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Local breweries win 18 medals at state craft beer awards program

The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild’s Craft Beer Cup, a state competition now in its 11th year, was held at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s West Creek location. (Mike Platania’s photos)

Newcomers to the Richmond brewing scene led a strong bounce-back showing by the local industry at the state’s main craft beer competition earlier this week.

On Monday night, 11 local breweries took home a total of 18 medals at the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild’s Craft Beer Cup.

Fine Creek Brewing Co. won a pair of medals, both in the mixed-fermentation category.

The gala, held at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s West Creek location, marked the annual competition among independent brewers in the commonwealth. Breweries could submit up to four beers for consideration in 33 categories.

While Richmond area brewers have historically fared well at the competition, 2021 was a down year as only two medals were awarded to local brewers. But 2022 marked a return to form for Richmond. New breweries, as well as established breweries that recently opened taprooms in Richmond, led the charge.

Powhatan’s Crazy Rooster Brewing Co. won its first-ever medal.

Powhatan’s Crazy Rooster Brewing Co. and Chester’s Dancing Kilt Brewery each took home their first medals since they opened in 2020, and Three Leg Run, which only started pouring its beer, wine and mead this spring, won a medal. Benchtop Brewing Co., a Norfolk outfit that recently opened a taproom in Manchester, was among the most decorated winners, earning three medals.

The event’s host Hardywood won a pair of medals, as did Stone Brewing Co., although 2022 was likely the last year the San Diego brewery will be eligible to compete due to its pending acquisition by Sapporo.

Strangeways Brewing Co. won gold in the European Sour division for the second time.

The guild’s coveted Best In Show award went to Charlottesville-based Decipher Brewing for its Barley Late Kolsch. Harvest Gap Brewery, a farm brewery in Hillsboro, was the runner-up with its Devil Dog Helles Lager.

The full list of local winners:

Richbrau Brewing was the only local brewery to win multiple gold medals. Its lager was the best.

Richbrau Brewing – Richmond

First place: American Lager, “Richbrau Lager”

First place: Mixed Fermentation, “King of Strays with Passionfruit and Guava Sour Ale”

Second place: Vegetable/Spice Beer, “Edgar Imperial Coffee Stout”

Crazy Rooster Brewing Co. – Powhatan

First place: Saison, “Touche De Gris”

Benchtop Brewing Co. – Norfolk/Richmond

First place: Experimental Beer, “Trial of Dmitri”

Second place: Experimental Beer, “Rice Cubed”

Second place: Specialty IPA, “Blanc Water”

Dancing Kilt Brewery – Chester

Second place: British Bitters, “Bitter Duergar Ale”

Bingo Beer Co. – Richmond

Second place: Amber Lager, “Costa Chica”

Three Leg Run – Chester

Third place: Brown Ale, “Paper Boy Brown Ale”

Fine Creek Brewing Co. – Powhatan

Second place: Mixed Fermentation, “Biere De Coupage”

Third place: Mixed Fermentation, “Barrel Aged Golden Sour”

Strangeways Brewing Co. – Richmond

First place: European Sour, “Uberlin”

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery – Richmond

Second place: Pale European Lager, “Fightin’ Hokies Lager”

Third place: Wood Beer, “Gingerbread Barleywine”

Three Notch’d Brewing Co. – Charlottesville/Richmond

First place: Hazy IPA, “King of Clouds Juicy IPA”

Stone Brewing Co. – San Diego/Richmond

Second place: International Lager, “Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager”

Third place: Smoke Beer, “Smokin’ With The Gnomies”

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