The State Fair Pro-Am selects the best of the best

Over the last two weekends, judging has been going on for the State Fair Pro-Am Brewing competition. On Friday evening at Tractor Brewing Wells Park, the Best of Show was chosen. There we 180 professional entries and 269 amateur entries for ales, lagers, meads, and ciders.

state fair pro am
The State Fair Pro-Am judges were hard at work.

To avoid the longest caption in history with the photo, here are the IDs for those at the table, listed counter-clockwise: Patrick Johnson (light blue shirt) certified BJCP judge, Andrew (purple shirt) first-time judge, Jason Kirkman (green shirt) provisional BJCP judge, John Rowley (black shirt) accomplished home brewer, Kevin Fleming (grey shirt) accomplished home brewer, and Mike Hall (dark blue polo) national BJCP judge. Standing watching over table the are David Hargis (solid blue shirt) Tractor’s head brewer and Karl Gass (patterned blue shirt) experienced judge.

For the amateur bracket, the best ale was Ben Miller’s Robust Porter, “Robust Rubber Nipples.” John Smolley had the best lager with his “Yellow Jacket Schwarz” (Schwarzbier). Barney Brumley won the mead category with “Port of Fall.” Brent Newman had the best cider for “Baranca Mesa Cider.” The specialty category and Best of Show were won by John Rowley with “The Blueballer” (Belgian Specialty).

In the professional bracket, the best ale was from Bosque Brewing’s John Bullard for Scotia Scotch Ale. Mike Campbell from Cazuela’s Mexican Grill had the winning lager for his Inebriator Doppelbock. The B2B Brew Crew (Kyle Baxter, Gary Small, Callie Benjamin) from Bistronomy B2B had the winning specialty beer with their Coconut Porter. In the cider category and for Best of Show winner was Santa Sidra’s Tad Sweet.

The Dukes of Ale would like to thank Tractor for hosting and thank all the participants, stewards, and judges. It truly is a massive undertaking to collect, sort, and accurately judge hundreds of beers. Like so much in brewing, it is a labor of love — thank you!

Congratulations to all the winners! The complete list of winning beers will be posted on the Dukes of Ale website shortly.

— Paul

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