A Rogers microbrewery was the state’s lone winner at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver.
Natural State Beer Co., which is at 5214 W. Village Parkway in the Village on the Creeks (VOC) development, received a gold medal in the Bock beer category for its popular Maibock brew, a pale strong malty German lager. There were 88 entries from around the country entered in that style of beer.
Mark Smith, president and co-founder of Tatum-Smith Engineers in Rogers, is president and co-founder of Natural State Beer Co., a seven-barrel microbrewery that opened in 2019. Smith, Will Sonneman (head brewer) and Ryan Smith (brewer) accepted the award Sept. 10 at the GABF, hosted by trade group Brewers Association. It’s the largest commercial craft beer competition in the world.
“This is a huge honor to be recognized by the Brewers Association with this prestigious award,” Smith said. “We are beyond thrilled to be taking this medal home to Northwest Arkansas.”
Organizers canceled the festival portion of the GABF this year, but the competition segment carried on. One-hundred seventy judges evaluated 9,680 entries from 2,192 breweries from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
The best beers in 97 beer categories covering 175 different beer styles (including all subcategories) were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals at a ceremony at the Bellco Theatre in Denver.