Beer Buzzed 

Local North Florida Breweries Win Medals at Best Florida Beer Championships

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Wicked Barley crew with Best Florida Beer Championship medals (photo from Wicked Barley Brewing Facebook Page)

Local North Florida breweries picked up some hardware at the Best Florida Beer Championships in Tampa on March 5, led by Wicked Barley Brewing Company, which was named “Best Brewpub” and also brought home a special award, along with two Gold Medals and a Silver.

Every January, commercial brewers across Florida submit their beer entries in different beer categories for judging in the Best Florida Beer Championships.  Gold, Silver and Bronze category medals, along with “Best of Show” and special recognition medals, are awarded on the first Sunday of March at the annual Brewers’ Ball beerfest in Tampa. For 2017, anonymous judging took place February 11-12 at 81 Bay Brewing, Tampa. Breweries were then notified if their beers earned medals; however, results generally remain secret until officially announced at the Brewers’ Ball beerfest, which features only medal-winning beers. On Sunday, March 5, the medalists were announced during the awards ceremony, held at Water Works Park, Tampa. Best Florida Beer Championships coincides with the first weekend of Tampa Bay Beer Week.

This year, around 800 entries were submitted in the competition, which consisted of 31 medal categories, and judged according to beer style guidelines.

Local Jax area brewery medalists (photo from Wicked Barley Brewing Facebook page)

Congratulations to local area medalists:

Winner of Best Brewpub is Wicked Barley Brewing Company, Jacksonville.

Special Award, Small Batch:

Wicked Barley Brewing, Jacksonville: Gold, Small Batch: Dortmunder Export SB, Dortmunder/European-Style Export

Gold Medals:

Wicked Barley Brewing, Jacksonville: Gold, “Dortmunder Export,” Style: Dortmunder/European-Style Export (European Dark Lager/Ale category)

Wicked Barley Brewing, Jacksonville: Gold, “Gose,” Style: Leipzig-Style Gose (Gose category)

Aardwolf Brewing, Jacksonville: Gold, “Belgian Pale Ale (BPA),” Style: Belgian-Style Pale Ale (Belgian/French Ale category)

Ancient City Brewing, St. Augustine: Gold, “Matanzas River Red Ale,” Style: American-Style Amber/Red Ale (American Amber/Brown Ale category)

First Magnitude Brewing, Gainesville: Gold, “Drift,” Style: English-Style Dark Mild Ale (English Ale category)

Silver Medals:

Wicked Barley Brewing, Jacksonville: Silver, “Orange Blossom Mead,” Style: Semi-Sweet Mead (Mead category)

Pinglehead Brewing, Orange Park: Silver, “Magnolia Springs,” Style: German-Style Pilsner (Euro and International Beer category)

Aardwolf Brewing, Jacksonville: Silver, “Cherry Lovely,” Style: Fruited Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer (Wild Beer category)

First Magnitude Brewing, Gainesville: Silver, “Batch 200,” Style: Imperial Red Ale (Imperial IPA/Red category)

Bronze Medals:

Tomoka Brewing, Port Orange: Bronze, “Peter the Great,” Style: American-Style Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout category)

Major Medalists in the statewide competition:

Best of Show:

Best Beer: Walking Tree Brewery, Vero Beach: Barnacled Manatee (British Style Barleywine)

Runner-up: Motorworks Brewing, Bradenton: Cruiser Kolsch (German-Style Kolsch)

2nd Runner-up: Hourglass Brewing, Longwood: Violet Sour (Sour/Wild Beer)

Best Large Brewery: Motorworks Brewing, Bradenton

Best Small Brewery: Walking Tree Brewery, Vero Beach

An official list of all medal winners can be viewed here.

Congratulations to all of the 2017 Medalists!


Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®

Covering all of Florida and the Jacksonville/North Florida beer scene: beerfests, news, events, and more…