Deep, Proof win six Best Florida Beer medals

There are a lot of awards that Florida craft brewers want to win every year -- but recognition from the Best Florida Beer Competition is right up there at the top of the list.

Well, two Tallahassee breweries brought home some BFBC hardware this week. 

Deep Brewing Company and Proof Brewing Company each won three medals this past Sunday in the annual Best Florida Beer Competition held in Tampa. 

Deep Brewing and owner/head brewer Ryan LaPete won two silvers and a bronze, while Proof owner Byron Burroughs and lead brewer David Kant took home two bronzes and a silver.

Deep won bronze in the IPA category for its "REEFraction IPA" and a silver for"Morning Boat" in the Coffee Beer Stout division — then another silver for "Octopie," which was entered in the Dessert Stout category. 

Proof, meanwhile, took home a silver for its "Tropical Uprising" in the New England IPA category, then snagged a pair of bronzes for "Creatures In The Dark White Chocolate Cinnamon" in the Dessert Stout division and one for its "Proof Lager" in the German Lager competition.

LaPete, whose brewery has been open just under two years, said he was beyond proud of Deep's results.

"The field (of Florida craft breweries) is getting deeper every year and overall beer quality is constantly elevating, making it that much harder to stand out,” he said. “There are larger competitions out there, but BFBC is a showcase of only Florida beer. The annual gathering gives us a chance to get together on a larger scale, compare stories, share notes, and maybe talk a little trash.

Burroughs echoed those sentiments, adding that he's thrilled Proof continues to stand out among an increasingly crowded field.

"There were definitely a lot of statewide competitors this year, so taking home three medals feels great given such stiff competition," said Burroughs, whose brewery was founded in 2012. "We have been fortunate to have won 21 medals at Best Florida Beer so far and plan to keep doing so. Our brewers are producing world class beer."

LaPete, who once earned his living as a deep-sea diver (hence the brewery's name and theme), said he appreciates the craft camaraderie in the local beer scene.

"The point is that although we are in competition, we are also working together to elevate the reputation of TLH beer and truly establish our hometown as the 'Craft Capital' of Florida."

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