Portage County is staking its claim in the world of craft beer
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT — Stevens Point Brewery’s CiderBoys and Point Beer received multiple prestigious awards from the International Beverage Competitions, based in New York, in the International Beer and Cider Competition. The dedicated group of artisan brewers won Wisconsin Cider Producer of the Year, Wisconsin Brewery of the Year and also walked away with several brew-specific titles.
“We are so proud that CiderBoys, Point and Whole Hog beers can be recognized nationally,” said Brewery Director of Marketing Julie Birrenkott in an exclusive interview with the Gazette. “The growth of CiderBoys is a testament to the brand’s great taste and top quality.”
Point Brewery added Whole Hog beers in 2009, and CiderBoys shortly after in 2012, expanding their portfolio of craft beverages to a broader audience. While the drinks started as local ‘favorites, their popularity has outgrown Wisconsin state borders.
“Currently CiderBoys is sold in 26 states with more to come,” Birrenkott said. “The hard work and attention to quality our team puts forward every day is the reason why these craft beers and hard ciders win national medals.”
Staff noted that these new awards are especially humbling since industry “trade buyers” composed the panel of judges.
“What is unique about the New York International Beer and Cider Competition is the judges are trade buyers,” Birrenkott explained. “They give higher scores to beers and ciders they believe will sell well in their stores. This is no surprise since the distribution of CiderBoys continues to grow.”
With an extensive list of awards and titles, Stevens Point Brewery is forming Portage County into a craft beer hotspot. The brewery is one of the oldest in the country, founded in 1857, but still manages to innovate and impress supporters around the nation.
“With more than 7,000 breweries in the United States today, it’s an honor to receive national notoriety,” Birrenkott said. “Meanwhile, the demand for Point and Ciderboys shows no signs of slowing down. Our brewery will continue to grow and prosper, and that’s good news for our community.”
CiderBoys awards from the International Beer and Cider Competition:
CiderBoys Peach County: Gold Medal
CiderBoys Grand Mimosa: Silver Medal
CiderBoys First Press: Bronze Medal
Point Brewery Beer awards from the International Beer and Cider Competition:
Whole Hog Cold Nikita Russian Imperial Stout: Gold Medal
Point Bock: Silver Medal
Full Hog Lord James Scotch Ale: Bronze Medal
Point Special Lager: Bronze Medal