OC Brewing Tapped as One of Country’s Top Breweries in 2021

Oregon City Brewing Co., which is set to open its second location at the Canby Beer Library in 2022, emerged as one of the nation’s top breweries at the recent U.S. Open Beer Championship, placing seventh overall in the judges’ estimation of the country’s best brewmasters — and taking home five medals out of more than 8,000 beers representing over 140 different styles.

Though the Bend-based Deschutes Brewery has been named grand national champion three times — including last year — since the contest was founded by brewmaster Dow Scoggins in 2009, no other Oregon breweries tapped into the top 10 in 2021.

This year’s top prize went to Toppling Goliath Brewing in Decorah, Iowa.

OC Brewing was awarded gold medals for its Desideratum barrel-aged fruit sour and Beast of Burton British imperial stout; silvers for its Very A-Gris-Able red wine barrel-aged beer and Coming to Fruition: Marionberry Brett beer; and a bronze for another Brett, the Coming to Fruition: Cherry.

“I am so proud of our phenomenal brewmaster, David Vohden,” said Bryce Morrow, owner of OC Brewing and the Canby Beery Library. “He is a creative force of nature, one of the best young brewers and an even better person. I’m confident we’re just getting started.”

Founded in 2014, it was the first brewery to set up shop in Oregon City since Jacob Mader’s Oregon City Brewery closed in 1895. This was the company’s first time entering the prestigious U.S. Open for beer.

“It was really gratifying,” Morrow told The Canby Current.

The company was also awarded two bronze medals at the North American Brewers Awards earlier this month for Dark ‘Vator, a Cascadian dark ale (also known as a black IPA) and Coming to Fruition: Cherry.

As for the Beer Library, which is being realized in the city’s former library building on North Holly Street and will feature Clackamas County’s first rooftop bar, the project is “moving full steam ahead.”

“We did a neighborhood meeting last week hope to have construction permits by the end of this week,” Morrow told the Current.

The U.S. Open Beer Championship judges more beer styles than any other competition in the world. The U.S. Open also is the only major beer competition to allow the gold medal winners of the AHA’s National Homebrew Competition to participate, but due to Covid-19, last year’s AHA’s National Homebrew Competition was canceled.

Also due to the pandemic, judging was held in both the U.S. and Canada. The main U.S. judging was held at the new U.S. Open Event Center in Oxford, Ohio: a 6,000-square-foot Amish pole barn located on a small farm.

Judging in the U.S. Open Beer Championships is blind; judges know only the categories, not the names or locations of beers being judged.

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