ROAD TRIP: Gold-medal winner at Great American Beer Festival is a day trip away

Carolina Bauernhaus, of Anderson, SC, received a Gold medal at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States. The top three winners in the competition’s 98 beer-style categories were announced earlier in October at the Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo.

“It feels fantastic! We are still in shock since it’s such a big achievement in the brewing world. We are truly honored and humbled…” said co-owners Keston Helfrich, Brad Thomas, and David Thornton.

Thomas told Myrtle Beach Life that this year’s vintage will release in the tap room in Anderson, and it is not known yet whether the product will be bottled for distribution in the Myrtle Beach or Grand Strand area. Thomas said it best to follow Carolina Bauernhaus on social media, like Facebook, or its website to find out when the brew will be out of the barrel.

Carolina Bauernhaus was recognized in the Experimental beer-style category for its Source Series Opuntia. At 6.2% ABV Source Series Opuntia is their native fermented rye saison which is brewed with North Carolina grown Wrens Abruzzi rye and pilsner malts. The souring bacterium used in this beer is a strain of lactobacillus isolated by SouthYeast Labs from opuntia fruit in La France, SC. The beer was aged for six months in regional cabernet barrels on prickly pear fruit from the South Carolina Botanical Gardens.

Carolina Bauernhaus is a small batch microbrewery & winery located in Anderson, SC that specializes in Belgian inspired farmhouse ales, ciders, and meads. Their hand crafted ales and ciders pay homage to the rich agricultural resources of Upstate South Carolina by using locally sourced malt, grains, yeast, hops, and fruits. They create a family of ales, ciders, and meads that range from pale ales, IPA’s, and challenging barrel aged sour beers to dry and fruity ciders and meads. They strive to create a sense of community through craft brewing education, innovation, brewery collaborations, and tons of activities and festivals. Their website says “We tame wild yeasts and use local seasonal ingredients to craft beers & ciders that reflect our region. The whole is less than the sum of its parts, but when brought together a unique craft beer is born. The beer tells us when it’s ready, are you?”

The 2017 GABF competition winners were selected by an international panel of 276 expert judges from 7,923 entries, plus 118 Pro-Am entries, received from 2,217 U.S. breweries.

“Each year the Great American Beer Festival showcases the best that American brewers have to offer,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Great American Beer Festival. “With a record 8,000+ entries, this year’s competition was the most competitive to date. Congratulations to all the winners who truly demonstrated why the U.S. is the world’s best and most diverse brewing nation.”

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