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El Dorado Hills brewery wins 2 gold medals at Calif. State Fair competition | Food & Drink

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El Dorado Hills brewery wins 2 gold medals at Calif. State Fair competition
El Dorado Hills brewery wins 2 gold medals at Calif. State Fair competition

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. – An El Dorado Hills craft brewery earned top honors in two categories at the 2014 California State Fair Craft Brew Competition Sunday.

Mraz Brewing Company received gold medals for their Window of Opportunity Belgian Tripel Ale and their Flanders Red Ale dubbed The Cardinal. The Window of Opportunity bested 29 other beers in the Belgian Strong Ale category, while The Cardinal topped eight other entries in the Sours field.

In total, 858 craft beers from 239 commercial brewers across California were entered into 33 different categories. Nationally acclaimed breweries including Stone Brewing Company, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Firestone Walker Brewing Company entered beers into the contest.

“Winning two gold medals feels amazing,” exclaimed Mraz Brewing Company owner and brewmaster Mike Mraz. “Having only been open a year, this really gives us some validation that we’re on the right track in regards to the quality of beer we’re producing.”

Celebrating its first anniversary in May 2014, Mraz Brewing Company has quickly carved out a niche in the exploding Sacramento beer scene for crafting the area’s most consistent array of Belgian style ales.

“I like the Belgian and sour styles of beer. I always have,” Mraz said. “The first beer I made as a homebrewer was a Belgian Golden Strong. To me they have a more complex flavor and aroma than most other styles.”

Brewing accolades are nothing new for Mraz. At the amateur level, he was crowned homebrewer of the year for the state of California in 2008 and 2009. He also earned two Maltose Falcon awards for his Pale Ale and Flanders Red. Mraz’s recent honors prove the El Dorado Hills resident has transferred his craftsmanship and demanding standards to the commercial level.

Mraz’s success at the state fair competition also speaks to the rise in prominence of Sacramento-area breweries, several of which also medaled at the event.

“I feel honored to be one of the winning breweries from the Sacramento Valley,” Mraz said. “It shows that the Sacramento area breweries are not just making good beer but amazing beer.”

The winners will be recognized at the upcoming California State Fair.

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