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Vermont brews win top awards

The Green Mountain State is rapidly earning the reputation as one of the Western Hemisphere's top micro beer- and ale-making locales. Known for its fine waters, attention to detail and content, such accolades about Vermont brews aren't mere chamber of commerce hype. The proof is in the accolades. Last week, Vermont brews topped the list of bests at the World Beer Cup 2010 event held in Colorado.

The Brewers Association of Denver hosts the annual global beer competition; experts at the event evaluated beer from around the world. They recognized the most outstanding beers being produced.

As a result, association judges singled out three Vermont breweries for excellence.

The Alchemist Pub & Brewery of Waterbury received the World Beer Cup Gold Medal in the eclectic gluten-free beer category for its Celia Saison product. Celia Saison-a Belgian-inspired gluten-free Saison made with sorghum, orange peel, coriander, and Amarillo hops.

Harpoon Brewery of Windsor, Vt., was awarded the cup's silver medal in the American-style wheat beer with yeast category for its flagship of quirky UFO brands-UFO Hefeweizen. Hefeweizen is a cloudy golden color with "a dense, frothy head, and the aroma has a faint but clear citrus-like character." UFO has a soft "mouth feel" and a refreshing, light body. The wheat malts and subtle hopping give this beer what is described as a mild, delicate flavor.

Lawson's Finest Liquids of Warren, Vt., won a bronze medal in the specialty beer category for its unusual Maple Tripple. Think of a rich beer and maple syrup and you have Maple Tripple. Judges attempted to describ it as "an enticing, rich and complex... the creation defies easy description." Lawson's once-a-year beer is brewed only during sugaring season with 100 percent maple sap from Fayston-area farms. No outside water is added-only barley, hops, and ale yeast.

The World Beer Cup 2010 winners were selected by an international panel of 179 beer judges from 27 countries. An impressive field of 3,401 entries from 642 breweries in 44 countries made up the competition.

More than 3,800 breweries in 100 countries were invited to compete.

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