Tempe brewery snags 3 gold medals at national and international beer competitions (Phoenix Business Journal)
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Tempe brewery snags 3 gold medals at national and international beer competitions (Phoenix Business Journal)

Tempe brewery snags 3 gold medals at national and international beer competitions

By Suandra Wilson on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Phoenix Business Journal

A downtown Tempe brewery has been turning beer into gold lately. Gold medals that is.

Pedal Haus hopped up to win three gold medals at two internationally recognized beer competitions in the past three months.

“The winnings are awesome for us,” bar manager Jared Schwartz said. “We get the gratification of winning a medal but it’s also reassurance for us that what we’re doing here is the right thing and the beers that we are doing here are being done the right way.”

The brewery’s light lager beer won in the American-style light lager category at both the North American Beer Awards in early June and the Los Angeles International Beer Competition in April. Pedal Haus’ German-style lager, the Kolsch, also won a gold medal at the Los Angeles competition and a bronze medal at the North American Beer Awards.

Derek Osborne, director of brewing operations and the mastermind behind the beers, said the win was personal for him.

“Getting the first medal was something I considered an honor, but almost luck,” Osborne said. “But, getting a second medal made me feel like oh, maybe this beer is really good,” he said.

The Los Angeles competition drew entries from 29 states and several countries including Croatia, Vietnam, Quebec and British Columbia. The beers were tasted over four days by a 100-member panel of certified beer judges, beer industry officials, and brew masters. About 2,000 beers were submitted to the North American Beer Awards competition.

The winning light lager has an alcohol per volume of 3 percent and contains 10 international bitter units, on the low end as IBUs go. The light lager is low calorie and gluten reduced beer, made without any adjuncts, something Osborne said some large brewers use to manage a beer’s flavor.

Osborne crafted the beer around the competition’s category description, calculating the calories and alcohol content.

“I used all barley and reverse osmosis water and just brewed it as clean as we could,” Osborne said.

Pedal Haus’ light lager also beat out Coors Light, which won a bronze in the same category at the North American Beer Awards. Schwartz said winning the gold over Coors Light means Pedal Haus must be doing something right, especially since it doesn’t have the same resources to make sure every batch is brewed the same way as household name Coors Light.

“I really wanted to take ones from the guys that have billion-dollar equipment,” Osborne said. “I wanted to see if we could produce a beer that could compete with them,” he said.

Pedal Haus, with just under two years of business under its belt, has joined the ranks of other award-winning Valley breweries including Tempe-based Four Peaks Brewing Co. and Chandler’s San Tan Brewing Co. Pedal Haus has received 10 industry awards since its opening.

“Arizona’s got one of the best up and coming brewery communities,” Osborne said. “We’re all trying to take a piece of the pie but we’re not really competing with each other. We’re all on the same team,” he said.