Winning the Great American Beer Festival

Who took home the big wins from the Great American Beer Festival?


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Old Ale or Strong Ale

An interesting brewpub located in Pittsburgh, The Church Brew Works is located in (you guessed it) an old church. While a bit gimmicky, they have a full brew pub (located on what used to be the altar) and produce some very interesting beers. That's why their Heini's Hooch won gold in this category.

An old or strong ale (in this case, an American-style strong ale) is typically an ale that's high in alcohol, 7.0 percent ABV or higher. It can range pretty widely in style but this particular entry was aged in a bourbon barrel lending a bite of bourbon, vanilla and earthiness to the brown-hued brew.

This is a good after-dinner brew. It's heavy and sweet enough to stand on its own but you could probably pair it with a little apple pie.

The Church Brew Works image courtesy of Nadral via Flickr/cc

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Kirsy
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    880543 1,786

    Thank you for this article Clare! I enjoy a fine pint, but never know what to order so this should def help! I am so creating a Snooth's Top List of this brews :-)

    Nov 12, 2012 at 7:12 PM

  • Snooth User: Kirsy
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    880543 1,786

    I clicked on the pics for the Church Brew, impressive, must visit!

    Nov 12, 2012 at 7:13 PM

  • Snooth User: bmw1175
    115889 175

    I can attest that Troegs Brewing Co. in Hershey, PA has exceptional tasting beer. I tried there "Mad Elf", potent but exceptional.

    Nov 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 1,082

    The Church Brew Co. looks amazing. Its like a figment of someones imagination. I have got to visit.

    Nov 15, 2012 at 4:41 PM

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