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Black Mesa responds to World Beer Cup gold medal

by Nick Trougakos Published: April 15, 2014
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Oklahoma City’s Black Mesa Brewing Co. scored a huge win over the weekend, claiming a gold medal in Denver at the World Beer Cup. Black Mesa’s Endless Skyway Bitter took home the top prize among 57 entries in the Extra Special Bitter category.

Today, Black Mesa issued a statement in reaction to the win:

Oklahoma-based brewers Black Mesa Brewing Company claimed a gold medal for its Endless Skyway Bitter (ESB) at the 2014 World Beer Cup, the most prestigious beer competition in the world. The global beer competition presented by the Brewers Association evaluates beers in 91 style categories.

Black Mesa was awarded the gold medal from among 57 entries in the Extra Special Bitter category. Extra Special Bitters (ESBs) are English-style ales closely related to pale ales. The award was presented April 11, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. Black Mesa is only the second brewery from Oklahoma to medal at the competition and the first to receive a gold.

The World Beer Cup is referred to as the “Olympics of Beer Competition” and is held every two years. This year’s event was the largest to date, with 4,754 entries from 1,403 breweries representing 58 countries.

“The ESB has always held a bit of magic for us. It was the second beer we released, and it provided a lot of momentum for our young brewery when we needed it most. I’m guessing the ESB is about to provide us with another boost,” said Chris Sanders, Black Mesa’s brewmaster.

Black Mesa launched in August 2012 and brewed at the OKCity Brewing Cooperative, until a tornado destroyed the brewery on May 31, 2013. They began brewing at the O’Fallon Brewery in St. Louis and were able to return their products to the market just four months later.

“Winning a gold medal at the World Beer Cup is a huge achievement for us. There are so many pieces that had to come together to make this a reality less than a year after losing the cooperative. Chris is immensely talented and I am excited he is receiving well deserved recognition as a world-class brewer. We are also fortunate to have the support of the exceedingly capable team at the O’Fallon Brewery who made this award possible,” said Black Mesa partner Brad Stumph.

Black Mesa beers are available in bars, restaurants and package stores across Oklahoma. Black Mesa has four beers: Black Mesa Blonde, Endless Skyway Bitter (ESB), Double ESB, and Red Badger Stout (a collaboration with Elemental Coffee Roasters). Their newest brew, Alexander Supertramp (Doppelbock), will be available May 1st.

It’s worth noting also that Black Mesa was not the only Oklahoma beermaker to claim a medal at this year’s World Beer Cup. Choc Beer Co. claimed a silver medal in the German-Style Sour Ale category with its Signature Gose.

Added Stumph: “Obviously it is a huge win for Black Mesa. I hope it also brings more recognition to Oklahoma brewers by continuing the WBC medal tradition started in Oklahoma by Choc.”


by Nick Trougakos
Local Editor
Local Editor Nick Trougakos has been with The Oklahoman since 2002. Trougakos covered the military, federal agencies and courts before becoming an editor in 2005. Prior to joining The Oklahoman, Trougakos was a reporter for the Oklahoma City...
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