Mitch Dougherty, brewmaster at Cincinnati’s Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery on Fountain Square, was awarded a World Beer Cup 2012 Gold Medal last night at the Brewer’s Association Craft Brewer’s Conference in San Diego, CA. His winning beer, Sarah’s Two-Headed Buffalo, was judged the best of 34 entries in the Wood-and-Barrel-Aged Beer category. This is the second World Beer Cup medal he’s won. He was awarded a Bronze Medal for his Rudolf’s Bourbon Scotch Ale in the Wood-and-Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category at the last World Beer Cup in 2010. The prestigious competition is held every two years and features an international panel of competitors and judges.
Sarah’s Two-Headed Buffalo is Dougherty’s interpretation of Boulder Brewing Company’s Buffalo Gold golden ale that he then ages in Buffalo Trace barrels. It’s named for his girlfriend for whom he first brewed it. The beer has won back-to-back Gold Medals at the last two Festival of Wood-and-Barrel-Aged beers held annually in Chicago in November.
Two Ohio breweries were also awarded medals. Akron’s Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company won a Gold medal for its Barrel Aged BORIS The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout in the Wood-and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout category (58 entries). Fat Heads Brewery in North Olmstead won a pair of Silver medals, the first for Battle Axe Baltic Porter in the Baltic Porter category (28 entries) and the second for Head Hunter IPA in the American-Style India Pale Ale category (150 entries).
The Boston Beer Company, which has a significant local presence with its brewery on Central Parkway and was founded by Cincinnati native Jim Koch, won a Gold Medal in the Wood-and-Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category (91 entries) for its Samuel Adams Utopias 2011.
St. Arnold’s Brewing Company in Houston, TX, founded by Cincinnati-native Brock Wagner, won a pair of Silver medals and one Bronze. The first Silver was for Saint Arnold Pumpkinator in the Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer category (19 entries) while the second was for Saint Arnold Endeavour in the Imperial India Pale Ale category (93 entries). Santo won the Bronze medal in the American-Style Dark Lager category (18 entries). The brewery has very little distribution outside of Texas and isn’t available in the Cincinnati area.