1st- Smuttynose, Big A IPA (9.7% ABV, Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
2nd- Clipper City, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon (7.3% ABV, Baltimore, Maryland)
3rd- Lost Abbey, Older Viscosity 2009 (12.5% ABV, San Marcos, CA)
The Great British Beer Festival is today pleased to announce that the winner of its annual American cask real ale competition, the Michael Jackson Award, is the Smuttynose brewery's Big A IPA, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The competition is judged during CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale's flagship event, taking place inside Earls Court, London, from August 3rd-7th 2010.
Smuttynose's Big A IPA, a 9.7% ABV India Pale Ale, is described by CAMRA's US bar team as having an 'orange and citrus fruit, with a nicely balanced body, a hint of malt and a bunch of alcohol, and perhaps a hint of honey. The beer ends nicely with a lingering hop dryness'.
Smuttynose's success today means the New England brewery has now won this award three times, and remains one of the most successful brewers in the competition's history.
The Award is named after the world renowned beer writer, Michael Jackson, also known as the Beer Hunter, and author of titles such as The World Guide To Beer, who sadly passed away in 2007. In dedication to his efforts to promote good beer, the competition is judged by a panel of Great British Beer Festival volunteers, and assessed on taste, aroma and finish.
Ian Garrett, organiser of the Michael Jackson award, said:
'The competition is incredibly tight and many US brewers are keen to get their cask beers over to us. Each year we manage to attract more brewers from a wider area with the help of two of our volunteers- Ken Fisher and Mike Labbe- in the States.
'Originally we were only able to get beers from the east coast, but now west coast beers on cask are appearing which offer a great contrast in the brewing styles. American beers are still renowned in the UK for the adventurous use of hops, and have led the way in the field of experimental beer styles.'
With over 180 beers from the United States at the Great British Beer Festival this week, CAMRA is pleased to showcase the biggest selection of US cask real ale probably ever seen! CAMRA can happily report that demand for American craft beers at the Festival is extremely healthy, and invites people from across the world to its flagship Festival.
See Steve Jones' Pratt Street Ale House blog for more details on just how those firkins got there: Part One, Part Two.
And congratulations to the crew of the Clipper City Brewing Co. and Heavy Seas Beer for the accolades and award!