Rogue Ales’ Honey Kolsch Back on Top at Sixth Annual Honey Beer Competition

Honey Kolsch from Rogue Ales & Spirits wins gold at the annual Honey Beer Competition. (image courtesy of the National Honey Board)
Honey Kolsch from Rogue Ales & Spirits wins gold at the annual Honey Beer Competition. (image courtesy of the National Honey Board)

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.

The winners of the 2020 Honey Beer Competition:

Best in Show Winners

  • Gold Medal: Honey Kolsch — Rogue Ales & Spirits, Newport, Oregon
  • Silver Medal: Honey Sucker Pils — Roy-Pitz Brewing Company, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Bronze Medal: Honey Shot — Alvarium Beer Company, New Britian, Connecticut

Category Winners

  • General Ale: Honey Kolsch — Rogue Ales & Spirits, Newport, Oregon
  • Amber / Brown Ales: Stardog — Matthews Brewing Company, Lake Worth Beach, Florida
  • General Lager: Honey Sucker Pils — Roy-Pitz Brewing Company, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Wheat Beer: Honey Weiss — Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
  • Belgian-Style Ale: Dance Language — Oxbow Brewing Company, Newcastle, Maine
  • Fruit / Spiced / Vegetable Beer: Archer — Launch Pad Brewery, Aurora, Colorado
  • Braggot: Tow City — Obscurity, Maple Park, Illinois
  • IPA: Honey Shot — Alvarium Beer Company, New Britian, Connecticut
  • Stouts and Porters: Dark Nectar — Grist House Craft Brewery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Sour: Microburst — Frist House Craft Brewery, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Barrel-Aged: Wood Ya Honey — Jackie O’s Brewery, Athens, Ohio
  • Other/Experimental: Honey Double Maibock — South Shore Brewery, Ashland, Wisconsin
  • Cider: Rose Cider — Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Houston, Texas
  • Packaging/Design: Polymorphism — Speciation Artisan Ales, LCC, Comstock Park, Michigan

For a full list of winners, more information and pictures, please go to http://honeybeercompetition.com/2020-winners/ or contact Keith Seiz of Brightly Creative at keith@brightlycreative.com or 773-213-2564.

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