Tuesday, July 10, 2018

U.S. Open Beer Championship Winners Announced: The Local Slant

Did you all mark your calendars for this one? The U.S. Open Beer Championships was right up there with Arbor Day for me up until a couple of years ago because it just didn't have the publicity afforded to the ones we're familiar with, even though it has been held since 2009. So while it isn't as well known as GABF and World Beer Cup and though its website (usopenbeer.com) makes mine look modern, it is still a legitimate competition. It has the unique distinction of allowing homebrewers to enter alongside commercial breweries. One guy even took Silver in the DIPA category! There were 6,300 entries from around the world in 117 categories, and looky here: New Mexico brought back some parting gifts. The 377 Brewery took Gold in the Wood/Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category for Belgian Sour Quad. Nice! One of the few non-chain places in the airport area and it's a winner. Will the local sour chasers be searching this one out? Another underdog brewery, Flix Brewhouse, took a Bronze in the Baltic-Style Porter category for Darth Malt. Great name, great beer, apparently. Santa Fe took two Bronze medals, the first for Santa Fe Pale Ale in the ESB category. Who knew all these local Pale Ales were really ESB Ales? La Cumbre Pyramid Rock Pale Ale, Santa Fe Pale Ale, Bosque IPA winning at World Beer Cup a few years back in the Australian Pale Ale category...FAKE NEWS!!! The second Santa Fe Bronze was for their fantastic 7K IPA in the West Coast IPA Category. Yeah, there's a New England IPA category. Will be one at GABF this year too, finally. Anyway, have I told you how much I enjoyed the 7K on tap at Albuquerque Sunport at the place that stays open late in Terminal B? Hint: Terminal B is the one where you turn right. Back to the beer in a second, but first, someone explain why there are so many late flights out of huge airports yet all the restaurant/bars seem to close by 10pm? NY, LAX, Vegas...yet we have one flight out of little ABQ Sunport at 11:45pm and the bar there is open up almost until boarding. I love that. And I got there after a crazy day of work and had myself the best 7K I could imagine. Two, actually, of the large ones. And then I went into the restroom and chugged an Underberg mini, got on the plane, and settled in with my earplugs and sleep mask. And listened to myself think about how important it was that I get some sleep. Listened to that annoying voice all the way up to landing.
Congratulations to our local winners!

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