Brew-vitational Winners Announced

Craft Beer Express

We’re in the thick of it now. It’s Beer Week (for those somehow still unaware), and during Beer Week Philadelphians are going to be presented with endless beers to choose from (the horror!).

So what’s a gal or guy looking for a solid brew to do?

There’s no need to fret. Just in time for Beer Week, The Inquirer has officially released the results of their Sixth Annual Brew-vitational. The panel of beer experts tasted 59 brews from 33 local breweries (by far the most entries the competition has seen since it’s inception in 2010). A long afternoon (and probably a few shenanigans) later, the panel had whittled down the contestants to the top three beers in two categories: the best new beers of 2015, and the best wheat beers in various styles.

So if you need a little inspiration on what to order this week, let the judges help you out.

A drum roll…

Best New Beers: 

1. Chocolate Porter, Chocolate Porter (6.5%), River Horse Brewing Co.

2. Guillemot, Guilly Vanilly, Dark Dessert Saison (8.5%), Tired Hands Brewing Co.

3. Cyrano Fruit Saison, Saison brewed with cherry and mango (3.7%), Round Guys Brewing Co.

Best Wheat Beers: 

1. The Berliner, Berliner Style Weisse (3.7%), Round Guys Brewing Co.

2. Hefe, South German-style Hefeweizen (5.2%), Stoudts Brewing Co.

3. I Love Lamp, Hefeweizen (5.5%), Evil Genius Beer Co.

Because the tastings were done blind, many of the winners came as a surprise to the panel. The champion wheat beer, The Berliner, shocked many of the judges when revealed. Further, the best new beer, Chocolate Porter, seemed to bend genres, yet it was nonetheless voted first (the idea of a beer float made with gelato was tossed around during the judging, and may have played a bit of a role in the victory).

On a less jocular note, the Brew-vitational and Beer Week are both reminders that the beer scene here in Philadelphia shows no signs of stopping, but rather is growing in diversity and continual playfulness. This may not come as a surprise, but it is still reassuring to know that the quantity and quality of our local beers are only increasing.

With this knowledge, get out there and drink happy, Philly. Whether it’s a chocolate porter float or just your go-to local brew, now is the time to celebrate it.

All Beer Week Coverage [f8b8z]

An Unexpected Triumph At The Inquirer’s Beer Competition [Official]