Tamaqua microbrewery garners farm show win
A beer brewed by a Tamaqua microbrewery was toasted as the best of its kind by Pennsylvania Farm Show judges.
Stoker’s Brewery won a first place in the Belgian Style Strong Blonde Ale division for its “Divine” Belgian Strong Golden Ale.
Stoker’s owner and brewmaster, Doug Drost, said the 2023 farm show award is dedicated to customers - many of whom have been asking him to enter Stoker’s beers in competitions.
“Without them, there is no Stoker’s Brewery. Without them, there are no awards,” he said.
Judging was completed before Saturday’s start of the Farm Show, which runs through Jan. 14 from the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, Harrisburg.
Winners were honored Saturday, and their brews are displayed at the farm show. Stoker’s entry was one of 250 from more than 50 breweries across 30 countries.
Drost explained that the “Divine” Belgian Strong Golden Ale is brewed with traditional ingredients including Belgian candi sugar.
When poured, it has a golden and effervescent appearance that rises into a mountainous white head, he said.
“Its aroma has a soft perfume-like character with fruity esters reminiscent of pears and apples. It’s a complex, yet delicate beer with a relatively light body for an ale of its strength with a lingering, dry finish,” Drost said.
Stoker’s most recent win wasn’t a first. Drost entered Stoker’s “Kindling Kwad” Belgian dark strong ale last year - and took home a third place in the Belgian Style Beer category.
Certified judges base their ratings on the Beer Association 2022 Beer Style Guidelines.
And it’s not just submissions from Pennsylvania.
“Last year’s winners (2022) were selected from 122 beer entries in 15 categories representing 25 breweries from 20 counties,” Drost noted.
Stoker’s “Divine” Belgian Strong Golden Ale is one of 21 different beers brewed on-site at 36 Mauch Chunk St. It is available year round on draft, and Drost plans to make it available in bottles in the near future.