"You keep on putting bigger and bigger and bigger [IPA flavors] on your tongue and then you realize bigger isn’t always better," said Brewvi judge Edward Friedland, the third-generation beer distributor who introduced brands like Victory, Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head, and Chimay to the Philadelphia market."The difficulty factor in brewing a good lager is also harder than making a pale ale." Our region's German roots make us predisposed to the style, which ferments at colder temperatures than ales and take at least twice as long to make.For three-year-old Saint Benjamin, meanwhile, founder Tim Patton says the major improvement came from both the maturing of his staff (with brewer Andrew Foss) and the replacement last year of their "glorified homebrew system" with serious equipment made in Germany."We're not just running around crazy like we did the first few years when we were short-staffed," Patton says.
“So do I,” laughs the 40-year-old model-turned-actress.albeit with a tie for that dubbel as best new beer with the Antebellum saison from Ambler's Forest & Main.Together, they illustrated the dramatic leaps forward a new brewery can take within just a few years of opening, a phenomenon this competition has demonstrated before.According to Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association trade group, pilsners in particular, with their strong hop profile, have become a particularly popular alternative for brewers trying to offer an alternative to the India pale ale craze.A sub-category of maltier "Mexican-style lagers" is also noticeable, with at least two represented in the Brewvitational tasting.