Cincy Brings Home Some Hardware: The 2024 US Open Craft Beer Championships

By: The Gnarly Gnome


I’m a sucker for an award. I love it. When our local breweries win awards for the amazing beer that they’re cranking out, it makes me smile pretty deeply, too. I’m a die-hard Cincinnati beer fan, and I fully believe that we’ve got one of the best beer scenes anywhere happening right here in the Queen City. I’m always a fan of any time that the world around us seems to take notice.

The 2024 US Open Craft Beer Championships happen right here locally, in Oxford – but it’s a nationwide competition. It’s grown to the point that this year, more than 9,000 different beers entered. These beers represented 170 different styles… and here we are.

Not only did our own Third Eye Brewing Company take home the Grand Champion award with four golds, two silvers, and two bronze medals, but 19 other local breweries also took home medals, bringing our local tally for this year to 54 different medals, including 17 Golds, 15 Silvers, and 22 Bronzes.

It’s a good time to be a beer drinker in Cincinnati! I’ll have all my thoughts about this year’s competition after I roll through these awards…

Let’s get to it, should we?

This Year’s Winners

16 Lots

  • Flotilla – Bronze Medal, Belgian Witbier
  • Smugglers Coffee Blonde – Bronze Medal, Coffee Beer


  • Gold Top – Bronze Medal, Single Hopped IPA
  • Barrel-Aged Levelled Up – Gold, Barrel-Aged English Barleywine

The Common Beer Company

  • I Need More Cowbelgian – Bronze Medal, Belgian Pale Ale
  • Grand Cru – Silver Medal, Belgian Strong Dark Ale
  • This Dark Cloud Won’t Get Me Down – Silver Medal, European Dark Lager

Cincinnati Beverage Company

  • Pitch Pilsner – Bronze Medal, American Style Pilsener
  • Roggenbier – Silver Medal, Historical Beer

Darkness Brewing

  • LaFawnduh – Bronze Medal, Chocolate or Cocoa Beer

Esoteric Brewing Company

  • Luminati – Silver Medal, Munich Style Helles
  • Oracle – Gold Medal, American Fruit Wheat-POG
  • Oracle – Bronze Medal, American Fruit Wheat-Mango


  • Bootsy Brewski – Bronze Medal, Brut IPA


  • Oatmeal Stout – Bronze Medal, Oatmeal Stout
  • Old Motor Oil – Gold Medal, Aged Beer

Gravel Road Brewing

Driving On The Left – Bronze Medal, Special Bitter Or Best Bitter


  • Isar Weiss – Silver, German Hefewiezen


  • Seeing Colors – Bronze Medal, New England/Juicy IPA

Municipal Brew Works

  • Guthrie – Gold Medal, Peated Strong Scotch Ale
  • Recovery Red – Bronze Medal, Imperial Red Ale
  • Orange Agave Blonde – Bronze Medal, American Fruit – Orange

Narrow Path

  • Path Blue Ribbon – Silver Medal, American Premium Lager
  • Hot Honey Saison – Bronze Medal, Chili Pepper Beer
  • Missing Linck Honey Saison – Bronze Medal, Specialty Honey Beer

Nine Giant

  • Happiness Is All The Rage – Bronze Medal, Berliner Weisse
  • Brilliant Colors – Gold Medal, Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad
  • Trendy – Silver Medal, Brett Beer

Northern Row

  • Coaster – Silver Medal, American Fruit Wheat-Misc


  • Acoustic Glow – Bronze Medal, Contemporary Gose
  • Cheetah – Bronze Medal, American Cream Ale


  • Kato – Gold Medal, Coffee Beer
  • Divot – Gold Medal, Tea Beer
  • Grodziske – Gold Medal, Grodziskie


  • Black Cats – Silver Medal, English Brown Ale
  • Samoan Cookie Demogoran – Gold Medal, Coconut Beer

Third Eye

  • Groovy Baby! – Bronze Medal, English Dark Mild
  • Higher Consciousness – Gold Medal, Strong Scottish Ale
  • Chai Eye Captain – Silver Medal, Herb and Spice Beer
  • Double Astral – Gold Medal, Chocolate or Cocoa Beer
  • Barrel-Aged Higher Consciousness – Silver Medal, Wood/Barrel-Aged Strong Scotch Ale
  • Kelly’s Private Stash – Bronze Medal, Barrel-Aged English Barleywine
  • Dark Aura – Gold Medal, Peanut/Peanut Butter
  • Inner Sight – Gold Medal, Nut Beer

Urban Artifact

  • Rangle – Silver Medal, American Fruit-General
  • Teak – Gold Medal, American Fruit-POG & Pineapple
  • Peaches And Cream – Bronze Medal, American Fruit-Peach
  • Pickle – Gold Medal, Field Beer
  • Pumpkin Ale – Gold Medal, Pumpkin
  • Seedless: Mango – Silver Medal, Non-Alcoholic Fruit & Spice

Wandering Monsters

  • Fogbringer 8 – Silver Medal, New England/Juicy IPA
  • Maple BA Viator Obscura – Gold Medal, Breakfast Stout
  • Pomona-Pina Colada – Bronze Medal, Smoothie Sour
  • We’re All Family Beer – Silver Medal, Italian Pilsner

My Thoughts About This Year’s Awards

First off… I have to mention Third Eye, who killed it yet AGAIN at another competition. I don’t know what kind of beer wizardry Kelly Montgomery understands, but clearly, he’s onto something. Eight different medals at this competition is certainly something to be loud about, but being loud isn’t really in their nature either, which just makes it that much better.

Wandering Monsters with four medals is also something to note. I was thrilled to add them to the full medal count post because I know that it’s not the last time we’ll hear about them in the competition realm. It’s also pretty fun to look at the beers they won with. NE IPA, Breakfast Stout, Smoothie Sour, and then a Pilsner. Trendy, fun, it’s very much in line with their personality.

Gravel Road, with their first medal, brings a smile to my face. They aren’t ever going to be massive, they have no plans to take over the world, and here they are sharing the same “stage” as places like Rhinegeist, and MadTree. It’s well deserved. Gravel Road reminds me why I love craft beer… and I’m glad to see them on this list.

There are plenty of other places that I’m thrilled to see: Darkness, Esoteric, Grainworks, and other places that don’t always get noticed in the noise of Cincinnati beer. I think that is what I love so much about awards like this. It reminds us sometimes of the places that we aren’t getting to nearly enough, that are working their butts off making great beer that is certainly worthy of talking about

Go. Be Gnarly, and drink some incredible local beer!

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