The results are in from the sixth annual Inquirer Brew-vitational, which pits local beers against each other in a blind tasting judged by a panel of experts. And the judges themselves were apparently "shocked" by this year's results, with a near-unanimous decision in the wheat beer division in favor of Round Guys' Berliner — a beer that "used to be horrendous," according to former Flying Fish brewer Casey Hughes, but has more recently received some major tweaks. (Lansdale-based Round Guys, it should be noted, just got started in 2012 and also scored a third-place finish in this year's new beers category.) River Horse, Tired Hands, Stoudts, and Evil Genius also nabbed top honors this time around.
This time around, 59 beers from 33 breweries were considered for awards in two categories: new beers and wheat beers. Here are the top three selected for each:
1. River Horse Brewing Co. — Chocolate Porter, Chocolate Porter (6.5%)
2. Tired Hands Brewing Co. — Guillemot - Guilly Vanilly, Dark Dessert Saison (8.5%)
3. Round Guys Brewing Co. — Cyrano Fruit Saison, Saison brewed with cherry and mango (3.7%)
1. Round Guys Brewing Co. — The Berliner, Berliner Style Weisse (3.7%)
2. Stoudts Brewing Co. — Hefe, South German-style Hefeweizen (5.2%)
3. Evil Genius Beer Co. — I Love Lamp, Hefeweizen (5.5%)
Read the full descriptions and notes on each winner here, with further elaboration on the field and process from Craig LaBan here.