Oct 15, 2018

Challenge Cup


2003 Challenge Cup winners

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A sign at Second Street Brewery in Santa Fe reads "Thy Rod and staff comfort me" - a play on the name of brewer Rod Tweet.
What do a brewpub in New Mexico, a New Jersey restaurant-bar with a smokehouse, a neighborhood brewpub in Nashville and Greenwich Village bar have in common?

All were trophy winners in the 2003 Challenge Cup.

Whistlers Inn in Cinnaminson, N.J., served 1,995 pints of American beer July 22-24 to win the large taphouse title, edging out the Green Leafe Cafe in Williamsburg, Va., and defending champion the Great Lost Bear of Portland, Maine. The Blind Tiger Ale House in Manhattan, only seven years old but well known by brewers of specialty beer across the country, won the small taproom cup.

Second Street Brewery of Santa Fe, N.M., sold more than 1,700 pints to win the large brewpub competition. Boscos Nashville captured the small brewpub cup - a victory that is bound to spark controversey in Tennessee.

Boscos Nashville served 1,424 pints July 22-24, when family rival Boscos Squared was closed because of a storm that rolled through the Tennessee and Ohio valleys and knocked power out in Memphis.

The pubs staged a belated showdown July 29-31 (it was still American Beer Month) the following week, with Boscos Squared pouring 1,527 pints and Nashville 1,242.

More than 250 establishments across the country took part in the 2003 Challenge Cup, selling a quarter million pints of American brewed beer and participating in a variety of special events. In some other competitions:

  • BJ's in Chandler and BJ's Lloyd Center in Portland, Ore., both defended their repsective titles in special competition within the BJ's family of restaurants and breweries.

  • O'Brien's Pub in San Diego defeated Boscos Nashville to win the first Firkin Challenge.

  • Turtle Mountain in Rio Rancho won the second New Mexico IPA Challenge.

  • The Brews Cafe in Granville, Ohio, won the title of "Most Arrogant Bar in America" by selling more Arrogant Bastard Ale than any other.

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    2002 Highlights

    Great Lost Beer trophy

    Robb Tod of Allagash Brewing accepts the 2002 Challenge Cup trophy on behalf of the Great Lost Beer in his home state of Maine. The trophy was presented at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver, Colo., during the Great American Beer festival.

    Most interactive
    Boscos brewpubs in Memphis and Nashville. Read their intrastate comments.

    Champion multi-tap bar
    Great Lost Bear in Portland, Maine. Members of the Maine brewing community were in the pub every night.

    Champion chain brewery-restaurant
    Rock Bottom Restaurant-Brewery in Arlington, Va.

    BJ's Challenges
    Within BJ's family of restaurants and breweries, establishments competed with each other. BJ's in Chandler, Ariz., which won the big establishment cup and to Portland/Lloyd Center (on Weidler), the small establishment champion.

    Smallest participant
    Kaffeeklatsch Bar in Huntsville, Ala. Only one tap, but lots of fun.