Carolina Bauernhaus Takes Home the Gold

By Brett Barest | October 19, 2017
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James Beard Awards. The World Series. Grammys. Oscars. Every industry has some way of recognizing the best. Competition and rewarding those that rise to the top is the heart and soul of American spirit. When a member of our local community claims its spot on the national stage, we are thrilled to congratulate them.

The Great American Craft Beer Festival is the gold standard of craft beer festivals and to take home a medal is the highest honor a brewery can earn. In total, 7,923 breweries enter the competition with the hopes of winning just one of the medals available from 98 different categories. The competition is fierce and the prestige associated with even a bronze medal in any category is significant.

At the conclusion of the 2017 GABF, only one South Carolina brewery took home a medal of any color, and we are proud to say it was one of the Upstate’s finest. Carolina Bauernhaus took home the gold medal in the Experimental Beer category for its Source Series Opuntia, which is not just a win for the brewery but for the local farm and food system as well. The brew starts with North Carolina grown rye and pilsner malts, is fermented with yeast isolated by SouthYeast Labs  from Opuntia fruit in La France, SC, and is aged in regional cabernet barrels on prickly pear fruit from the South Carolina Botanical Gardens. All this takes place in the cozy confines of their brewery just off Main Street in Anderson and the result is a 6.2% sour rye saison that 276 expert judges named the best of the best in its chosen category.

If there is any bad news here, it is that we cannot run right now to Carolina Bauernhaus to get a taste of the brew for ourselves. The 2017 edition of Opuntia will not be available until December. Fear not, however, as the brewery always has a full selection of locally-sourced farmhouse ales, ciders, and meads worthy of your attention. They are always worth the trip to Anderson for a pint or two, or you can go see them this weekend at Carolina Brew HaHa where they will be joined by 30 or so other local and regional breweries for a wonderful Saturday of craft beer, food, and fun. 

Wherever you make your acquaintance with Carolina Bauernhaus, relish in the knowledge that local yeast and fruit joined forces with regional grains and malts to give the Upstate brewing community, as a whole, a place on the biggest beer stage in the world. Cheers to that! 

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