Piney River Brewing won three medals at the 2019 U.S. Open Beer Championship and finished sixth overall among breweries.
Piney River received gold medals for Raise A Ruckus Imperial Stout and Crankbait Cream Ale as well as a bronze medal for Black Walnut Wheat. It was the first time that Piney River Brewing cracked the top 10 in breweries winning medals at the U.S. Beer Open.
“It thrills Joleen and I to bring more recognition to craft beer being made right here in the Ozarks,” said Piney River Brewing co-founder Brian Durham. “We are not a well-known brewery outside of the Ozarks, but our team is consistently turning out great beer. We are very proud of their efforts.”
The U.S. Open Beer Championship is held annually in Oxford, Ohio, and is open to professional brewers and home brewers. This year, more than 7,000 beers from around the world were entered in 130 different beer style categories. Judges hailed from England, Canada and the U.S.
Raise A Ruckus won the top prize in the “American Imperial Stout” category. It was the first time the beer was entered in the competition.
The imperial stout features dark roasted grains that provide full malt flavors of chocolate and coffee. The beer is finished on vanilla bean pods and the “Piney River blend” of brick and mortar fresh roasted coffee beans adding additional flavor and aroma.
Crankbait won the gold in the “American Cream Ale” category. It also won gold in 2015.
Piney River’s cream ale is a traditional American-style cream ale featuring flaked corn. It is pale, light-bodied and very lightly hopped.
Black Walnut Wheat took the bronze in the “American Wheat” category. It’s the fifth consecutive medal for the beer at the competition, as it claimed a gold, two silvers and a bronze in the past.
The American-style wheat beer is dark in color and brewed with hand-harvested black walnuts. It features an aroma of black walnuts and finishes with a black walnut flavor.
“I love seeing Black Walnut Wheat receive another round of recognition from the U.S. Open Beer Championship judges,” Durham said. “And it’s equally exciting to have top awards go to two of our seasonal beers.”
Black Walnut Wheat is available year-round, while Raise A Ruckus is a winter seasonal that Piney River has released the past three winters. Crankbait Cream Ale is a spring seasonal beer that is released every few years.
Piney River Brewing is located on the Durham’s 160-acre farm in South Central Missouri, operating out of a restored barn built in the 1940s and a larger production “barn.” Brian and Joleen Durham founded the brewery in 2010 with a 10-gallon brewing system. In 2018, Piney River Brewing produced 2,400 barrels of beer.
Piney River Brewing operates a tasting room on the farm that is open to the public every weekend. The brewery has distribution in Missouri and Arkansas.