RESULTS are in from this year's Great American Beer...

Salmagundi

November 11, 1993

RESULTS are in from this year's Great American Beer Festival, and they are a little disheartening for lovers of the brew on the East Coast. Of 94 medals awarded in 32 types of beers and ales, only 14 went to brewers east of the Mississippi River.

No doubt one reason was the site of the competition, Denver, Colo. Many of the craft brewers who would enter contests like this are small operations with little time or money to fly a couple of cases and a keg or two that far. Also, the micro-brewery business started and flourishes the most on the West Coast. Relatively few entries came from the eastern half of the country. Craft brewing is still much more widespread in states like California, Washington and Colorado than anywhere in the east.

Only one Maryland brewery entered, but it did not come home with a medal. Only two of the five established micro-breweries or brew pubs in Maryland bottle their wares. To enter the competition, the beers must be in bottles even if they are not ordinarily sold that way. Kegs are used for sampling by the thousands who flock to the festival each year.

Local zealots can sample some winners within a few hours drive. Stoudt Brewery, just a little over the border in Adamstown, Pa., won a gold medal for its pilsener. Farther afield, Penn Light Lager, from Pittsburgh, won a gold for "Munchner helles & Dortmunder export," Esquire Extra Dry, made in Smithton, Pa., won a silver for American dry lagers and Lone Star Cantina in Roanoke, Va., won silvers for its lager and light lager.

Although the festival principally showcases the wares of breweries that are tiny by the standards of the national brands, the big guys do not disdain it. The three largest brewing companies each won at least one prize in the competition.

Anheuser-Busch won a silver for Budweiser as an American premium lager, a bronze for King Cobra in the malt liquor category and a silver for O'Doul's among non-alcoholics.

Coors won a silver for its Christmas season Winterfest in the specialty beer category. Miller won a gold for its Lowenbrau Dark and a silver for Magnum in the malt liquors.

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