Another year, another impressive showing for local breweries at the Great American Beer Festival. This time, Charlotte brewers won three bronze medals, with The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and Sycamore Brewing each taking home well-earned hardware.
Hornet’s Nest Hefeweizen by OMB took bronze in the South German-Style Hefeweizen category, a field containing 128 entries. This is OMB’s second GABF medal; it took home silver for Mecktoberfest in 2012.
This is OMB’s second big medal win this year, fresh off a gold at the European Beer Star competition for Fat Boy Baltic Porter. It joins rarified air, just one of three domestic breweries medalling this year in both of these competitions. (Firestone Walker Brewing Company & Alaskan Brewing Company round out the trio.)
To celebrate, OMB is offering half-pint samples to of-age taproom visitors of both Hornet’s Nest and Fat Boy Friday, Oct. 13, in case you have yet to try either winner.
Sycamore scored a pair of bronze medals for the same beer, Sun Grown Craft Lager. The Light Lager category got 45 entries, and the American-Style Lager or Malt Liquor drew 75 entries.
This is the third GABF bronze for Sycamore, which won in 2015 for its Southern Girl Blonde.
Winning two medals for the same beer in the same competition is rather unusual. Breweries are allowed to enter five beers per location into the Great American Beer Festival. With Sycamore’s North End production facility now operating in addition to their original South End location, the brewery could enter up to 10 entered beers.
This year marked the 35th Great American Beer Festival. Overall, 7,923 entries were submitted in this year’s competition, up from 7,227 entries the year previous.
N.C. breweries took home 14 medals (3 gold, 3 silver, and 8 bronze) — an impressive haul, but down slightly from the high-water mark of 17 medals in 2016.
Interested in giving the winning Charlotte entries a try? Lucky you: Both are year-round draft offerings, with Hornet’s Nest making its way into bottles and Sun Grown into cans.
Photo: Courtesy of Ryan Self