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Upper Hand

ESCANABA, Mich. – Upper Hand Brewery is proud to announce that two of its beers were awarded medals at the 2019 World Expo of Beer.

Escanaba Black Beer was awarded a gold medal in the Dark European category, while Barrel-Aged Old Fighter took home bronze medals in both the Strong American and Wood-Aged categories.  

“Escanaba Black Beer is one of the three original Upper Hand recipes, and it has remained unchanged in our year-round portfolio since the day we opened,” said Upper Hand Brewery President and Founder, Larry Bell. “It is very gratifying to see it win top honors in its class.”

“I’m also delighted that the barrel-aged version of our Old Fighter was recognized with medals in two categories,” he added. “Like a good bottle of wine, we brewed this beer specifically to age gracefully, so it is incredibly validating to see it honored after over three years.”

There were 803 entries in this year’s World Expo of Beer, which is held annually in Frankenmuth, MI. It is Michigan’s largest professional beer competition. Upper Hand Brewery is the only U.P.-based brewery to receive awards at the 2019 event.

Escanaba Black Beer is available year-round in cans and draft.  Barrel-Aged Old Fighter is a small-batch, draft-only brand available at select bars and restaurants throughout the Upper Peninsula.

 

ABOUT ESCANABA BLACK BEER:

Escanaba Black Beer is at home around both summer fire pits and winter fireplaces. This dark, delicious, malt-forward black ale has a moderate roastiness that is balanced with a silky-smooth, mildly bitter finish (4.5% alcohol by volume – available on draft and in 12oz cans).

ABOUT BARREL-AGED OLD FIGHTER BARLEY WINE-STYLE ALE:

Barrel-Aged Old Fighter is a bold, brash take on the American Barley Wine style. Barrel-aged for fifteen months in blend of bourbon, rye, and port wine barrels, Old Fighter displays caramel, rich malt, and oak character throughout (12.7% alcohol by volume – available on draft).

 

ABOUT UPPER HAND BREWERY:

Upper Hand Brewery is a crew of hikers, campers, dog-walkers, anglers, hunters, bikers, and folks that just want to get out there. We believe that life’s mission is to do what you love, where you love, with the people you love. For us, that means brewing the best beer we can, in the best place on Earth: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

We put a lot of thought into brewing beer that reflects what we love about where we live. We have the unique opportunity to try and capture an experience—a sense of place—in each and every beer, and we take it seriously. That’s not to say we don’t have a lot of fun. The U.P. is full of adventures and we love making beer that makes those adventures even better.

A little more about us: our founder—Larry Bell of Bell’s Brewery—had always dreamed of opening a brewery in the Upper Peninsula. Little clues of those dreams can be found in many of the classic Bell’s brands, which pay tribute to the U.P. in their names and label artwork. His dream became a reality when we broke ground on our 20-barrel brewhouse in 2013, and we haven’t looked back since.

 

 

OXFORD, Mich. — A family-run brewery in small-town Oxford, Michigan, has won gold medals in two international beer competitions. HomeGrown Brewing Company received a gold medal in the World Expo of Beer and a gold medal, bronze medal and the title of Michigan IPA Brewery of the Year at the New York International Beer Competition 2019.

The micro-brewery in Oxford received the top award this week for their Oxford Ale at the World Expo of Beer competition, and last month were awarded gold at the New York-based competition for their Zephyros, a hazy India Pale Ale (IPA) beer, as well as bronze for their Ruck-a-chuk American IPA.

 

Owner and master brewer John Powers says he is extremely proud to have his beer recognized on such a scale. “It’s a tremendous honor,” says Powers. “Our Oxford Ale is one of our flagship brews and our Hazy IPA is one of our most popular seasonalswe might have to make it a permanent feature on our beer menu now.”

Oxford DDA executive director Glenn Pape says the recognition shows the brewery’s dedication to their craft and that the village is proud to be the home of an award-winning brewery.

“Those of us who enjoy the outstanding beer from HomeGrown Brewing Company are very happy to see them getting the recognition they deserve for their outstanding products,” Pape says. “It is businesses like HomeGrown that help to put Oxford on the map.”

The World Expo of Beer, Michigan’s only international competitive beer event, awarded other Michigan stalwarts like Bell’s Brewery, Ellison Brewery and Griffin Claw. With 600 entries, from 14 countries, the NYIBC competition also acknowledged well-known Michigan icon Founders Brewing Co. for several awards and as Michigan Brewery of the Year. For a small, new micro-brewery to claim medals and titles alongside such renowned names is a big deal, says Powers.

“We love that the playing field is level enough for us to compete with established names in the industry,” he says.

HomeGrown’s unique Zephyros brew has a floral aroma, grapefruit notes and uses heavy, late-addition hops (including Galaxy hops from Australia) and is described by the brewery as “Cloudy, with a chance of blowing your mind”. The downside, for the brewers, is that the Zephyros is their most labor-intensive brew, adding up to a 12-hour brew day for each batch.

“It’s a good problem to have,” says Powers.