This year, Bitter Bitch slid to number two. The winner? Gilgamesh Brewing's Black Mamba, the hop-free beer made with Earl Grey tea and tangerine zest. Block 15 took the bronze with their succulent barrel-aged Pappy's Dark. Incidentally, as far as I know, these results haven't been released. I saw the post on Gilgamesh's Facebook page and asked Lani Radke if she knew who came in second and third. So consider these unofficial:
Spring Beer Fest 2010 People's Choice WinnersWhat do these beers tell us? A few things. First, that people like novelty. A number of breweries sent their same old, same old beers, and people weren't rewarding them. And clearly, they appreciated Gilgamesh's effort to build a better mousetrap. Second, that they like hops. Bitter Bitch's run is pretty amazing. The last lesson, which is a little speculative, appears to be that while barrel aged dark ales are all the rage among hardcore beer geeks, they are a niche minority. Pappy's Dark is exactly the kind of product that gets intense love at places like BeerAdvocate and RateBeer. But at the Spring Beer Fest, it was on the outside looking in.
1. Gilgamesh Brewing, Black Mamba
2. Astoria Brewing, Bitter Bitch
3. Block 15, Pappy's Dark
Congrats to Gilgamesh, who was properly rewarded for pushing the envelope. Let's hope it's the start of a trend.