You Be the Judge beer and winemaking contest winners

Germanfest visitors tasted entries from commercial wineries and breweries, as well as offerings from amateur vintners and brewers. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)


More than 150 Germanfest guests sampled blueberry rhubarb wine and Scottish Ale in a “peoples choice” competition that featured 23 local amateurs with five commercial wineries as well as Potosi Brewery. 

Guttenberg’s own PromiseLand Winery took first place in the commercial wine division with their new release of Cabin Fever. Second went to Eagles Landing Winery for Campfire Hootch. 

Local winemaker Beth Sadewasser took first for her Sweet Grape wine in the amateur class, with Dr. Kenny Reimer of Elkader coming in second for Luna Rossa, a dry red. Third place winner Kyle Jaeger received a gift card from beer supply retailer Grain to Glass, of Decorah, for his Oktoberfest entry.

The amateur beer contest ended in a tie with two young brewers from out of state. Torre Ahlberg, of Loveland, Colo., and grandson of Guttenberg Mayor Russ Loven, entered a Cream Ale that tied with Tigerhawk Ale, submitted by Fred Smith, of St. Paul, Minn.

Potosi Brewery was the only commercial brewer in this year’s contest and took home ribbons for first and second for Cave Ale and Good ‘Ole Potosi, respectively.

First place winners received cash prizes; the Germanfest Committee coordinated publicity, and The Guttenberg Press covered news of the event.

The You be the Judge tasting would not be possible without support from local winemakers Melissa Spielbauer Combs and Todd Lammers, together with Leon Meester of Holland. Local brewers providing beer for the festival guests to taste included Steve Beaumont of Garber, together with Tom Augustyn, Kyle Jaeger, and Dr. Andy Smith of Guttenberg and Dave Hilgemann of Cedar Falls.

The contest was made possible with the help of volunteers including Peg Thein, Deb and Chris Moser, Karilyn McArthur, Dr. Chris and Ammi Hugo, Sue Osterhaus, Laura Manson, Todd and Tanya Randall, Russ Loven, Shane Anderson, Bec Knudtson, Mary Moser and George Schultz.

Dr. Andy Smith of Guttenberg, who has brewed beer in his home under the Windswept label since 1987, coordinated the contest with the help of Guttenberg Tourism and Development Director Mary Theis. Sheryl Bahls, of AutoTek Graphics, developed the contest ribbons. Cheryll Shireman, of Riverside Grind, also assisted with the contest.

Proceeds from You be the Judge support both future Germanfest expenses and general visitor services in Guttenberg.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here