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11th annual Hickory Hops Brew Festival

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The Hickory Hops Brew Festival is a brew festival held in Downtown Hickory in the middle of April. The annual event, in its eighth year, attracts thousands of people to Downtown to enjoy live music and to sample beer from more than 40 different microbreweries.

About Hickory Hops

Hickory - A perfect weekend for Hickory Hops, one of the South's most popular beer festivals, culminated for some with the announcement of the big winners in the Carolinas Championship of Beers (CCB) competition. Over 2000 festivarians were on hand in downtown Hickory, NC on Saturday to enjoy beer from 44 breweries and to applaud the three Best of Show winners.

Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery owner/brewer Paul Philippon was on hand to receive the First Place plaque for his dark and delicious Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout. Coincidentally, that same beer took the gold medal in its class at the World Beer Cup, an international competition, held just two weeks earlier. Philippon also took three other awards back to his Farmville, NC brewery: gold for Baltic Porter and two silvers for Brown Porter and American Brown Ale.

Nearly 300 beers were submitted for judging in this year's CCB. Two weeks prior to the April 17 festival, over 50 people convened to blind-judge the beers, entered in 75 categories, based on very precise guidelines. Of the lot, the gold medal winners, all 29 of them, were judged in the second-round Best of Show by a group of experts certified by the Beer Judge Certification Program, a national program headquartered in Boulder, Colo. Narrowed down to three that best epitomized established specifications, Second Place Best of Show was awarded to Atlanta brewer Dave McClure for his Red Brick Oatmeal Porter, entered in the Robust Porter category. Last year, Red Brick Brewing's Bogart Ale took First Place Best of Show in the Best Bitter style. Along with the gold, Red Brick scored three bronze medals for Blonde, Pale and 15th Anniversary Ales.

Making a repeat appearance in Third Place was High Point, NC brewpub Liberty Steakhouse. The engraved plaque for brewer Todd Isbell's Deep River Wheat will be proudly displayed on the wall near his brew house, next to a similar trophy for last year's Dry-Hopped Kellerbier, an unfiltered German-style lager. For the second year running, Isbell also entered the most beers for CCB judging. His English Brown and Imperial Red Ales also scored gold and were joined by four silver and six bronze medals, claiming the unofficial title of most awarded CCB contestant.

Proceeds from this years CCB, totaling over $1400, were donated to the North Carolina Brewers Guild for use promoting the State's 40+ breweries.

All festival breweries were eligible to enter the CCB competition. North Carolina was best represented with 31 breweries.

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Details and Specs

Event Date: Apr 20, 2013 01:00 PM - Apr 20, 2013 07:00 PM
Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed
Venue:The Hickory Depot, 232 Government Avenue, SW.


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