By Staff

Benchtop Brewing Company won the overall Golden Tap when Veer Magazine presented its annual Local Beer Awards at O’Connor Brewing Company in Norfolk.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were given out in 50 categories ranging from various beers styles to festivals and restaurant beer selections. 

The Golden Tap is awarded to the brewery that accumulates the most points. Gold medals counted as 3 points, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze.

Benchtop scored a record 43 total points, with seven individual gold medals, one silver, one bronze and a pair (one gold, one silver) of shared collaboration category awards.  

The overall Top 5 breweries were as follows

  1. Benchtop Brewing Co: 43 Points
  2. Alewerks Brewing Company: 32 Points
  3. Big Ugly Brewing Company: 23.5 Points
  4. The Bold Mariner Brewing Company: 23 Points
  5. O’Connor Brewing Company: 20.5 Points

Following are the complete results of Veer Magazine’s 2018 Golden Tap Local Beer Awards. They were presented by Spacemakers with additional sponsorship from Southern Banks, City of Norfolk Department of Economic Development, and Cavalier Land. 

Brewery Categories

Amber and Brown American Beer

GOLD: Tavern Brown Ale, Alewerks Brewing Company 

SILVER: Murphy’s Law Amber Ale, Smartmouth Brewing Company

BRONZE:Noser Pecan and Vanilla Bean Brown, Bold Mariner Brewing 

Amber Malty and Bitter European Lager

GOLD: Frogman Lager, Bold Mariner Brewing

SILVER: Oktoberfest, Alewerks Brewing Company 

BRONZE: Nickelbock, Benchtop Brewing Company

American Porter and Stout

GOLD: Ghost Rider, Big Ugly Brewing 

SILVER: Walter’s Brunch, Benchtop Brewing Company 

BRONZE: Elbow Patches Oatmeal Stout, The Virginia Beer Company

American Wild Ale

GOLD: The Reaver, Reaver Beach Brewing

SILVER: Dr. Rendezvous Barrel Aged Sour Imperial Saison, Oozlefinch Craft Brewery

BRONZE: My Lord, Coelacanth Brewing Co

Belgian Ale

GOLD: Alter Ego Saison Farmhouse Ale, Smartmouth Brewing Company

SILVER: Laura’s Favorite Belgian Tripel,Bull Island Brewing

BRONZE: Turn To Gold, Gordon Biersch

British and Scottish Ale

GOLD: The Revenant English Mild, Reaver Beach Brewing

SILVER: Glencoe Ghost Scotch Ale, Legend Brewing Depot 

BRONZE: Angry Scott, Brass Cannon Brewing

Czech Lager

GOLD: Purebred Pilsner, Wasserhund Brewing Company

SILVER: Rain Barrel Bohemian Pilsner, Pleasure House Brewing

BRONZE: City Line Pilsner, MoMac Brewing Co. 

Dark and Strong British Beer

GOLD: Ibrik Turkish Coffee Imperial Stout, O’Connor Brewing Company

SILVER: Lynnhaven Coffee Cream Stout, Pleasure House Brewing

BRONZE: Imperial Stout, St. George Brewing Company 

European Dark and Strong Lager

GOLD: Doppeldog Doppelbock Lager, Wasserhund Brewing Company 

SILVER: Doppelbock, St. George Brewing Company

BRONZE: New Moon Schwarzbier, Rip Rap Brewing Co

European Sour Beer

GOLD: One Night In Georgia Peach Berliner Weisse, The Virginia Beer Company   

SILVER: POG Gose, Big Ugly Brewing Co.

BRONZE: Passion Fruit Gose, Coelacanth Brewing Co. 

Fruit Beer

GOLD: Direct Deposit, Blackberry/Raspberry.Rhubarb Gose, Bold Mariner Brewing Co.

SILVER: Hot Pursuit (pineapple/habanero blonde), Big Ugly BrewingCo.

BRONZE: Funny Trees Mango Brett Double IPA, The Virginia Beer Company

German Wheat Beer

GOLD: Pineapple Grenade Hefeweizen, Young Veterans Brewing Co

SILVER: Lady in White Hefeweizen, Oozlefinch Craft Brewery

BRONZE: German Shepheweizen, Wasserhund Brewing Company

Historical and Smoked Beer

GOLD: Mermaid’s Scorn, Benchtop Brewing Company

SILVER: Pancake House Stout, Alewerks Brewing Company 

BRONZE: So Pitted Grilled Peach Smoked Gose, Commonwealth Brewing Co. 

International Lager

GOLD: Middie Lager, Bold Mariner Brewing Co.

SILVER: Señorita Vesa- Golden Mexican Lager, Smartmouth Brewing Company

BRONZE: Old Glory, Coelacanth Brewing Co.


GOLD: Proven Theory, Benchtop Brewing Company

SILVER: Free Verse IPA, The Virginia Beer Company

BRONZE: El Guapo Agave IPA, O’Connor Brewing Company

Juicy/Hazy IPA

GOLD: Gong Water, Benchtop Brewing Company

SILVER: Leaf Peepers, Big Ugly Brewing 

BRONZE: Fresh Powder IPA, The Virginia Beer Company

Double IPA

GOLD: Why the Gong Face, Benchtop Brewing Company 

SILVER: Bitter Valentine Double IPA, Alewerks Brewing Company 

BRONZE: Big Papi Double IPA, Commonwealth Brewing Co. 

Irish Beer

GOLD: Odis Dry Irish Stout, O’Connor Brewing Company

SILVER: Red Maiden, Bold Mariner Brewing  Co.

BRONZE: Irish Goodbye Coffee Stout, Coelacanth Brewing Co.

Pale American Ale

GOLD: Hazing Face, Benchtop Brewing Company

SILVER: Bold Dominion, Bold Mariner Brewing Co.

BRONZE: Norfolk Canyon Pale Ale, O’Connor Brewing Company

Pale Bitter European Beer

GOLD: Safety Dance Pilsner, Smartmouth Brewing Company Co.

SILVER: King Street Kolsch, Bull Island Brewing Co.

BRONZE: Airship Honey Pilsner, Oozlefinch Craft Brewery

Pale Malty European Lager

GOLD: Weekend Lager, Alewerks Brewing Company 

SILVER: R&R Lager, O’Connor Brewing Company 

BRONZE: Lafayette Lager, Bold Mariner Brewing Co

Specialty Beer

GOLD: Trial of Dmitri, Benchtop Brewing Company

SILVER: Honey Meade Lager, St. George Brewing Company

BRONZE: Goat Locker Breakfast Stout, Young Veterans Brewing Co.

Spiced Beer

GOLD: Wicked Lobstrosity, Benchtop Brewing Company 

SILVER: Pumpkin Ale, Alewerks Brewing Company

BRONZE: Evil Santa Spiced Milk Stout, The Virginia Beer Company

Standard American Beer

GOLD: Sunbeam Blonde, Big Ugly Brewing Co. 

SILVER: Breakwater Cream Ale, Rip Rap Brewing Co.

BRONZE: Bunker Beer Light American Ale, Young Veterans Brewing Co.

Strong American Ale

GOLD: Rob Your Head Imperial Red Ale, The Virginia Beer Company 

SILVER: Barnfind Barleywine, Big Ugly Brewing Co.

BRONZE: Blackfin Barleywine, Reaver Beach Brewing Co.

Strong Belgian Ale

GOLD: Jubilee XII, Alewerks Brewing Company Co. 

SILVER: Glo Belgian-style Blond Ale, Pleasure House Brewing

BRONZE: Zeppelin’s Hellish Bell, Big Ugly Brewing Co.

Trappist Ale

GOLD: Golden Pear Belgian Tripel, O’Connor Brewing Company

SILVER: Always a Ghost Triple, Precarious Beer Project

BRONZE: Quad,Coelacanth Brewing Co.

Wood Beer

GOLD: Cafe Royale, Alewerks Brewing Company 

SILVER: Sirena Borracha, Benchtop Brewing Company 

BRONZE: Haywire Husky aged in Bourbon Barrels, Wasserhund Brewing Company


GOLD: Kung Fu Theorem, Benchtop Brewing Company/Precarious Beer Project 

SILVER: Blood Brothers Blood Orange DIPA, O’Connor Brewing Company/Benchtop Brewing Company

BRONZE: Ugly Answer, Big Ugly Brewing/The Answer

Brewery Tasting Room (Non-satellite, Non-brewpub)

GOLD: Big Ugly

SILVER: O’Connor

BRONZE: Back Bay

Outside Space

GOLD: Farm House by Back Bay 

SILVER: New Realm Brewing

BRONZE: Billsburg Brewing

Brewpub (Food/Beer) 

GOLD: Amber Ox

SILVER: The Vanguard 

BRONZE: Wasserhund 

Satellite Location (Not headquarters)

GOLD: Farm House by Back Bay 

SILVER: Smartmouth Pilot House  

BRONZE: New Realm Brewing 

Best Brewery Event 

GOLD: Dazed & Consumed (O’Connor) 

SILVER: Common Grounds (Commonwealth) 

 BRONZE: Ugly Grand Opening Party

Restaurants & More Categories

Most Knowledgeable Staff

GOLD: The Birch

SILVER: Bier Garden

BRONZE: DoG Street Pub 

Best Quality Food & Beer Experience

GOLD: Esoteric  

SILVER: 1608 Crafthouse

BRONZE: Bier Garden 

Best Selection of Local 757 Beer

GOLD: Hank’s Filling Station 

SILVER: Brick Anchor  

BRONZE: Tap It Local

Best Overall Draft Selection (20+ Taps)

GOLD: The Birch 

SILVER: Brick Anchor 

BRONZE: Esoteric

Best Overall Draft Selection (Under 20 Taps)

GOLD: DoG Street Pub

SILVER: 1608 Crafthouse 

BRONZE: Tap It Local (Chesapeake)

Best Overall Bottle/Can Beer Selection

GOLD: The Bier Garden 

SILVER: The Birch 

BRONZE: DoG Street Pub

Best Virginia Craft Beer Selection

GOLD: Tap It Local 

SILVER: Brick Anchor 

BRONZE: Hank’s Filling Station

Best Beer with Outdoor View

GOLD: Grain 

SILVER: DoG Street Pub

BRONZE: Chick’s Oyster Bar

Best Beer with Interior Atmosphere

GOLD: Bier Garden 

SILVER: Norfolk Tap Room

BRONZE: Brick Anchor

Best Beer & Live Music

GOLD: The Vanguard


BRONZE: The Bunker 

Bottle Shop/Growler Fill

GOLD: Hair of the Dog Bottle Shop 

SILVER: Grape & Gourmet


Major Retail

GOLD: Total Wine Ghent 

SILVER: Total Wine Virginia Beach 

BRONZE: Whole Foods 

Best Outdoor Beer Festival (Non-brewery)

GOLD: 757 Battle of the Beers (Virginia Beach)

SILVER: Whistle Belly (Williamsburg)

BRONZE: Virginia Beer Festival (Norfolk)

Best Beer Event (Non-festival, non-brewery)

GOLD: 43 Hours of Sour @ The Birch 

SILVER: The Bier Garden’s Oktoberfest 

BRONZE: Shamrockin’ in Ghent 

Best Food Truck

GOLD: Redwood Smoke Shack

SILVER: Bros Fish Tacos

BRONZE: Bite of Maine

Best Beer City (breweries/festivals/restaurants)

GOLD: Norfolk 

SILVER: Virginia Beach

BRONZE: Williamsburg