​Devils Backbone receives mid-sized brewing company award

Two Charlottesville-area breweries win medals for beers

Charlottesville-area brewing company Devils Backbone won its third consecutive national title at the Great American Beer Festival last week, taking home awards for mid-size brewing company and mid-size brewing team of the year.

“Seeing as this is our third national award, it give us a lot of credibility and recognition,” Devils Backbone founder Steve Crandall said. “It is rewarding that our team is continually making great beer.”

Based out of Nelson County with an outpost in Lexington, Devils Backbone previously won awards for small brewing company and small brewpub.

“The Great American Beer Festival is giant,” Crandall said. “There were 1,300 breweries pouring beer on the floor there and over 5,000 beers were judged. We were fortunate enough to have won one of the six national titles given out.”

In addition to the national title, Devils Backbone received four individual medals: a gold for its Schwartz Bier, two silvers and a bronze.

“The gold medal that we won was for our year-round Schwartz Beir, a dark lager,” Crandall said. “It’s breaking people’s ideas of what great beer is. Most people think a dark lager is bitter and high in alcohol but this is the opposite.”

Devils Backbone employs 100 people at its Virginia breweries and Crandall said there are plans to expand.

“Our products are currently available in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.,” Crandall said. “We are planning to move into the North Carolina area next summer and are very excited about that expansion.”

Devils Backbone is also adding onto its Lexington location in the Spring of 2015 in an effort to begin producing 120,000 barrels per year.

Three Notch’d, based out of Charlottesville, also took home accolades at the event — a bronze medal for its “Hydraulion” Irish-Red. The brewery opened in August of 2013.

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