Beer touring champion

Ohio man wins Great American Beer Tour, trip to GABF

June 19, 2006 - College instructor Tim Bruening has won the first Great American Beer Tour, besting more than 200 other participants nationwide to earn a trip to this fall's 25th Great American Beer Festival in Denver.


Bruening amassed 60 points in the competition, edging out the second place entrant by a single point. During the week of May 15 to 21, he visited eight different breweries near his Cleveland-area home, stopping by each an average of four times.

"Initially I didn't set out to win," said Bruening, "but when I found myself with 18 points after two days, I decided it would be fun to see how many points I could get." During the week, he took a couple of vacation days from his job teaching machining and other mechanical skills to pursue the Great American Beer Tour.

Bruening visited The Brew Kettle in Strongsville six times during the week, taking advantage of the fact that participants could collect points once a day at any brewery.

"Like the majority of Americans, Tim lives within 10 miles of a brewery," said Ray Daniels, Director of Craft Beer Marketing for the Brewers Association. "During the tour, he visited three breweries that were less than ten miles from his home."

The Great American Beer Tour was conducted by the Brewers Association to celebrate American Craft Beer Week. The theme of the week was "Visit Your Local Brewery" - encouraging everyone to become more familiar with the diverse flavors being offered by America's small, independent and traditional craft brewers.

While Bruening will enjoy the grand prize trip to Denver for the 25th Great American Beer Festival being held September 28-30, more than 200 others also won prizes for participating. Logo-imprinted pint glasses will go to 138 Local Tour Finishers who accumulated at least 10 points during the week. Embroidered polo shirts go out to 15 Regional Tour Finishers and 47 National Tour Finalists will receive both glasses and a shirt.

In 2007, American Craft Beer Week will be May 14-20 and consumers will once again have the opportunity to participate in the Great American Beer Tour. For details, visit

Published : June 19, 2006