Three Hamilton County breweries won big at the July 10 Indiana Brewers Cup.
Grand Junction Brewing Co., Westfield, won five medals and took home the Best of Show designation Mulligan Scottish Ale. Field Brewing, Westfield, won two gold medals. Primeval Brewing, Noblesville, won seven medals — one gold, four silver and two bronze. The seven medals tied Primeval Brewing with Metazoa Brewing Co. in Indianapolis for Brewery of the Year, but Metazoa won the distinction by virtue of receiving more gold medals than Primeval.
GJBC owner Jon Knight said the brewery has participated in the Indiana Brewers Cup for the past seven years and was confident entering the competition that the brewery would do well. Winning Best of Show was a first-time accomplishment for the brewery.
Knight credits GJBC’s head brewer, Ryan Thomas, for the achievement
“We have got a tremendous head brewer, and he has actually won medals in the past for us, and I think he’s really hitting his stride,” Knight said.
The competition had more than 500 entries. The Best of Show category pits gold medal-winning beers in 35 categories against each other. GJBC won a trophy and banner with the Best of Show designation and plans to display the items in the brewery.
Knight said the competition shows that breweries in Hamilton County strive to produce the best beers.
“When you’ve got 13 medals between three breweries 12 to 13 miles apart, that’s a pretty unique thing,” Knight said.
Field Brewing owner Jackie Dikos credits the brewery’s head brewer, Rian Umbach, for the brewery’s wins at the competition.
“Working with Rian has been amazing. He definitely feels like part of our team and family for sure. He started with us before we opened Field Brewing,” Dikos said. “I feel like what Rian’s creating is the backbone of who we are in Westfield and the type of beer we wanted to create. Rian’s greatest strength is making beers approachable.”
Primeval Brewing co-owners Nathan Compton and Tim Palmer also serve as the brewers at Primeval. The brewery produces mainly European-inspired beer, drawing from Germany, Great Britain and Belgium.
Compton and Palmer have competed in the Indiana Brewers Cup as home brewers for several years, but this is the first year they competed as professionals.
Compton said although he didn’t expect to win so many medals, he was confident about his chances of winning something.
“It’s limited to 12 entries (per brewery), so in a competition of that size, to place in over 50 percent of your entries is certainly more than you could reasonably expect,” Compton said.
Compton described Primeval Brewing as “contrarian” in the craft beer world.
“The American craft beer scene has tended to push the envelope on bigger beers, hoppier beers, and beers more out there with creative additions,” Compton said. “We focus more on traditional styles, and we try to make them as best we can.”
Thomas said that’s his strategy at GJBC as well.
“I pride myself on not being a brewer that only brews IPAs or trying to figure out the next ridiculous thing I can put in a beer to sell as much as I can,” Thomas said.
Hamilton County winning beers
Grand Junction Brewing Co., 1189 E. 181st St., Westfield:
- Mulligan Scottish Ale, won Best of Show and gold in the Scottish & Irish Ale category
- Westfield Underground ESB, a strong bitter, won bronze in the Pale British Ale category
- Imperfect Backside Oatmeal Stout, an oatmeal stout, won bronze in the British & Irish Stout category
- Westfielder 8, a Biere de Garde, won silver in the Belgian Ale category
Field Brewing, 303 E. Main St., Westfield:
- Doppel Dribble, a Doppelbock, won gold in the Strong European Lager category
- Black Friday, a sweet stout, won gold in the British & Irish Stout category
Primeval Brewing, 960 Logan St., Unit 100, Noblesville:
- Rauch My World, a Rauchbier, won gold in the Smoke-Flavored Beer category
- Chompinator, a Doppelbock, won bronze in the Strong European Lager category
- Edelweiss, a Weissbier, won silver in the German Wheat & Rye Beer category
- Titus, a Weizenbock, won bronze in the German Wheat & Rye Beer category
- My Pretty Irish Girl, an Irish stout, won silver in the British & Irish Stout category
- Afterflow, an English Strong Ale, won silver in the Strong UK Ale category
- Spring Fling, a Saison, won silver in the Saison category