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Which local brewery took home two gold medals in N.C. Brewers Cup?

Jeff Golliher serves pints of 3 Dog Dunkel and American Red Ale at Dry Falls Brewing Co. Jeff Golliher serves pints of 3 Dog Dunkel and American Red Ale at Dry Falls Brewing Co.

Hendersonville’s Dry Falls Brewing Co. won two gold medals at the 12th anniversary of the North Carolina Brewers Cup competition last month, emerging as the only Henderson County-based brewery to medal.

The brewery in the old Oates Paint & Body Shop on Kanuga Road’s Busy Bend is owned and operated by the father-and-son team of Jeff and Evan Golliher. The brewery landed gold for its American Red, in the American Porter, Amber and Brown Ale Category, and its 3 Dog Dunkel, in the Dark European Lager competition.

Jeff Golliher said he thought judges probably appreciated the authenticity of both flavors.

“We brewed them true to style,” he said. “That was our goal. We brewed the 3 Dog Dunkel as a true lager and the red ale we brewed it toward the amber standards.”

He credits brewers Cris Ellenbecker and Josh Carruth for the work.

Dry Falls is pouring pints of both for just a little while longer.

“We have a little bit of the American Red left and probably a half barrel of the Dunkel,” he said. After introducing a special white IPA for Halloween, “we’ll look at bringing the Dunkel and the American Red back in December.”

Holiday beers on tap include Dry Falls' rollout of a black IPA on Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving and its 12 Beers of Christmas leading up to Christmas Day. The brewery also celebrates its 5-year anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Administered by the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild, this year's Brewers Cup competition drew 873 entries from 122 independent North Carolina craft breweries, making it the largest commercial competition in the Southeast. Judging occurred simultaneously at Edit Beer Co. in Raleigh and White Labs in Asheville Aug. 26-27. Certified beer judges from across the Southeast traveled to participate in the beer style competition, sanctioned by the Beer Judge Certification Program.

 Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded in 36 style-based beer categories, based on the 2023 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines (also used for Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions). Unique to North Carolina is the N.C. Homegrown category, which requires the beer to source at least 55 percent of its dry-weight ingredients from North Carolina agricultural products.

The three largest categories of the 2023 competition were:

  • Juicy/Hazy Style IPA with 70 entries
  • American-Style IPA with 63 entries
  • Field & Spiced Beers with 50 entries

The N.C. Craft Brewers Guild will announce the Brewery of the Year at the N.C. Beer Industry Awards Banquet on Nov. 14 in Winston-Salem.