Tallahassee breweries win big on the national stage
Some of you may know me from my columns in the Limelight about the area craft beer scene. But today I'm just writing as a fan of #TLHBeer.
Because in the last week, our area breweries did some things on the state, national and worldwide craft beer scene to make every area craft beer fan feel blessed to be surrounded by so much talent.
Last Saturday in Tampa, Proof Brewing Company — our oldest and biggest brewery in town — was invited to pour in a prestigious annual event called "Hunahpu's Day," which is put on by Florida brewing giant Cigar City. Also invited? Ology Brewing, Tallahassee's newest and smallest brewery.
And boy did those two make a gigantic splash.
Proof and Ology finished 1-2 and 2-1 for the festival's Top 2 awards — Best Beer and Best Overall Brewery — among about 200 breweries from around the world.
The breweries Proof and Ology beat were not just from Florida. Or just the United States. The world.
Ology was named Best Overall Brewery. It also earned second best beer for its Passionfruit, Blood Orange, Raspberry Juice Lab Berliner Weisse sour.
Proof, meanwhile, won Best Beer for its Key Lime Pie Evil Kiss Berliner Weisse sour and was also voted second best overall brewery.
This was the fourth year in a row that Proof medaled at Hunahpu's Day, but to have a Tallahassee sweep like that? That's huge for both breweries. Like, massive.
But it's even bigger for Tallahassee as a whole, because it plants our city's craft beer flag firmly in the ground for everyone to see.
And it gets better.
The Big Bend beer scene's recent trophy barrage actually started a week earlier, when Deep Brewing Company took home two medals from the Best Florida Beer competition in Tampa. Deep earned a gold for REEFraction, a double IPA, and a silver for Jack Brown, an English-style brown ale. And when the judges pooled all the gold medal winners in the state to decide Best Overall Beer in Florida, REEFraction won third place.
That's crazy — crazy-awesome, that is. But there's still more.
Also snaring a bronze in the competition was Apalachicola's Oyster City Brewing Company, which won for its Red Right Return Amber Ale, marking its first Best Florida Beer medal.
Area craft beer fans took notice of these wins, just like the rest of the world took notice of our craft brewery scene in a matter of two weeks.
"It's not just our Tallahassee bias — the local brewers are disproportionately successful at these events. #shoutout," tweeted Tallahassee attorney Tony Glover, who specializes in alcoholic beverage laws.
It makes me really excited for what's to come from these emerging area all-stars, including Tallahassee's other two breweries: Lake Tribe Brewing and GrassLands, which has previously won multiple Best Florida Beer medals.
After the week our area craft beer scene just had, you should consider getting out there to explore and drink local — whether you're currently into craft beer or not.
Danny Aller co-founded the TLH Beer Society, a group of avid craft beer lovers. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.