Last night the 2020 Oregon Beer Awards announced this years winners at a sold-out ceremony at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon. Dubbed the Oscars of Oregon beer, this annual competition awards the best in beer and affiliated events and businesses like best festival, brewpub, bottleshop, beer label and the prestigious hall of fame. This year 81 different judges made up of professional brewers, cicerones, journalists and other beer experts tasted through 1,260 beers in a double-blind competition that awarded 90 beer style medals in 30 categories with brewery of the year large, medium and small on top of that. An additional 11 non-beer categories were voted on by an OBA Academy Membership made up of over 200 of their peers.
The ceremony opened with a live music performance by Bitches of the Sun, followed by an opening sketch video directed and edited by the great Jordan Wilson and co-produced by myself, Ezra Johnson-Greenough and this years ceremony hosts Joe Sanders and Ben Love.
After the video, judged competition director and Breakside brewmaster Ben Edmunds took the stage to greet the packed crowd and talk a little about this years awards.
Edmunds had a great night, as Breakside Brewery walked away with 12 medals, plus Large Brewery of the Year and probably their best showing at any awards ever. Breakside won medals for the following: Silver for Fresh Hop Sterling Pils, Bronze for What Fresh Beast, Bronze for The Body Electric, Silver for Star Sprinkles, Bronze for Beachcomber, Gold for Sun Ripened, Gold for White Tea Lager, Silver for Breakside IPA, Gold for Biotransformers, Gold for Cuddle Puddle, Silver for Vienna Lager, and a Silver for Jaromir Lager.
10 Barrel Brewing followed up with 7 medals, the second most of any brewery this year. Silver for Old Stoner, Silver for Gindulgence, Silver for C4K, Silver for Vino de Grano, Silver for Twheat, Gold for RedeuX, and a Gold for Re-Vive.
Sunriver Brewing took home 5 medals, the 3rd most of the competition. Worthy Brewing, Deschutes Brewery and Immersion Brewing followed that up with 2 medals each! Bend, Oregon had an amazing showing lead by the former with other single medal wins by fellow brewers Bend Brewing, The Ale Apothecary, Boneyard Brewing, Silver Moon, Crux Fermentation Project and Boss Rambler Beer Club’s win for best new brewery. Immersion Brewing also captured the award for small brewery of the year, we hope this means we will see more great things from them. That means central Oregon is taking home 25 awards, 23 of them beer comp medals out of the total 90 that were awarded.
Sunriver picked up Silver for Haole at the Moon, Bronze for Cocoa Cow, Gold for Cinder Beast, Bronze for Alluvial IPA and a Silver for Rippin.
Eugene, Oregon had the next best showing with Hop Valley Brewing and Falling Sky Brewing leading the way with 3 medals each. Alesong Brewing & Blending, Oakshire Brewing and McKenzie Brewing also from Eugene each nabbed a medal. If you count Corvallis in that central Willamette Valley region than Block 15 Brewing added another 2 GOLD medals to the region’s pile for a total of 11 medals, or 12 if you count The Bier Stein’s victory as best taproom or beer bar.
McMinnville came away with 2 medals; a silver medal for Allegory Brewing’s Grassa Bionda and a bronze for Grain Station Brew Works Tenango Coffee Stout.
The Gorge area was lead by pFriem’s 4 medals and contributed to with another single medal each for Ferment Brewing, and Logsdon Farmhouse Ales.
pFriem won 4 total medals: 3 golds and 1 silver medal: Gold for Flanders Blonde, Gold for Citrus Zest IPA, Silver for Triple IPA and Gold for Pilsner.
Von Ebert nabbed 3 golds and a 1 bronze medal: Bronze for Never Tell double IPA, Gold for Vienna Lager and a Gold for fresh hop Volatile Substance IPA.
Culmination Brewing had their best showing since being voted Best New Brewery in 2016, this year they won 3 medals and medium sized brewery of the year: Gold for Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, Bronze or Obscured by Clouds, and a Gold for Drone Logic. It was amazing cap on head brewer Conrad Andrus’s stint with Culmination, as he recently took a job with Modern Times.
Stormbreaker had a terrific showing with 4 medals: Bronze for Hazy…So Hot Right Now, Bronze for Safety Meeting, Gold for ALTerior Motive, and a Silver for Opacus Stout.
Baerlic Brewing further proved they are one of the best and most underrated breweries with 4 medals: Silver for Night Howler with Coconut Ginger and Vanilla, Bronze for Gin Barrel Punk Rock Time, Silver for Dark Thoughts IPA, and a Bronze for Dad Beer.
Zoiglhaus Brewery also had a great year with 3 medals: Gold for Lichtenhainer, Gold for Oktoberfresh and a Silver for Zoigl-Weiss.
Upright Brewing came home with 2 awards, one gold for Saison Vert and another for best brewery in the Metro Region which is pretty damn impressive.
Little Beast Brewing also took home 2 bronze medals.
Great Notion Brewing nabbed 2 medals, a silver and a bronze.
GOLD pFriem Family Brewers Pilsner
SILVER Breakside Brewery Jaromir Lager
BRONZE Worthy Brewing Sol Power Pilsner
Golden, Blonde, and Other Light Ales
GOLD Immersion Brewing Packin’ The Arena
SILVER Allegory Brewing Grassa Bionda
BRONZE Baerlic Brewing Company Dad Beer
GOLD 10 Barrel Brewing Co. Re-Vive
SILVER StormBreaker Brewing Opacus Stout
BRONZE Side A Brewing Sammyvile Stout
Light German and European Lagers
GOLD Von Ebert Brewing Vienna Lager
SILVER Breakside Brewery Vienna Lager
BRONZE The Labrewatory Fraunhofer Lager
Dark German and European Lagers
GOLD Hop Valley Brewing Baltic Porter
SILVER Falling Sky Brewing DoorStop Bock
BRONZE Wayfinder Beer Time Spiral
Classic UK Styles
GOLD 10 Barrel Brewing Co. RedeuX
SILVER Hop Valley Brewing Mild at Heart
BRONZE Ecliptic Brewing Capella Porter
Classic North American Styles
GOLD Mt. Tabor Brewing Co. Checkered Flannel Brown Ale
SILVER 10 Barrel Brewing Co.Twheat
BRONZE Level Beer Revvin’ Up to Neutral
Belgian Beers, German Wheat Beers, and Traditional Brett Beers
GOLD Upright Brewing Saison Vert
SILVER Zoiglhaus Brewing Company Zoigl-Weiss
BRONZE Ferment Brewing Company Ferment Bière de Garde
GOLD StormBreaker Brewing ALTerior Motive
SILVER Falling Sky Brewing Daywalker Irish Red Ale
BRONZE Mt. Hood Brewing Co. Cloudcap Amber Ale
American Pale Ales and Other Sessionable Hoppy Beers
GOLD Breakside Brewery Cuddle Puddle
SILVER Sunriver Brewing Company Rippin
BRONZE StormBreaker Brewing Safety Meeting
Hazy or Juicy Pale Ales
GOLD Breakside Brewery Biotransformers
SILVER Worthy Brewing Saturn Gold
BRONZE StormBreaker Brewing Hazy…So Hot Right Now
GOLD Fort George Brewery Fanzine IPA
SILVER Breakside Brewery Breakside IPA
BRONZE Sunriver Brewing Company Alluvial IPA
Hazy or Juicy IPA
GOLD Culmination Brewing Company Drone Logic
SILVER Oakshire Brewing This is What Space Smells Like
BRONZE Little Beast Brewing Fogmatic
Imperial India Pale Ale
GOLD Block 15 Brewing Co. Sticky Hands
SILVER pFriem Family Brewers Triple IPA
BRONZE Von Ebert Brewing Never Tell
Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale
GOLD Ruse Brewing Interpreter
SILVER Widmer Brothers Brewing Green Skies IPA
BRONZE Culmination Brewing Company Obscured by Clouds
Dark Hoppy Beers
GOLD Sunriver Brewing Company Cinder Beast
SILVER Baerlic Brewing Company Dark Thoughts Black IPA
BRONZE Immersion Brewing Ring The Alarm
Rare Historical and Other Traditional Beers
GOLD Zoiglhaus Brewing Company Lichtenhainer
SILVER Bend Brewing Company Mad Dogs of Glory
BRONZE Little Beast Brewing Fólkvangr
Barrel Aged Beers
GOLD Deschutes Brewery Home at Port
SILVER 10 Barrel Brewing Co.Vino de Grano
BRONZE Baerlic Brewing Company Gin Barrel Punk Rock Time
Barrel Aged Stouts
GOLD Ordnance Brewing Blackfisky
SILVER Baerlic Brewing Company Wood Worker Night Howler Coconut Ginger Vanilla
BRONZE Oregon City Brewing Co Barrel of the Beast
GOLD Breakside Brewery White Tea Lager
SILVER McKenzie Brewing Filbert Brown
BRONZE Sunriver Brewing Company Cocoa Cow
GOLD Breakside Brewery Sun Ripened
SILVER Hop Valley Brewing Trippy Henderson
BRONZE Boneyard Beer Incredible Pulp
Coffee and Smoke Beers
GOLD Von Ebert Brewing Rauch Helles
SILVER 10 Barrel Brewing Co. C4K
BRONZE Grain Station Brew Works Tenango Coffee Stout
GOLD Alesong Brewing and Blending Terroir Cabernet Sauvignon
SILVER 10 Barrel Brewing Co. Gindulgence
BRONZE Breakside Brewery Beachcomber
Pastry or Dessert Beers
GOLD Culmination Brewing Company Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (a stout after midnight)
SILVER Sunriver Brewing Company Haole at the Moon
BRONZE Great Notion Brewing Double Stack
Emerging IPA or Experimental Hoppy Beer
GOLD pFriem Family Brewers Citrus Zest IPA
SILVER Breakside Brewery Star Sprinkles
BRONZE Deschutes Brewery Cloudy & Rowdy
American Sour Beers
GOLD The Ale Apothecary The Beer Formerly Known as La Tache
SILVER Great Notion Brewing Fruit Monster
BRONZE Silver Moon Brewing Bangarang
Mixed Culture Beers
GOLD pFriem Family Brewers Flanders Blonde
SILVER Crux Fermentation Project In the Pocket
BRONZE Breakside Brewery The Body Electric
Fruited Mixed Culture Beers
GOLD Block 15 Brewing Co. Framboise White
SILVER 10 Barrel Brewing Co. Old Stoner
BRONZE Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Deep River Blues
Fresh Hop Pale Ales and India Pale Ales
GOLD Von Ebert Brewing Fresh Hop Volatile Substance
SILVER Rock Bottom Brewery Space Potato
BRONZE Breakside Brewery What Fresh Beast
Other Fresh Hop Beers
GOLD Zoiglhaus Brewing Company Oktoberfresh
SILVER Breakside Brewery Fresh Hop Sterling Pilsner
BRONZE Falling Sky Brewing Company Nuggest of Wisdom Fresh Hop English Pale Ale
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.