Cape May Brewing Company Wins Gold Medal at the US Open Beer Championships for The Topsail


Congrats to everyone at Cape May Brewing Company on their Gold Medal win for The Topsail in the Wood/Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category at The US Open Beer Championships. CMBC was the only New Jersey Brewer to medal in the competition which received over 6000 entries in over 100 styles from all over the world.

Cheers to Ryan, Brian, Jimmy and everyone at Cape May Brewing on this great accomplishment!

Cape May, NJ– Cape May Brewing Company is thrilled to announce that The Topsail, part of their highly-acclaimed Barrel Aged Series, took home a gold medal at the US Open Beer Championships in Oxford, Ohio, last week.

“It’s extraordinarily gratifying,” says Cape May Brewing Company president and co-owner, Ryan Krill. “It highlights the innovation and hard work of everyone at CMBC.”

The US Open Beer Championship saw breweries from around the world submitting more than 6,000 beers for consideration in over 100 categories. The Topsail won the gold in the Wood/Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category, a category which is proving more competitive each year.

“Five years ago or so these kinds of beers were so few and far between,” says Head Brewer Brian Hink, “with only a handful of stand-out breweries producing world-class sour beers ten years ago, but as more breweries entered the fray, the quality level of the American Sour dipped down a hair. However, in the past three-to-five years, the category has absolutely exploded. The level of expertise is through the roof, and the level of experimentation and innovation is at an all-time high.”

While the category has become more competitive, the beers themselves have become relatively scarce. They’re expensive to make and the amount of knowledge above-and-beyond what you need to know to brew a typical ale is truly astounding.

“You really have to stand out to take home a gold medal,” Hink says.

“You really want them to shine,” says CMBC’s Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm. “This category is for some of the most difficult-to-brew and artistic beers that a brewer can do, so being awarded a gold medal there really shows the caliber of brewing that we’re doing here if I do say so myself!”

South Jersey has been a little behind when it comes to sour brewing. In fact, Cape May Brewing Co. was the only New Jersey brewery to take home a medal at the US Open Beer Championships.

“This award shows that there are great things happening down here and people will start looking this way more and more to see what’s being put out,” Valm says.

The Topsail has been one of the most well-received beers in the company’s history, earning a rating of 98 on BeerConnoisseur, with judge Dan Martich praising the brew, saying, “You’ll want to seek this beer out.”

Hink attributes the beer’s reception to its complex yet approachable recipe. “I’ve shared it with many ‘non-beer fans’ and they’ve loved it.”

Valm agrees. “This is a very well-rounded beer that nails every parameter for a barrel-aged sour ale,” he says. “It’s got a great tart flavor that is perfectly balanced with a wonderful fruity aroma of apricots and sour cherries, all blended with a whiff of oak from the wood.”

The Topsail is available at Cape May Brewing Company’s gift shop, The Brewtique, at 1288 Hornet Road in the Cape May Airport and at better liquor stores throughout the area.

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