In keeping with the current craft beer trends of high-alcohol, hops all up in your face, barrel aging, and throwing a witch's brew of crazy stuff into the brew kettle, the three most-entered categories were: "Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer" with 113 beers competing, "Herb and Spice Beer or Chocolate Beer" with 109 entries, and "American-Style India Pale Ale" with 104. Gold medal winners in the respective categories were: Bull & Bush's The Legend of the Liquid Brain Imperial Stout out of Denver, Colorado; Coco Jones Porter from Black Raven Brewing Company in Redmond, Washington; and Norm's Raggedy-Ass IPA from the Big Rock Chop House & Brewery in Birmingham, Michigan.
The Oscars best picture-esque category, 2010 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster, went to Asia Pacific Breweries Limited out of Singapore (large brewery), Paso Robles, California's Firestone Walker led by brewmaster Matthew Brynildson (mid-sized), and San Diego, California's Ballast Point Brewing Company (small-sized.)
And CHOW's neighbors at 21st Amendment took home a gold in the "Other Strong Beer" category for Imperial Jack, an Imperial ESB made in a collaboration with San Francisco beer-speakeasy Elizabeth Street Brewery.
Image ©2008 Jason E. Kaplan