How does someone or something achieve greatness? Does is take winning a competition or award? I have a trophy in my closet for winning a Halloween costume contest some years ago. It’s gathering dust and I don’t have any pretence that this defines me as a great make up artist and I’m absolutely certain no one else puts any stock into it either.
Winning every time? Sports contests take place every day. Bad teams win, good teams lose and even the very best players and teams don’t win every time. Michael Jordan was quoted, “I’ve been given the winning shot 27 times and missed…” No true basketball fan would question his greatness in the sport (baseball maybe).
How about being popular? Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards was one of the most popular winter Olympians of all time. He was also the worst ski jumper in Olympic history.
So what does it take?
It seems that in any competitive field those that are considered great have a few commonalities. They participate at the very highest level of competition available. In these competitions, they consistently outperform their peers. Recognition is given by the most critical authorities of that particular field.
In 2004, the first year of Bitch Creek’s production, Bitch Creek ESB won its first gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). The GABF is considered the largest, most prestigious beer competition in the western hemisphere. Since its initial win, Bitch Creek ESB has won numerous medals at the GABF including another gold medal. It has also won awards at the World Beer Cup, LA International Commercial Beer Competition, The US Open Beer Championships, North American Brewers Awards, World Beer Championships and the United States Beer Tasting Championships (USTBC). No accredited beer critic is going to argue that these constitute the very highest level of beer competition. Bitch Creek has not been entered into any other national level competitions.
No beer wins every competition and Bitch Creek is no exception. However, it consistently wins awards, outperforming all of its competition. This last month was a career milestone for Bitch Creek, earning its 10th time on top the podium when the USTBC announced Bitch Creek as their National Grand Champion in their brown ale category. How many silvers and bronze medals? Honestly, I’ve lost count.
What can we conclude from this? Stated simply, Bitch Creek ESB is a truly great beer.