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For the second year in a row a local brewery came up big at the Great American Beer Festival.

Third Space Brewing’s Unite the Clans Scottish Style Rye Ale beat out 48 other entries to claim a gold medal in the rye beer category at the massive fest held in Denver last weekend. Nearly 8,000 entries were submitted by 2,217 breweries.

“The Great American Beer Festival is the biggest beer competition in the world,” said Third Space co-founder Andy Gehl. “There were almost 8,000 beers entered this year and fewer than 300 medals given out. We have a lot of confidence in the beers we make so we entered with hopes of a medal for sure, but we didn’t expect to win one. It is extremely exciting and humbling to receive such great recognition for our beer. We hope it will shine a spotlight on the great things we are doing here at Third Space Brewing.”

Third Space can swap gold medal stories with Raised Grain Brewing Company. The Waukesha brewery took home a gold in 2016 when Paradocs Red Imperial IPA was named the best in the imperial red ale category.

Neither Third Space head brewer Kevin Wright or Gehl made the trip to Denver. Running a brewery takes work, and getting away isn’t easy.

“We still have a small staff at Third Space and Kevin and I are heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the brewery so we weren’t able to make the trip,” added Gehl. “Kevin had the live stream of the awards on in the tap room Saturday, so he was able to hear our name called. The sound cut out just as they said the brewery name so he wasn’t sure it was us until his phone started vibrating with many texts of congratulations. It was an exciting weekend after that.”

National recognition of this level is just another sign that it’s an exciting time for beer in Milwaukee.

“We think it confirms what we’ve all been seeing in Milwaukee the last two years, that this is a beer town again,” added Gehl. “We have a lot of great craft breweries in this city and this state and we are excited to be a part of it and to showcase the great beer being made here in Milwaukee with some national recognition of our own brewery.”

Unite the Clans

Description: Unite the Clans is a Scottish ale, with slightly roasty and malty flavors and aromas. The addition of cara-rye malt and Fuggles, a classic hop from the British Isles, give this beer an underlying spiciness, toffee notes and a unique bready complexity.

“We originally developed Unite the Clans as a fall seasonal beer,” said Gehl. “However, it was so popular among drinkers who love malty beers that we decided to extend the seasonality of it through winter and spring. When its popularity failed to wane, even in the summer, we decided to make it our fifth year-round beer and ultimately decided to make it our third year-round beer in cans after Happy Place Midwest Pale Ale and Upward Spiral IPA.”

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