Hickory-Hops-medalsHickory – On Saturday, April 16, nearly 2000 festivarians were in attendance at Hickory Hops in Downtown Hickory, NC to enjoy beer, camaraderie and spring weather. The 14th annual beer festival, featuring craft brewed beer from more than 50 breweries was the reason for the assembly and to recognize the 281 medalists and Best of Show winners at the 11th Carolinas Championship of Beer (CCB).

The CCB starts with craft brewed beer. Hickory Hops brewery participants are encouraged to send bottled beer in for judging. On March 19, nearly 100 volunteers gathered at Olde Hickory Brewery to judge the unmarked beers for adherence to specific category characteristics. The beers, which totaled 412 beers from 40 breweries, were judged in 159 styles and sub-styles. When the first round finished three hours later, 46 beers had been awarded gold medals. 121 received silver and 114 bronze winners were identified.

For CCB round two, a smaller group of certified judges convened to determine the best of the gold medal beers. Called the Best of Show round, three beers – first, second, and third places – were proclaimed the best of the best.

Raleigh’s Lynnwood Brewing claimed First Place – Best of Show for head brewer Bill Gerds’ Putin Tang in the British Imperial Stout category. Representatives from the brewery were on hand to accept the engraved plaque.

Second Place – Best of Show went to Ironclad Brewery, a brand new Wilmington, NC brewery. Long time NC craft brew veteran Ethan Hall, happily accepted the plaque for Lydia’s Lager in the Munich Helles style.

Lynnwood Brewing also collected the Third Place – Best of Show award. This plaque honored head brewer Gerds’ Mosaic Pale Ale in the American Pale Ale category.

Proceeds from this year’s CCB will be donated to the North Carolina Brewers Guild for use promoting the State’s 150+ craft breweries.