I’m sure if you have any sort of presence in Cincinnati’s beer social media scene, you probably saw the news already, two of our area’s favorite breweries brought home some medals from this year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado.

I wanted to throw a post out there for those of you who might not have seen it, while also digging in a little deeper on why you should be really freaking happy for both of these breweries.

Before I dig in, though – we should salute all of Ohio a little bit… 14 medals going to 13 different Ohio breweries from one of (if not the) most prestigious competitions in the country?  Hell.  Yeah.


There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to MadTree.  They’re kicking more ass now than ever before.  Their state of the art ‘2.0’ brewery is up and running and turning heads with not just increased production, but an incredible attention to detail that new breweries are modeling themselves after.

So many people are looking towards MadTree not just for inspiration as they are planning out taprooms, and production setups but for their dedication to their community and their employees.  They are really setting the bar for how to run a brewery into the “next stage”.  Yet, with all this attention to how well they are doing things, there is one trophy that has eluded them up until this point – a GABF award winner.

I’m not going to pretend that winning a medal at GABF somehow makes you a better brewery, or that not winning one does the opposite.  But there is something fantastic about being recognized in a festival as prestigious as this one.  Your beer is the “best”.  It’s been defined as the standard for the style in a lot of ways, and for that reason… I’m so proud to see MadTree finally return home with one of these around their necks.

When you couple this up with the fact that they won for Happy Amber – a beer that’s been around since the beginning, and one that we’ve all had in our beer fridges plenty of times.  It’s even more special.  This is a beer that almost every craft beer drinker in Cincy has some sort of relationship with. Be it a memory of a campfire and some friends – maybe of a late night out at the taproom with your spouse.  I can remember seeing the light go on in people’s eyes when after thinking that they didn’t like craft beer, they tried Happy Amber and fell in love.

It’s been a LONG time coming, and this one is extremely well deserved.


If you thought MadTree was exciting… look at these folks.  Brink might be as much in the business of winning awards and medals as they are brewing tasty beer.  In their meager year and a half in business, they’ve amassed almost 20 of them. (You can see a full list of all of Cincinnati’s brewery awards here). This is a brewery that loves towing the line between classic styles and pushing the boundaries of what’s out there.  They don’t shy away from anything, and so far that seems to be an excellent approach.

This year they are bringing home two medals from GABF, a silver for Hold The Reins and a Gold for their Moozie milk stout.  The big one though is the award that they received for Very Small Brewery and Brewer of the year.  This award showcases them for what they are doing out of every other brewery that’s their size.

Again, you’ve gotta keep in mind that they’re not even two years into their business and are gaining this recognition.  To say I’m proud of the people who make Brink happen every day is the biggest understatement that I can make.  I’m blown away by them, over and over.

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