Old Ox Hosts Craft Beer Cup; Harpers Ferry, Harvest Gap Take First

Loudoun breweries once again made a strong showing in the annual Virginia Craft Beer Cup competition, with Harvest Gap Brewery and Harpers Ferry Brewing taking first-place prizes amid the largest field of competitors yet.

This year’s competition took place at Ashburn’s Old Ox Brewery.

According to the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, a record 106 breweries competed, including 14 new participants, with a record 396 beers submitted for judging. The Virginia Craft Beer Cup continues to be the largest state competition of its kind in the United States.

Chief Judge Charlie Harr called this year’s cup a great competition.

“It was clearly evident in the tight race that every brewery is extremely dedicated to the craft and their dedication is inspiring,” Harr said. “This year’s competition proves Virginia has some of the best craft brewers in the nation.” 

Harvest Gap Brewery took first place among pale European lagers for its Devil Dog, joined by Harpers Ferry Brewing taking first place among stouts for its Pollywog Irish Stout. Harvest Gap also took a third-place prize in American lagers for its Stud Lite.

Hosts Old Ox Brewery also took an award for Loudoun, winning third place with its Cream Ale. Black Hoof Brewing took third place in amber lagers with its Full Quiver Marzen, and third place in pale European lagers with its Broadside. Bear Chase Brewing took a third place in the Kölsch category with its Kodiak Kölsch, and Beltway Brew Co.’s pilsner took third place in the category. Lost Barrel Brewing won third place in speciality IPAs with its Tangerine Imperial IPA, and Flying Ace Distillery and Brewery took second place in strong European lagers with its Prototype Delta Delta 1 Doppelbock. And Barnhouse Brewery won third place in German and American wheat with its Harvest Hefe.

“It’s fitting that on the 10th anniversary of SB604, the Virginia Craft Beer Cup has the most competitors in its history,” said Virginia Craft Brewers Guild President and CEO Brett Vassey, referring to the 2012 General Assembly bill that allowed brewers to begin selling their beer at retail on-premises and to go. “The VCBG is initiating new marketing programs to drive thirsty consumers to tasting rooms to help grow independent craft beer.”

This article was updated Aug. 22 at 10:33 a.m. to include Barnhouse Brewery.

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