Ohio craft brewers reached new heights at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), held Sep. 20-22. The Ohio delegation won a total of 14 awards at the nation’s most prestigious brewing competition.
Brink Brewing in Cincinnati paced the Ohio field this year with two medals, a gold for Moozie in the Sweet Stout or Cream Stout category, as well as a silver for Hold The Reins in the English-Style Mild Ale category. The two medals earned Brink the award for Very Small Brewing Company of the Year, the top honor given to a brewery producing under 1,000 barrels of beer in the previous calendar year.
Three Ohio beers earned repeat honors this year, including Brink’s Moozie stout, which also won gold last year. Midwest Red IPA by Masthead Brewing in Cleveland took gold in the Double Hoppy Red Ale category after winning bronze in 2017. Midnight Moonlight by Fat Head’s Brewery in Middleburg Heights took bronze in the American-Style Black Ale category, the fourth consecutive year the beer has earned an award. Fat Head’s has now won awards in 10 straight GABF competitions, earning a total of 22 medals.
Three first-time GABF entrants from northeast Ohio won medals at the competition. Lockport Brewery in Bolivar took home a gold medal for Gateway Cream Ale in the American-Style Cream Ale category. Ignite Brewing in Barberton earned silver for Cherry Blonde in the American-Style Fruit Beer category. Paradigm Shift Brewing in Massillon won bronze for Neighbor Girl in the Belgian-Style Tripel category.
Two Ohio breweries took home gold in their first GABF medal wins: MadTree Brewing in Cincinnati (Happy Amber in the Extra Special Bitter category) and Royal Docks Brewing in North Canton (Pendragon in the Herb & Spice Beer category).
Four Ohio breweries added to their trophy case: Maize Valley (Lock, Stock, and Brandy Barrel, silver in Aged Beer), Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland (Nano – OG Lager, silver in International-Style Pilsener), The Brew Kettle in Strongsville (Babee Bock, bronze in Munich-Style Dunkel or European-Style Dark Lager), Columbus Brewing Company in Columbus (Melk Stout, bronze in Sweet Stout or Cream Stout), and Lager Heads Brewing in Medina (Oktoberfest, bronze in American-Style Amber Lager).
“This record-setting year for Ohio breweries at the GABF competition goes to show that we’re making world-class beers here in the Buckeye State,” said Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. “Some of the best beers in the country are made here, both in our big cities and small towns, by established powerhouses and new startup breweries. It’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker in Ohio.”
Since 2009, 27 Ohio craft breweries have combined to win 66 medals—22 gold—at the Great American Beer Festival.
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; and to serve as a beacon for local production and manufacturing through craft beer, resulting in diverse choices for consumers.