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Four Greater Lafayette breweries place in Indiana Brewers' Cup

Greater Lafayette really showed up to this year's Indiana Brewers' Cup.

Posted: Jul 31, 2019 7:00 AM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- The results are in for the 21st Annual Indiana Brewers' Cup.

Hundreds of beers are entered into the competition, which is a part of the Indiana State Fair. The Brewers' Cup is separated into home brewers and professional brewers, and Greater Lafayette really showed up on the professional side this year.

The recent 'boom' of breweries in the Greater Lafayette area has really amped up the standards for beer-drinkers around here, and that did not go unnoticed at this year's competition. 

Brewing is a competitive industry, and the art of brewing is tough to master.

"Yeah my beer's not perfect," said David Thieme, Owner and Head Brewer at Thieme and Wagner Brewery in Lafayette. 

However, Greater Lafayette is pretty good at it.

"Brewing is really in Indiana's DNA," said Josh Miller, Head Brewer at Backstep Brewing Company in Crawfordsville.

Out of nearly 700 beers entered in the 2019 Indiana Brewers' Cup professional competition, four breweries in Greater Lafayette took home medals for their brews. 

Brokerage Brewing Company in West Lafayette took home two gold's and a bronze.

"It's fun to win medals," said Corey Patterson, Head Brewer at Brokerage Brewing Company. 

Thieme and Wagner Brewery in Lafayette was awarded a silver.

"It makes you feel like you can actually do this," said Thieme. "You feel like you belong in this industry."

Teays River Brewing & Public House in Lafayette was also awarded silver.

"The main thing is to just keep improving as a brewer," said Jason Cook, Co-Owner and Head Brewer at Teays River. 

Backstep Brewing Company in Crawfordsville was recognized as the second-best brewery in the state.

"I take a very scientific approach, rather than a creative approach, trying to make the same beer every single time," Miller said. 

All these men are working to bring the craft beer community to Lafayette. While these four brewers each have their own style of beer, they all agree that the customers opinion will always trump a judge's.

"If I have a beer that the judges think is garbage but the people love and enjoy and socialize with here, then I'm not gonna change that," Thieme said.

"Quality is really what's become most important to the consumer," Miller said.

"I could brew the most true to style version of beer 'X' in the world, but if it doesn't resonate with the people at the bar then it's a one and done sort of deal," Patterson said. 

"Ultimately I want to make the people that come in and drink our beers happy, and if it prevents that beer from picking up a medal because it's not quite in that style then that's fine," Cook said. 

It's no doubt that there are a lot of breweries that have been popping up all over the state, and especially in the Greater Lafayette area within the last few years. 

Apparently the "brewery boom" in Indiana still hasn't quite caught up. While we may feel like there's breweries around every corner, there still aren't as many breweries as there were pre-prohibition.

Miller explained the reasoning to News 18. He said pre-prohibition, every small town had a brewery of its own because beer wasn't being shipped all across the country.

He said we're finally getting to the point where small town breweries are opening up after years of only serving beer from big breweries. Small towns are now having the pre-prohibition drinking experience.

He thinks it's great that small towns now have something local and fresh to offer.

"We're getting back to that pre-prohibition, more European-style of drinking than where we were when the biggest brewers were just sending it around the country," Miller said. 

In the spirit of keeping it local, another fun tidbit to share about all of these breweries is that they all operate with Blichmann engineering from Lafayette.

Local beer results below:

Backstep Brewing Company

-Second-best brewery in Indiana

-Gold medal in Belgian and French Ale category for 'Lost Season' Saison 

-Gold medal in Dark Lager category for 'Dunkel Witz' Munich Dunkel

-Silver medal in Stout category for 'Quinn' Irish Stout

-Silver medal in Amber Hybrid Beer Category for 'By Necessity' California Common

-Silver in Fruit Beer Category for 'Prickly Pear Gose' Fruit Beer 

Brokerage Brewing Company

-Gold medal in Bock category for 'Aye Mai' Helles Bock 

-Gold medal in Strong Stout category for 'Charlie' Imperial Stout 

-Bronze medal in Stroung Stout category for 'Curse of Malthaven' American Stout 

Teays River Brewing & Public House

-Silver medal in Other American Ale category for 'Luscious' American Brown Ale 

Thieme and Wagner Brewery

-Silver medal in Dark Lager category for 'Schwarzer Elefant' Schwarzbier 

Click here for the full list of winners from this year's Indiana Brewers' Cup. 

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