex Novo Brewing (Portland, OR)

 

Best Beer Bar
Gold – Belmont Station

Silver – Bailey’s Taproom

Bronze – Saraveza

 

Josh pFriem

Josh pFriem

Best Brewpub Experience
Gold – pFriem Family Brewers

Silver – Breakside Brewery

Bronze – Fort George Brewery

 

Best Beer Festival
Gold – Cheers to Belgian Beers

Silver – Hood River Hops Festival

Bronze – Oregon Brewers Festival

 

Breakside Brewery Crew

Breakside Brewery Crew

Brewery Of The Year
Gold – Breakside Brewery

Silver – The Commons Brewery

Bronze – Barley Browns Brew Pub

 

Best Lager
Gold – Heater-Allen Pils

Silver – Upright Brewing Engelberg Pils

Bronze – The Commons Dunkle

 

Best Dark
Gold – Barley Brown’s Turmoil

Silver – Fort George’s Cavatica Stout

Bronze – Pelican’s Tsunami Stout

George Dimeo of Maletis and Tim Ensign of Fort George

George Dimeo of Maletis and Tim Ensign of Fort George

 

Best Sour/Wild Ale
Gold – Logsdon’s Peche n’ Brett

Silver – The Commons Flemish Kiss

Bronse – TIE Breakside Brewery’s La Tormenta and The Ale Apothecary’s La Tache

 

Best Belgian Style
Gold – The Commons Urban Farmhouse Ale

Silver – pFriem’s Belgian Dark Strong

Bronze – Upright’s Five

 

Best Barrel-Aged Beer (non Sour)
Gold – Pelican’s Mother of All Storms

Silver – Block 15′s Super Nebula

Bronze – Crux’s Tough Love

 

Widmer's Ben Dobler, Deschutes Ben Kehe and Widmer's Aaron Burget

Widmer’s Ben Dobler, Deschutes Ben Kehe and Widmer’s Aaron Burget

Best Island of Misfit Beers
Gold – Burnside’s Sweet Heat

Silver – TIE Gigantic’s Too Much Coffee Man / Upright’s Flora Rustica

Bronze – The Commons Pumpernickel Rye Saison

 

Best Hoppy Beer
Gold – Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack IPA

Silver – Breakside IPA

Bronze – Fort George, Block 15, Boneyard Brewing 3-Way IPA

 

Jerome Chicvara from Maletis Beverage with James Buxman of Laurelwood Brewing

Jerome Chicvara from Maletis Beverage with James Buxman of Laurelwood Brewing

Best Strong Hoppy Beer
Gold – Laurelwood’s Megafauna

Silver – Block 15′s Sticky Hands

Bronze – Boneyard’s Notorious IPA3

 

Best Traditional Beer
Gold – Occidental’s Altbier

Silver – Pelican’s Kiwanda Cream Ale

Bronze – Old Town’s Kolsch

 

Best Session Beer
Gold – Barley Brown’s Handtruck Pale Ale

Silver – Fort George’s Suicide Squeeze

Bronze – GoodLife’s Sweeet As! Pacific Pale Ale

Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing accepts his award from WW's Martin Cizmar

Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing accepts his award from WW’s Martin Cizmar

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