The main point of Tampa Bay Beer Week is to help promote the region’s craft beer community to the rest of the country and the world. Recognition in national competitions certainly helps that goal, and we just found out that Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing has scored big time in the United States Beer Tasting Championship Winter Competition, garnering a Strong/ Old Ale Grand Champion listing for its Tocobaga Red Ale, beating out 30 other entries in the category.
Tocabaga was also named Best of the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Region in that category, and Marshal Zhukov’s was named best in the imperial stout category.
Here’s what the USBTC says about its judging process:
The United States Beer Tasting Championship (USBTC) recently completed the Winter Competition of its 18th annual competition. A total of 435 beers from 134 breweries were examined across 13 different beer categories. Within each category, the USBTC determined both a Grand Champion and the best entry from each of six U.S. regions: 1) Northeast, 2) Mid-Atlantic/Southeast, 3) Midwest, 4) Rockies/Southwest, 5) California, and 6) Northwest/Pacific.
The USBTC takes a unique approach in that its competition is held in multiple stages. Sequential field trials are conducted wherein judges evaluate beers and select the best to advance to subsequent rounds. This allows beers to be judged in relatively small flights while ensuring that the best beers are still determined through head-to-head competition. All beers were tasted in blinded fashion and judged on a hedonic scale.
Congratulations to Cigar City for the accolades.
For a complete list of winners, click here.