The judges have spoken and the winner of the competition is now available for drinking.
Fred Gray of Gray's Brewing Company was awarded Best of Show by the six-member panel convened to assess 16 entries this past Saturday at Gray's Tied House in Verona. Working from a 50-year-old Fauerbach family recipe for what was once known as Fauerbach Centennial Brew, or CB, 12 contestants vied for the opportunity to see their concoction brought to market as Fauerbach Challenge Brew.
First runner-up was bestowed on Dan Hedtcke, who will help Gray produce a commercial version of the winning brew for sale this spring. Michael Ball was recognized with second runner-up honors, and Bob Drousth was deemed third runner-up. The Peoples' Choice winner was a brew by Page Buchanan and Tony Jacques. Photos from the challenger are available here for viewing, with more details from the event recounted in a report from Jeffrey Glazer at Madison Beer Review.
Certified beer judges for the event included Steve Klafka, Jim Lapekas, Mark Morrison, Bob Paolino, Tom Rutkowski and Keith Symonds.
Others in attendance, including members of the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild, gave the People's Choice award to the CB version brewed by Page Buchanan and Tony Jacques.
Six-packs of the winning brew are expected to go on sale at select retail locations in March or April. While you wait, samples of the winning beer are available for tasting at Gray's Tied House until the 20 kegs have run dry.