With the explosion of excellent craft beers these days, it's not easy picking the country's best beers or breweries.
The highly respected U.S. Open Beer Championship in Atlanta, Ga. took on that task this past weekend with its annual competition that judged more than 2,500 beers, representing 68 different categories.
“This competition is significant because it accepts entries from breweries around the world and allows national, winning homebrews to compete,” Dow Scoggins, director of the U.S. Open Beer Championships said in a release.
Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded for each category. The top 10 breweries were determined by combining the points earned by a company’s beers in each category that it finished in the top three.
Wisconsin's Capital Brewery was named Grand National Champion, with three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. Among its medalists included a gold for its Capital Pilsner in the German lager-pilsner category, a gold for its Lake House in the Munchner Helles category, and gold for its Capital Dark --a Munchner Dunkel.
Georgia’s Sweetwater Brewing Co., which took the top spot last year, took second place. It took home three golds and three silvers at this years contest, including a gold for The Gimp in the Old Ale category, and a silver in the stout category with its Happy Ending Imperial Stout.
Also in Wisconsin, the Stevens Point Brewery won third overall with its four medals. Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat Ale earned the gold medal in American Wheat category. Whole Hog Wee Heavy Scotch Ale won gold in the Scottish Ale category, and the Whole Hog Raspberry Saison won in the French/Belgian Saison Ale category.
Here's how the top 10 winners ranked:
1. Capital Brewery - Middleton, Wisconsin
2. Sweetwater Brewing - Atlanta, Georgia
3. Stevens Point Brewing - Stevens Point, Wisconsin
4. Neustadt Springs Brewing - Neustadt, Ontario
5. Big Island Brewhaus - Waimea, Hawaii
6. Reuben's Brews - Seattle, Washington
7. Nebraska Brewing - Papillion, Nebraska
8. Mother Earth Brewing - Kinston, North Carolina
9. Fullsteam Brewing - Durham, North Carolina
10. Oskar Blues Brewery - Longmont, Colorado