Longmont, Colorado — It’s rather fitting that a beer “Dedicated to Bees” took the top spot in the 2020 Honey Beer Competition, which garnered 220 entries from professional brewers throughout the United States. Rogue Ales and Spirits’ Honey Kolsch took Best in Show honors, marking the beer’s return to the top spot after claiming it in the first two Honey Beer Competitions conducted by the National Honey Board.
The winning Honey Kolsch-style ale is brewed with honey created by the brewery’s colonies of bees at its Hopyard in Independence, Ore. The beer also took top honors in the General Ales category.
“It’s quite remarkable to have Rogue Ales’ Honey Kolsch back on top at this year’s competition, and a testament to the true quality of the beer,” Catherine Barry, National Honey Board’s director of marketing, says. “For a competition that was held on National Honey Bee Day, it’s appropriate that a brewery dedicated to the importance of honey bees was recognized for brewing the best beer made with honey in the United States.”
Rounding out Best in Show honors included Honey Sucker Pils from Roy-Pitz Brewing Company in Chambersburg, Pa.; and Honey Shot Double IPA from Alvarium Beer Company in New Britain, Conn. This was Alvarium’s second win in a row in the IPA category.
This year’s Honey Beer Competition looked quite different due to the ongoing global pandemic. The National Honey Board took significant measures to ensure the safety of the competition, including reducing the number of judges and extending the competition to two days. All judges and stewards were required to wear masks and glass barriers separated each judging team.
The Honey Beer Competition was judged by 12 certified judges from the Beer Judge Certification Program and featured 13 beer style categories, and a cider, hard seltzer and design category. The submitted beers were judged on their aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and the role honey played in the beer.