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International Beer Fest competitors are back for another round

The International Beer Fest is back at the I-X Center for another round of competition on May 11 and 12. The event will feature three tasting sessions and more than 200 breweries from around the world pouring 800 different beers. The Real Ale Bar returns to the show with a variety of cask-conditioned beers, including Founder’s Brewing Company’s Centennial IPA.

Last year’s best-of-show winner, The Brew Kettle Production Works, based in Strongsville, will be back to defend the gold won by their White Rajah, a West Coast-style IPA. Other Ohio breweries that won awards in 2011 include Willoughby Brewing Co., Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. and Great Lakes Brewing Co. All will be back at the festival this year. Other returning champions are Brooklyn Brewery and Goose Island. This year’s voting panel expands to include professional brewers from around the country.

To determine winners, hundreds of beer entries are prejudged by more than 75 brewers, beer experts and ranked judges during a sanctioned competition of the Beer Judge Certification Program. Single-session general admission to the beer fest is $45 and includes 36 tasting tickets good for a two-ounce-pour each, a commemorative cup and a festival program. VIP admission is $75 and includes six additional tasting tickets, a commemorative T-shirt, access to the VIP Brewers Lounge to enjoy rare or limited-edition beers, an opportunity to meet with prominent brewers and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Phone 216-265-7468 or visit

Great Lakes Brewing Co. (GLBC) has been named one of America’s top 50 breweries, based on 2011 beer sales by volume calculated by the Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association, a not-for-profit, Colorado-based trade group that tabulates production statistics for U.S. breweries, found GLBC to be the 18th largest craft brewery in the country and the 27th largest overall. Great Lakes is the only Ohio brewery represented in the rankings.

Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 36 are small and independent craft breweries. Anheuser-Busch ranks first.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. produces more than 110,000 barrels of handcrafted beer annually and now serves 13 states and Washington, D.C. The company is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013.

Stamper’s Grill Pub is having a Kentucky Derby party and a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the same time. Stop by at 5 p.m. to cheer on your Kentucky Derby favorite, wear a derby hat and get $1 mint juleps. Hanger steak, pork and ahi tuna tacos will be on the menu on May 5, along with fresh guacamole and fresh-squeezed lime and blood orange margaritas.

A one-of-a-kind beer and wine tasting event is taking place at Stamper’s on May 17 from 6 to 9 p.m., co-hosted by Wine Styles. Just $5 gets a guest a sampling of beer or wine, paired with hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds benefit the Fairview Park and Rocky River Relay for Life teams. Thursday is also sushi night, and the patio is open.

Phone Stamper’s Grill Pub, 21750 Lorain Ave. in Fairview Park, at 440-333-7826.



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