Col. Cullmann watches Goat Island’s Mike Mullaney secure the handle to the Duck River Dunkel tap at the Oktoberfest opening ceremony Wednesday evening. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)
CULLMAN – After seeing its official brew for Cullman's 2018 Oktoberfest take a silver medal in the nation’s largest craft beer competition two weeks ago, the guys at Goat Island Brewing had one more achievement to celebrate as the festival got underway: three more medals in Alabama’s largest competition, the Alabama Craft Beer Festival & State Championship, held Sept. 29 in Florence.
Peace, Love, and Hippieweizen
Goat Island CEO Mike Mullaney shared, “This is the third year they’ve had an Alabama Craft Beer Championship, and it’s a beer festival too, in Florence. And so, the Hippieweizen got a gold medal. It’s the first time I think we’ve entered it; and certainly, if not, it’s the first time it’s ever gotten any kind of award. We’re real excited about, of course, getting a gold medal with the Hippieweissen.”
“Peace, Love, and Hippieweizen” (the brew’s full name) is a heffeweizen, or German wheat beer, described on Goat Island’s website as “light and refreshing. The perfect beer for our hot Alabama weather.”
Special edition "Thrill Hill Vanilla Porter"
Mullaney explained, “And then we barrel-aged the Thrill Hill Vanilla Porter for six months in a barrel of whiskey from John Emerald down in Opelika; that’s a craft distillery here in Alabama. They gave us their empty (barrels), and we did six months with the Thrill Hill. And we entered the barrel-aged Thrill Hill, and it won us a silver.”
Mullaney said Goat Island has sent the barrels back to John Emerald, where they will be re-used to produce Thrill Hill aged whiskey at the distillery; he said the two businesses plan to do more barrel swapping in the future.
“Thrill Hill Vanilla Porter” is a complex brew with a slightly higher than usual alcohol content, described as “dark, decadent and delicious, but it is not a heavy beer. It is lighter in body than you would think and has a nice malty background.”
Mullaney continued, “And then the pilsner, for the third year in a row, medaled. And it got a bronze this year. We came home with a matched set (of medals): one of each!”
“Richter’s Pils” is a golden pilsner based on an original recipe found among the effects of William Frederick Richter, one of Cullman’s early German citizens and proprietor of Richter’s Saloon, in the attic of a downtown Cullman building. The official description says that the brew “has a great grainy malt flavor from the German Pilsner malt, and a clean hop bitterness from the German hops and the lagering process. This is Goat Island Brewing’s flagship beer.”
Two weeks ago, Goat Island gained national attention with a second-place silver medal finish for its “Duck River Dunkel” in the “Munich-Style Dunkel or European-Style Dark Lager” category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, the largest beer competition in the United States.
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