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Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014

Horny Goat Takes the Gold

Milwaukee brew pub wins big at International Beer and Cider Festival

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Milwaukee’s Horny Goat Brewing Company has steadily gained a loyal following since setting up its brewery in 2009 and opening the Hideaway Brew Pub (2011 S. First St.) shortly thereafter. The brew pub is a great place for Horny Goat to showcase its beers and allows it to play around with countless varieties and flavors of beer to find some real winners. In fact, in November 2013, Horny Goat Brewing won awards for some of their beers at the 17th annual International Beer and Cider Festival in Providence, Rhode Island.

Matthew Capaul, Horny Goat’s pub events and marketing manager, says, “Our pub acts sort of like a test kitchen for our beers. We can try a one-off barrel of something and see how people like it”—which is exactly how they developed their gold medal-winning Brownie Porter. What started as an experiment in the brew pub ended up in competition with more than 500 breweries from around the world in a blind tasting. The Brownie Porter surprised tasters with its rich chocolaty flavor. Capaul compares the taste to “a brownie baked by grandma, except in liquid form.” There is also a hint of cinnamon spiciness and a nice flavor garnered from real Tahitian vanilla beans, which Capaul says, “aren’t used often in beer making because they’re pretty pricy and kind of rare.” The beer is relatively malty with a crisp finish.

The Brownie Porter captured the gold medal for the Fruit and Spice Ale category at the festival. “The craft beer competitions can be really challenging because if the beer doesn’t really ‘fit’ in a specific category, it won’t be judged right,” says Capaul. “We entered this not sure how well it fit, and it ended up winning.”

Horny Goat’s Exposed beer also received honors at the festival, taking a bronze medal in the Cream Ale category. Exposed is one of Horny Goat’s flagship brands. “It’s one of those we started the company off with,” says Capaul. “It has always been with us and done quite well in the local market.”

If you are interested in trying one of these award-winning brews, visit the Horny Goat Hideaway. The award winners and flagship beers should always be available. The other taps change weekly, sometimes even daily. Who knows? On any given visit, you may be the first to sample a future award winner.

Visit hghideaway.com for more information about Horny Goat and to find a list of beers on tap at the brew pub.

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