20th Annual Garden City BrewFest Awards Released


2012 Garden City BrewFest. Photo by Erin Stoner.

The 2012 Beer Awards for the 20th Anniversary Garden City BrewFest – held last Saturday in Caras Park – have been released. Montana’s newest brewery, Wildwood Brewing Company of Stevensville, won the Best of Montana Beer and the Best Lager Beer with its Ambitious Lager.

Ninkasi Brewing Company from Eugene, Ore., swept three awards this year. The Best American Ale went to Ninkasi’s Spring Reign, and its Oatmeal Stout won the Best Dark Ale and the Best of Show Award.

“We had a wonderful variety of exceptional beers at this year’s BrewFest,” said Asa Hohman, President of the Zoo City Zymurgists, the local home brewer’s club oversees the awards program at the Garden City BrewFest. “Ninkasi Brewing Company and Wildwood – Montana’s newest brewery – took five-of-the-ten awards with their products.”

The club presented ten awards at Saturday’s event, which drew around 5,000 people.

  • Best American Ale Spring Reign, Ninkasi Brewing, Eugene, OR
  • Best Belgian Dirty Ginger, Flathead Lake, Bigfork, MT
  • Best Dark Ale Oatmeal Stout, Ninkasi Brewing, Eugene, OR
  • Best Fruit Beer Shock Top Lemon Shandy, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO
  • Best IPA Single Malt IPA, Blackfoot Brewing, Helena, MT
  • Best Lager Ambitious Lager, Wildwood Brewing, Stevensville, MT
  • Best Light Ale Golden Grizzly, Glacier Brewing, Polson, MT
  • Best Specialty Chainbreaker White IPA, Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR
  • Best of Montana Ambitious Lager, Wildwood Brewing, Stevensville, MT
  • Best of Show Oatmeal Stout, Ninkasi Brewing, Eugene, OR

The Zymurgists provide 12 trained judges who sampled all 65 beers and select the award winners based upon a variety of elements, including taste, color, appearance, mouth-feel, flavor, aroma and overall drinkability.

The award-winning breweries should receive their awards in the mail in the next two weeks, and the Missoula Downtown Association will serve Ninkasi’s Oatmeal Stout at the 2013 Garden City BrewFest.