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Cheers for beers: Minnesota breweries win international honors

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Three Minnesota breweries have won international recognition, earning medals in the 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship.

Minnesota Business Magazine notes that a local classic and two newer breweries were lauded in the competition.

August Schell Brewing from New Ulm won a silver medal in the American lager/pilsner category for its Grain Belt Premium. Badger Hill Brewing of Shakopee won a gold in the extra special bitter category for its Minnesota Special Bitter and a silver medal for its High Road Everyday Ale in the golden or blonde ale category.

And Roseville-based Bent Brewstillery won silver in the wood/barrel aged strong beer category for its Kalamity. Growler magazine, a bi-monthly publication featuring "craft beer and the community and culture surrounding it," just gave a favorable review to Bent Brewstillery's Dark Fatha American Stout, calling it "a new favorite.'

Winners in 81 different categories were named on Friday. Breweries from around the world sent in more than 3,000 different kinds of beers, ciders and ales for the competition. Judges from England, Canada, Finland and the U.S., selected the winners in blind tastings.

Wisconsin breweries also scored an impressive number of medal winners in the 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Sprecher Brewing in suburban Milwaukee was named in the top 10 breweries. The brewery also won two gold medals, for its Irish stout and its gluten-free beer, and earned a silver medal for its non-alcoholic root beer.

Other Wisconsin breweries with bragging rights include Stevens Point Brewing, which won one medal for its beer, two medals for its cider and one for its root beer; 3 Sheeps Brewing of Sheboygan which won two medals, and Stillmank Brewing, Badger State Brewing, Berghoff Brewing and the Capital Brewery, which each earned one medal.

According to the Brewers Association, the number of breweries in the U.S. continues to rise. The association counted 2,456 breweries in 2012 and 2,822 in 2013, an increase of almost 15 percent in just one year.

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