This year 461 beers from 63 different breweries were entered into the expo. Sixty-one beers were entered into the IPA category alone. And a Michigan brand won out.
Frankenmuth Brewery's Batch 69 American IPA is the beer maker's flagship IPA. Unlike some of the brewery's other beers, this American IPA is available year-round in stores and on draft. It also recently underwent some recipe changes.
“I decided to tweak the recipe by using a couple different hop varieties and also dry-hopping it, which wasn’t done before,” said Frankenmuth's brewmaster Steve Buszka in a release. “The IBUs are exactly the same and it still holds up to the 69 IBUs. But now, the hops are put in the boil at a different point in time, so it has more of a balanced flavor on your palate, as opposed to single-note bitterness.”
The changes pleased the IPA category's judge and Batch 69 was awarded the gold medal for best IPA. Bell's Brewery's Two Hearted Ale came in second behind Batch 69, taking home the silver medal. No bronze medal was awarded in the category, according to Joe Osberger, Frankenmuth Brewery's operations manager.
This isn't the first win for Frankenmuth Brewery, in fact they've been taking home gold, silver, and bronze medals since 2010, year after the brewery re-opened in 2009.
The World Expo of Beer, largely considered Michigan's biggest beer tasting event, took place last weekend in Frankenmuth's Hertiage Park. There beers from around the world are sectioned off into 29 different categories and the winners of each take home top honors.