2019 Oregon Beer Awards Winners and Recap

2019 Oregon Beer Awards Ceremony co-hosts, Joe Sanders and Ben Love.
2019 Oregon Beer Awards Ceremony co-hosts, Joe Sanders and Ben Love.

Billed as the Academy Awards for Oregon Beer, this evening Revolution Hall was host to the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards. The awards ceremony, now in its fifth year was filled with mainly beer industry folks for the sold out 2-1/2 hour awards ceremony.

It’s been a few years since we’ve attended the Oregon Beer Awards and thanks to Crux Fermentation Project as they were gracious enough to pass along an unused ticket to us. In all the awards ceremony has improved since we last attended a few years ago. A huge plus was keeping the ceremony on track and keeping it at under three hours!

The evening’s biggest winners were the multiple brewery locations from both 10 Barrel Brewing and Breakside Brewery. 10 Barrel Brewing were awarded 5 Gold Medals, 2 Silver Medals and 3 Bronze Medals from across their various breweries in Oregon. Breakside Brewery were awarded 3 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal and 5 Bronze Medals. Breakside Brewery was also awarded the Brewery of the Year: Large.

Prior to the awards ceremony getting underway, organizers hired a great house band with the Portland based Bitches of the Sun. Then at 6:05pm the evening’s awards began with a video featuring the OBA hosts, Joe Sanders from Old Town Brewing and Ben Love from Gigantic Brewing. Its comedy skit was a funny take on the seriousness of these brewing awards.

Prior to taking the stage, co-hosts Ben Love and Joe Sanders were part of a comedy video that led into the beginning of the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards Ceremony.
Prior to taking the stage, co-hosts Ben Love and Joe Sanders were part of a comedy video that led into the beginning of the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards Ceremony.

When OBA organizer and Breakside Brewery Brewmaster, Ben Edmunds took the stage he went over many of the numbers as it relates to the beer competition. He stated that the 5th annual OBAs were the largest OBA ever. A total of 133 breweries submitted beers for a combined 1,090 entries. At $30 an entry, the competition alone brought in $32,700 to the Willamette Week, the host of the awards. Quite the revenue stream for the weekly paper, as this dollar amount does not include all of the 30+ category sponsorships and ticket sales, minus the venue rental fee.

The Oregon Beer Awards select and celebrate Oregon’s top beers in 25 categories along with honoring Oregon’s breweries, bars and festivals in seven additional categories and a Hall of Fame inductee. With nearly 1100 entries the chance in winning is less than 7%. The beer categories with the most beers submitted include 79 IPA, 66 Fresh Hop IPA/Pale, 65 Hazy Hoppy, 63 Barrel Aged, and 61 Flavored.

Breweries with multiple TTB licensed brewing facilities may enter 10 per site, with a maximum of 40 beers across any family or chain of breweries. To learn more background on the awards click here.

Breakside Brewery wins Brewery of the Year - Large at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Breakside Brewery wins Brewery of the Year – Large at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

Here is the recap of winners from the 5th annual Oregon Beer Awards held on February 26, 2019.

Brewery of the Year: Small – Ruse Brewing
Brewery of the Year: Medium – Block 15 Brewing
Brewery of the Year: Large – Breakside Brewery

It was strange to see Block 15 Brewing win the Brewery of the Year: Medium as the Corvallis based brewer were not awarded any medals during the evening’s ceremony. Maybe a private committee chose these three winning breweries. Most award ceremonies honor these Brewery of the Year honors by assigning points to the medals won in the head to head competition.

In the following eight categories about 300 or so beer industry folks received an email invitation to vote on their top choice of all nominees. The voting panel would vote for only one option in each category. We list the winner followed by the other nominees that the industry voters had to choose from. Yes, some interesting and strange choices to select from.

Best Beer Bar/Bottle Shop: Belmont Station
Other nominees: Bailey’s Taproom, The BeerMongers, The Bier Stein, Saraveza, Imperial Bottle Shop, Tin Bucket, Lombard House, John’s Marketplace, and Loyal Legion

Best Brewpub Experience: Wayfinder Beer
Other nominees: Breakside Brewery (NW Slabtown). Fort George Brewery, pFreim Family Brewers, StormBreaker Brewing (Mississippi Location), Buoy Beer, Ex Novo Brewing, Pelican Brewing (Pacific City), Deschutes Brewery PDX, and Hopworks Urban Brewery (Powell)

Wayfinder Beer wins Best Brewpub Experience at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Wayfinder Beer wins Best Brewpub Experience at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

Best Beer Festival: Festival of the Dark Arts
Other nominees: Bend Brewfest, Brewstillery Fest, Holiday Ale Fest, Oregon Brewer’s Festival, Hood River Hops Fest, Portland Farmhouse & Wild Ale Fest, Portland Fruit Beer Fest, KLCC Brewfest, and Portland Craft Beer Festival

Best New Brewery: Ruse Brewing (est. 2015)
Other nominees: West Coast Grocery Company, Modern Times PDX, Ferment Brewing Company, Von Ebert, Freehand Brewing, The Wheel Apizza Pub, Boss Rambler Beer Club, Porter Brewing, and Dirty Pretty Beer

Beer Doing More: Ex Novo Brewing
Other nominees: Ninkasi Brewing, Silver Moon Brewing, Breakside Brewery, Hopworkd Urban Brewery, Migration Brewing, Pelican Brewing, Baerlic Brewing, Widmer Brothers, and Deschutes Brewery

Ex Novo Brewing won the Beer Doing More award at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Ex Novo Brewing won the Beer Doing More award at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

Best Collaboration: Terrifico Horror Pils (Wayfinder Beer & Heater Allen & Modern Times)
Other nominees: 3-Way IPA (Fort George & Modern Times & Holy Mountain), Peach Punch You In The Eye (Great Notion Brewing & Block 15 Brewing), Modern Beast (Little Beast Brewing & Modern Times), Hazy Rider (StormBreaker Brewing & Old Town Brewing), Coming Out Party (Breakside Brewery & Comrade Brewing), Rauch Helles (Heater Allen & Wayfinder Beer), Super Uncool IPA (Upright Brewing & Ruse Brewing), and Olde Imperial Stout (StormBreaker Brewing & Bull Run Distillery)

Best Branding: Gigantic Brewing
Other nominees: Ex Novo, Breakside Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, Wayfinder Beer, Little Beast Brewing, Block 15 Brewing, Ecliptic Brewing, and Ruse Brewing

Gigantic Brewing wins Best Branding at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Gigantic Brewing wins Best Branding at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

2019 Hall of Fame Inductee: Jim Parker
Other nominees: Lisa Morrison, Art Larrance, Larry Sidor, Karl Ockert, Kurt & Rob Widmer, Fred Bowman, Gary Fish, Mike & Brian McMenamin, Carl Singmaster, and Jamie Floyd

It was heartwarming to see the OBAs call an audible and honored the late Jim Parker by inducting him into the Oregon Beer Hall of Fame. Jim recently passed away from a debilitating stroke he suffered late last year. Through the years, Jim’s influence in the craft beer industry in Oregon and beyond was well noted. He will be sorely missed and it was great to see him posthumously honored.

John Harris inducts the late Jim Parker into the Oregon Beer Hall of Fame at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
John Harris inducts the late Jim Parker into the Oregon Beer Hall of Fame at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Joel Parker, the son of the late Jim Parker accepting his father's Oregon Beer Hall of Fame award at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Joel Parker, the son of the late Jim Parker accepting his father’s Oregon Beer Hall of Fame award at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

When it comes to the beers honored from the previous year, the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards honored breweries in 25 various beer categories. For each category the judges chose a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winner. Here’s a rundown on all of the evening’s winners.

Flavored Beers
Gold: Salem Ale Works – Hootenanny Honey Basil
Silver: 10 Barrel Brewing – Passionate Envy
Bronze: Three Mugs Brewing – Mo’ Honey Ale

Classic UK Styles
Gold: Crux Fermentation Project – Gramps Ale
Silver: Level Beer – Biscuits to a Bear
Bronze: 10 Barrel Brewing – RedeuX

Belgian Beers
Gold: Breakside Brewery Dekum – Basic Witch
Silver: Ancestry Brewing – Belgian Dark Strong
Bronze: Wayfinder Beer – Rumination

Sasquatch Brewery takes the Gold for Fresh Hop Pale + IPA at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Sasquatch Brewing takes the Gold for Fresh Hop Pale + IPA at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

Fresh Hop Pale Ale and India Pale Ale
Gold: Sasquatch Brewing – Hey, I Just Met You and This is Hazy
Silver: pFriem Family Brewers – Fresh Hop Centennial IPA
Bronze: Breakside Brewery and Taproom – What Fresh Beast

Other Fresh Hop Beers
Gold: West Coast Grocery Co. – Willamette’s With Love
Silver: StormBreaker – SteamBreaker
Bronze: Level Beer – Fresh Hopped Let’s Play!

Golden Blonde & Light Ales
Gold: Bend Brewing Co. – Alpha Blonde
Silver: Breakside Brewery Slabtown – True Gold
Bronze: Wild Ride Brewing – Big Booty Golden Ale

Coffee Beers
Gold: 10 Barrel Brewing East Side Pub – C4K
Silver: Bend Brewing Co. – Coffee N Cream
Bronze: Bend Brewing Co. – StumpTHUMPin’ Coffee Brown

10 Barrel Brewing were on stage quite a bit at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards Ceremony.
10 Barrel Brewing were on stage quite a bit at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards Ceremony.

Pilsner
Gold: 10 Barrel Brewing East Side Pub – Smooth Talker
Silver: Sunriver Brewing – Czech Meowt
Bronze: 10 Barrel Brewing Portland – Whitburger

Stout
Gold: Barley Brown’s Brew Pub – Havoc
Silver: Wolf Tree Brewery – Ship Biscuits
Bronze: Bend Brewing Co – Trade War Export Stout

Great Notion Brewing at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Great Notion Brewing at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

Pastry/Dessert
Gold: Great Notion Brewing NW – Luminous
Silver: Alesong Brewing & Blending – Senor Rhino
Bronze: Breakside Brewery & Taproom Milwaukie – Fourth Wave

Ecliptic Brewing wins at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Ecliptic Brewing wins a Gold Medal at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

Classic North American Styles
Gold: Ecliptic Brewing – Capella Porter
Silver: Sunriver Brewing – Fuzztail
Bronze: Oakshire Brewing – Ill Tempered Gnome

American Sours
Gold: 10 Barrel Brewing West Side Pub – Allure
Silver: Ale Apothecary – The Beer Formerly Known as La Tache
Bronze: Breakside Brewery & Taproom Milwaukie – Passionfruit Sour

Barrel Aged Beers
Gold: Breakside Brewery & Taproom Milwaukie – The Oligarch
Silver: Ecliptic Brewing – Ecliptic + Tesoaria Blood of Jupiter
Bronze: Pelican Brewing – Mother of All Storms

Sessionable Hoppy Beers
Gold: 10 Barrel Brewing West Side Pub – IPK
Silver: Migration Brewing – Infinite Riff
Bronze: Sunriver Brewing – 20 Klicks

Rare + Historical
Gold: Breakside Brewery Dekum – Phantasmagoria
Silver: Wayfinder Beer – Relapse IPA
Bronze: Monkless Belgian Ales – Peppercorn Imperial Wit

German Strong Lagers, Wheat/Rye + Smoke Beers
Gold: Heater Allen Brewing – Export Lager
Silver: Culmination Brewing – On the Keller
Bronze: Buoy Beer – The Decapitator

Strong Hoppy Beers (7.5% ABV + Higher)
Gold: StormBreaker Brewing – Triple Double IPA
Silver: Ruse Brewing – Interpreter
Bronze: Breakside Brewery Slabtown – India Golden Ale

Red Beers
Gold: Deschutes Brewery Public House Portland – Common Have a Pint
Silver: Full Sail Brewing – Amber
Bronze: StormBreaker Brewing St. John’s – ALTerior Motive

Wood + Barrel-Aged Sour + Brett Beers
Gold: Upright Brewing – Saison Ellende
Silver: 10 Barrel Brewing West Side Pub – Ginoculation
Bronze: Stickmen Brewing – I Heart Wood 2019

Light German + Bohemian Styles (6% ABV & Lower)
Gold: 10 Barrel Brewing West Side Pub – Baywindow
Silver: Zoiglahaus Brewing – Zoigl-Schwarz
Bronze: Breakside Brewery Dekum – Lucky As Helles

Dark Hoppy Beers
Gold: Migration Brewing – Cannonball
Silver: Ruse Brewing – Dark Between the Stars
Bronze: Immersion Brewing – Ring the Alarm

Brett + Mixed Culture Beers
Gold: Logsdon Farmhouse Ales – ZuurPruim
Silver: Logsdon Farmhouse Ales – Spontane Wilde
Bronze: Oregon City Brewing – Coming to Fruition: Cherry

Hazy + Hoppy Beers
Gold: Laurelwood Brewing – Kids These Daze
Silver: Migration Brewing – Mo-HAZE-ic
Bronze: Old Town Brewing – Borneo

American IPA (6%-7.5% ABV)
Gold: Sunriver Brewing – Escape from Escondido
Silver: Worthy Brewing – Strata
Bronze: Baerlic Brewing – Punk Rock Time

Alesong Brewing & Blending on stage during the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.
Alesong Brewing & Blending on stage during the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards.

Experimental
Gold: Alesong Brewing & Blending – French 75
Silver: Alesong Brewing & Blending – Gose Anjeo
Bronze: 10 Barrel Brewing West Side Pub – Gindulgence

Congratulations to all of the winners at the 2019 Oregon Beer Awards!

Andi Prewitt, writer of Willamette Week's 2019 Guide To Oregon Beer.
Andi Prewitt, writer of Willamette Week’s 2019 Guide To Oregon Beer that is now out on newsstands.
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