Feb 25, 2024

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American Beer Month
Winning the taste tests

American beers successfully defended their home turf in a series of "Liquid Lunches" and other tasting events during July.

Boston Beer Co. sponsored most of the events, including nine of its ongoing Liquid Lunches in cities across the country. A 10th blind tasting was held in Philadelphia in conjunction with Beer Philadelphia when American Beer Month kicked off in that city with a variety of events. Generally, each tasting featured three Samuel Adams beers and two local beers against some of the best known and best advertised imports.

Toronado, one of America's premier beer bars, conducted a slightly different sort of showdown, rating two California beers and two highly regarded British beers in each of three categories.

Russian River ESB from Guerneville was the top vote getter among the Extra Special Bitters, with Young's Special London Ale second, Anderson Valley Belks ESB third and Fuller's ESB fourth.

Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA was first among the India Pale Ales, with Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' a close second, followed by Fuller's IPA and Samuel Smith's IPA.

Humboldt Oatmeal Stout was the favorite Oatmeal Stout, followed by Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, Samueal Smith's Oatmeal Stout and Young's Oatmeal Stout.

In the Liquid Lunches, Sam Adams Boston Lager outscored Heineken at all 10 events, with Sam Adams Cream Stout topping Guinness Extra Stout in all 10 as well. Sam Adams Summer Ale was preferred over Corona in all nine cities in which those two were paired.

The other results:

In Philadelphia, drinkers chose Pennsylvania products Yard's Brawler and Stoudt's American Pale Ale to Boddington's and John Courage respectively, while Paulaner Hefeweizen from Germany topped Penn Hefeweizen from Pittsburgh.

In Minneapolis, Paulaner Hefeweizen barely edged Summit Hefeweizen, while James Page Amber Lager nipped Beck's Dark.

In Denver, Breckenrige Amber outpolled Bass, while Pilsner Urquell got the nod against New Belgium's Blue Paddle.

In San Diego, Ballast Yellowtail and Ballast Copper Ale were preferred over St. Pauli Girl and Bass respectively.

In Los Angeles, Angel City beers bested two imports, AC Lager over Foster's and AC Ale over Bass.

In San Francisco, Humboldt scored again with Red Nectar Ale besting Newcastle Brown, while more tasters picked Full Sail Amber than Bass.

In New York, two beers from Brooklyn Brewing were favored above imports -- Blanche de Brooklyn over Blance de Bruges and Brooklyn Pilsner over Pilsner Urquell.

In Atlanta, tasters preferred Dogwood Pale Ale to Newcastle Brown, Red Brick Ale to Bass and Sweet Water Ale to Fuller's ESB.

In Baltimore, DeGroen's Pilsner from Baltimore Brewing outpolled Pilsner Urquell and Yuengling Lager from Pottsville, Pa., got the nod against Beck's.

In Boston, the results showed Harpoon Ale over Bass and Ipswich Dark over Newcastle Brown.