DESTIHL Brewery Wins Big at GABF FOR Two Different Hazy IPAs
(Normal, IL) – DESTIHL Brewery was awarded gold and bronze medals for two of its hazy IPA’s at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition, presented by the Brewers Association®. The best beers in 97 beer categories covering 175 different beer styles (including all subcategories) were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals at a ceremony at the Bellco Theatre in Denver on Friday evening during the Craft Brewers Conference® and livestreamed on The Brewing Network.
DESTIHL was recognized with the coveted gold medal in the category saved for the end of the ceremony due to its highest number of entries, Category 64: Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale (with 427 entries and five rounds of judging), for its DeadHead IPA Series: TourBus, a 6.8% ABV Hazy IPA brewed with Citra & Mosaic hops, providing dynamic, juicy, mimosa-like notes of tropical & citrus fruits and berries.
The TourBus subseries is an innovative ‘tour’ of IPAʼs within the DeadHead IPA series starring experimental and/or rotating hops from around the world. Now, of course, this winning leg of the tour, ‘Tour #2’, will make a recurring appearance beginning within the next few weeks at DESTIHL Brewery & Beer Hall and DESTIHL Restaurant & Brew Works, both in Normal, IL, with plans in progress for potentially making it available more broadly within DESTIHL’s local market and ultimately its large distribution footprint. A release date for TourBus, Tour #2, will be announced by the brewery at a later time.
Also accounting for much of DESTIHL’s growth in 2020 was its rapidly growing DeadHead® IPA Series, which grew by 31% compared to 2019. This series consists mostly of rotating Hazy IPA’s, including Touch of Haze®, Drivin’ that Haze®, Haze of the Dead® and Extended Jam®, with more brands to come. In addition to great package design, the strong growth of this brand is due to the awesome liquid, quality and consistency of these beers and that they have a stable, authentic haze and longer shelf-life, enabling them to be distributed throughout DESTIHL’s 37-state footprint and even internationally to Sweden. Indeed, its Extended Jam was the #1 trending beer globally for a time in 2020 on Untappd®. Building on the success of this series, the brewery recently announced the release this month of its new year-round SoundBoard® Lo-Cal Hazy IPA, a remarkably refreshing craft beer having all the aroma and flavor that one wants in an IPA, but with only 4% ABV, 5g of carbs and 99 calories per 12oz serving, without sacrificing mouthfeel.
DESTIHL also won the bronze medal in another competitive Category 66: Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale (with 195 entries), for its DeadHead IPA Series: Haze of the Dead, a smooth Hazy Double IPA with a balanced, almost hidden, 8.5% ABV that reverberates with booming amounts of Citra and Simcoe hops piercing through the melodic mouthfeel of flaked oats, wheat & pils malts, forming a juicy and hazy concoction that will be sure to wake the dead.
DESTIHL has been brewing Haze of the Dead since 2018, long after brewing the original flagship DeadHead Imperial Red IPA in 2009, with Haze of the Dead becoming an instant hit and a highly demanded favorite locally, nationally and more recently, even from as far away as Sweden. The GABF entry for this beer just came off a normal production run, speaking volumes to the day-to-day quality and consistency of DESTIHL beers. Haze of the Dead is currently in its quarterly release season and is available now at many fine retailers throughout DESTIHL’s markets. Up next in the DeadHead IPA Series will be another favorite, Extended Jam®, launching in November.
As pointed out in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune article written by Josh Noel, Illinois breweries continue to dominate in Hazy/Juicy beer categories. “There is a long history of craft brewing in Illinois, and there are so many great breweries producing awesome beers that it just pushes all of us to keep raising the bar, making all of us better,” said Matt Potts, CEO of DESTIHL. “Our Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, one of the biggest state guilds in the country, also stresses upon its members much importance on producing quality beers brewed with pride in Illinois. Other than that, it is hard to say exactly how Illinois has come to dominate hazy beers from artistic, technical or even scientific elements such as great Midwest water, etc., but maybe being in the Midwest just finds the perfect balance between the coasts,” Potts continues. “Bottom line, we are just so excited, proud and happy for our hard-working, dedicated, skilled and professional brewery crew for accomplishing this huge feat”.
Judging took place in 34 sessions over 17 days with strict health and safety measures in place. 170 judges evaluated 9,680 entries from 2,192 breweries from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. “Despite being forced to cancel the festival portion of GABF, our brewing community rallied together to make this year’s GABF competition one for the books — our largest competition judged to date,” said Chris Swersey, competition director, Great American Beer Festival. “Judges continue to be impressed with the quality and innovation of all entries they evaluated. The Brewers Association is proud to honor this year’s deserving winners.”
For more information on the GABF competition, including a complete 2021 winners list and photos, visit GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.
About DESTIHL Brewery:
DESTIHL opened its gastrobrewpub™ (DESTIHL Restaurant & Brew Works) in Normal, Illinois, in November 2007, where the company focuses on both artisan food & beers. The company’s original production brewery in Bloomington, IL commenced operations in May 2013, but production was moved to its new 47,000sf Brewery & Beer Hall in Normal, IL, which opened to the public in May 2017. DESTIHL Brewery combines centuries-old, global brewing traditions and new American craft brewing ingenuity & artisanship to produce a wide array of award-winning beers for every palate. The result is a diverse offering of intensely flavorful beers that are anything but bland, including its DeadHead® IPA Series, Dosvidanya®, WiLD Sour Series, Craft Hard Seltzers and many other core beer offerings, like Hawaii Five Ale and Peanut Butter Porter. The brewery currently distributes its beers internationally and in 37 states, plus D.C.