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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 beer-making details, contents, and old-fashioned honest marketing, such accolades about Vermont brews aren't mere chamber of commerce hype. The proof is in the trophy cabinets. 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 an annual global beer competition; experts from all over the globe evaluated beer from more than 25 nations. They recognized the most outstanding beers being produced, so the competition is stiff and exhibitor emotions run high.

World Beer Cup judges have a tough job; they have to drink a lot of fine beer and ale and decide on the best.

During the event, judges singled out three unexpected Vermont breweries for their excellent products-the cup provided a nice, colorful feather for Vermont's beermesiter Tyrolean hat.

The Alchemist Pub and 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 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."

The UFO award-winner was described by judges as having "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 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 Tripple 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," Lawson's said.

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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