Choc Beer Wins Gold Medal

A beer produced by Oklahoma-based Choc Beer Co. took a gold medal at the largest commercial beer competition in the world, marking the first time an Oklahoma brewer struck gold there. Signature Dubbel won in the Belgian-Style Abbey Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
Belgian-Style beers were made famous by the Trappist Monks of Belgium. The Belgian-Style Abbey Ale category was one of the most heavily entered categories at the festival, which ended Sept. 26. A total of 58 beers were entered in that category.
“We knew going into the festival that we had submitted a great beer, but we also knew it would be one of the most fiercely entered categories,” said Zach Prichard, owner of Choc Beer Co. and great-grandson of Pietro Piegari, the brew master who created the original Choc in 1919. “To take back a gold medal to Oklahoma is an honor and a testament to our entire team. This might not be the Olympics, but it feels pretty good.”
GABF organizers said they had 3,308 beers from 495 U.S. breweries competing in 78 categories, 16 percent more entries than last year. Colorado and California typically dominate the competition. The top five medal winning states this year were Colorado (45), California (39), Oregon (22), Washington (13) and Pennsylvania (12).
The GABF competition attracted 132 international beer judges from 10 countries. The average number of beers entered in each category was 42. Choc won a bronze medal at the GABF in 2000 for 1919.
“There are some great breweries in Oklahoma and I would not be shocked to see us catching up to larger states down the road,” Prichard said. “But for now, I’m proud that the Choc team is the first Oklahoma brewery to strike gold.”

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