It shouldn’t be a surprise. Really, British-born homebrewer Adam Robbings has been on a roll since turning pro and opening his Ballard brewery five years ago.
If packing the cozy taproom nightly wasn’t affirming enough, the awards keep coming in for Reuben’s Brews. While its taproom menu board is dominated by IPA of all stripes—from its hazy Crush series to standby Crikey, a finalist in our recent beer awards—sleeping on the rest of Reuben’s well-rounded portfolio is criminal. Need proof? Its flawless gose impressively nabbed back-to-back gold medals at the last two Great American Beer Festivals. Now just this week, Reuben’s added another three medals from the U.S. Open Beer Championships to its trophy case.
Its creamy Irish dry stout—a mouthful of roasty liquid velvet that could bring any Guinness drinker to their knees—landed gold, while its undersung altbier bagged a silver. Lest you think Reuben’s hoppy stuff was overlooked, its black imperial IPA earned a bronze medal in the American-style black ale category. (Check out the rest of Washington’s winners at the bottom of the page.)
News of Reuben’s well-deserved hardware comes just two weeks after Draft Magazine dubbed one of its recent collaboration beers one of the best IPAs in America. The national beer rag assembled a bunch of beer smarties with cicerone and BJCP (official homebrew competition judgeship) cred to blindly taste 386 IPAs from around the country. Reuben’s had a hand in the 3-Way IPA, an annual collabo series Oregon’s Fort George Brewery produces with two other breweries, which ranked 11th overall. This year Fort George invited Reuben’s and Portland’s hazy IPA heavyweights Great Notion to conspire on the mango-peach blaster. The Northeast-style IPA debuted last month and should be available, at least sporadically, through September.
The Draft team dug it so much, they couldn’t help but drop an F-bomb in their writeup. Here’s what they had to say:
“Each year, Fort George invites two breweries known for their hop mastery to visit Astoria, join hands, sing kumbaya and brew an awesome IPA. This year’s invitees, Reuben’s Brews and Great Notion, have both created some of our favorite hoppy beers of the past year; they were solid picks, and the beer the three were able to create is an incredible example of an NEIPA.
Imagine a Venn diagram composed of many circles: One circle shows tangerine, one contains mango, another has peach, and yet another has lychee. And at the center of them all, there’s this beer. Each sip of the fleece-blanket-soft brew is smooth, compact and pleasant, with each fruity node leading into another. Funky wet grass and yuzu arise at the finish; steel-cut oats and almond milk linger on the palate between sips. As Tenacious D would say, that’s fucking teamwork.”
Unfortunately, Reuben’s was the only Washington brewery to even share a slot in Draft’s rankings, but our beermakers fared better in the U.S. Open Beer Championships. Here are the rest of Washington’s winners:
Pike Brewing Doubble Hoppulus IPA: Silver in triple IPA categrory
Ghostfish Brewing Ghostfish IPA: Silver in gluten-free beer category
Brothers Cascadia Brewing JP’s Meeting House: Bronze in American brown ale category