That’s what judges at the first annual Atlantic Canada Beer Awards had to say about a German wheat beer crafted by Uncle Leo’s Fine Ales in Lyons Brook.
The beer, named Vohs Weizenbier, was awarded a gold medal in the category of German specialty beers and was selected over Paddy's Brewpub’s Dom Arthur in Wolfville.
Karl Whiffen of Uncle Leo’s said the he was surprised to hear his beer took the top honours in the category.
“We didn’t know we had won before it was announced then and there,” he said. “We went because everyone in the craft community is pretty friendly and it’s great to see everyone in one place celebrating craft beer.”
Tracy Phillippi, the organizer of the competition, is a passionate beer aficionado who also organizes the Canadian Brewing Awards. She noted that over the past several years, the Atlantic Canadian beer scene has experienced overwhelming growth as new breweries have opened and consumers have developed a taste and passion for trying new styles of beer.
“The team was so pleased with the brewery enthusiasm – our goal was 70 submissions and we received 170 entries from breweries and brewpubs of all sizes,” she said. “Brewery feedback and social media participation also exceeded our expectations, and we're looking forward to growing the competition further in 2015.”
Phillippi noted that while it’s officially called a competition, the beers and micropubs aren’t necessarily competing against each other.
“They are competing against the style guidelines. Beers win the competition by meeting all the marks set out in the style guidelines.”
Within the guidelines for German specialty beer, like the yeast in its wheat beer, Uncle Leo’s rose to the top.
For Whiffen, he’s both honoured and flattered to receive the award and more importantly, peer recognition from fellow beer craftspersons.
“It’s an affirmation that we’re on the right track.”
He said the idea for the Vohs Weizenbier was to pay tribute to his neighbours Matt and Brenda Vohs, who hail from Cologne, Germany. The couple owns Pipers Landing and were the first to put Uncle Leo’s beer on tap.
Stories like this from Uncle Leo’s have caught the attention of Phillippi, who noted the Lyons Brook brewer is a leader in the craft beer community.
“As a beer judge, I tend to overanalyze each pint, but I have never observed a single flaw or off flavour in anything produced by Karl. Their quality control is exceptional, and they are a true leader in the craft beer community.”
The German wheat beer is an unfiltered brew consisting of at least 50 per cent wheat. It gives the beer, according to Whiffen, a banana and clove-like taste. A Belgian beer might be a close comparison to the wheat ale.
The Atlantic Canada Beer Awards have also provided special seal or label indicating the gold award for the wheat ale. Whiffen noted these will be affixed in the next label order for the beer.
While Vohs Weizenbier production will likely be paused until next spring or summer, Whiffen noted that he is working on a new winter brew for this Christmas, possibly a stout.
On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn
CATAGORIES AND WINNERS AT ATLANTIC CANADA BEER AWARDS:
North American & European Style Lagers
Gold: Hop City Brewing Company Barking Squirrel
Silver: Tatamagouche Brewing Company Lagerhosen
Bronze: Propeller Bohemian Style Pilsner
German Specialty Beers
Gold: Uncle Leo's Vohs Weizenbier
Silver: Paddy's Brewpub Dom Arthur
UK Specialty Beers
Gold: PEI Brewing Company Iron Bridge Brown
Silver: Gahan House Iron Bridge Brown
Bronze: Paddy's Brewpub Raven Ale
North American Specialty Ales
Gold: BarNone Black Eye Pale Ale
Silver: Boxing Rock Hunky Dory Pale Ale
Bronze: BarNone Sessions Ale
Belgian Style Specialty Ales
Gold: Pumphouse Pompiers a Vous Garde
Silver: North Brewing Summer Saison
Bronze: Grimross Chantelope
North American Amber & Red Ales
Gold: Boxing Rock Temptation Red
Silver: BarNone Substanchel
Bronze: Garrison Sweet Rye'd Harvest Wheat Ale
Fruit & Field Beers
Gold: Rare Bird Pumpkin Ale
Silver: Rogue's Roost Raspberry Wheat
Bronze: Bad Apple Operation Green Ring
Gold: Bad Apple American Pale Ale
Silver: Boundary Ale
Bronze: Garrison Hop Yard Pale Ale
Stout & Porter
Gold: Rogue's Roost Oatmeal Stout
Silver: Big Axe Shakes Beer Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
Bronze: Pumphouse Muddy River Stout
Strong Stout & Porter
Gold: Propeller Brewery Revolution Russian Imperial Stout
Silver: Bad Apple Black & Tackle
Bronze: Rogue's Roost Imperial Stout
India Pale Ale
Gold: Rockbottom Brewpub Fathom IPA
Silver: Big Spruce Tim's Dirty American IPA
Bronze: BarNone IPA BarNone
Gold: Bad Apple Mosaic Double IPA
Silver: Boxing Rock The Vicar's Cross Double IPA
Bronze: Garrison Brewery Imperial IPA
Gold: Pumphouse Barley Wine
Silver: North Brewing Strong Belgian Dark
Bronze: Petit‐Sault Bob Le Beouf
Gold: Boxing Rock U-‐889 Russian Imperial Stout
Silver: Garrison Brewery Honey Lavendar Ale
Bronze: Big Spruce Hoppucino Coffee IPA
Wood & Barrel Aged Beers
Gold: Propeller Lambic
Silver: Garrison Brewery Barrel-‐Aged Grand Baltic Porter
Bronze: Bad Apple Barrel-‐Aged Black & Tackle
Brewery Of the Year:
Brewpub of the Year:
Rockbottom Brew Pub
Beer of the Year:
Pumphouse Barley Wine
Stillwell's People's Choice Award:
Big Spruce Cereal Killer