Skip to main content

Piney River Brewing Wins A Gold and Two Bronze Medals at International Competition

2020 US Open Beer Championships

Left to right, US Open Beer gold medalist, Cerveza Rio Mexican Lager and bronze medalists, Raise A Ruckus Imperial Stout and Float Trip Ale

Piney River Brewing won three medals at the US Open Beer Championship 2020 competition. Winners were announced on December 6.

Piney River received a gold medal for Cerveza Rio Mexican-style Lager and bronze medals for Float Trip Ale and Raise A Ruckus Imperial Stout.

The US Open Beer Championship is held annually. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s competition was held in the fall instead of the summer with North American judges based in Atlanta, GA, Oxford, OH, and Welland, Ontario, Canada. The 2020 worldwide competition included over 6,000 beers in 140 different beer style categories. The contest is open to professional brewers and home brewers.  US Open judges hail from England, Canada, and the US.

Cerveza Rio won the top prize in the “International Style Pilsner” category.  This is the first time this beer was entered in the competition.

Cerveza Rio is a lager that is light in body and in color. It is brewed with a Mexican-style lager yeast and hopped with German Hallertau-Mittelfrueh hops. Cerveza Rio is a year-round beer brewed by Piney River. It’s a top selling beer at the BARn taproom in Bucyrus. Piney River also private labels the beer as “Dogwood Canyon Lager” for Dogwood Canyon Nature Park in Lampe and as “Flying Ace Lager” for Mexican Villa restaurants in the Springfield area.

Raise a Ruckus Imperial Stout medaled in the competition for the second year in a row, this year winning a bronze in the “American Imperial Stout” category. Raise a Ruckus received a gold medal in the 2019 competition.

The imperial stout features dark roasted grains that provide full malt flavors of chocolate and coffee. The beer is finished on vanilla bean pods and the “Piney River blend” of Brick and Mortar fresh roasted coffee beans adding additional flavor and aroma. Raise a Ruckus is a limited release beer, brewed once a year, and released each January by the brewery.

Float Trip Ale won a bronze medal in the “American Wheat/Specialty Wheat” category.  This is the third medal in this competition for Float Trip Ale which won gold in 2017 and bronze in 2018.

Float Trip Ale is a wheat-based blonde ale, pale yellow in color with a light hop bitterness and a crisp finish. Float Trip Ale is a top selling year-round beer for the brewery.

“I am very proud of the fact that we received medals for our imperial stout, a wheat ale, and a lager,” Brian Durham, co-owner and co-founder, of Piney River Brewing Company, said. “All three beers are very distinct styles, and it shows that our brewery team is doing a great job with the beer they are making.”

Brandon Lee and Bryan Spence work with Durham to execute the beer recipes and packaging operations at the brewery.

Piney River began entering the US Open Beer Championship in 2015, and with the 2020 wins, Piney River has 16 US Beer Open medals in six years.

“Once again, Joleen and I are very proud to bring recognition to our farm brewery and to Texas county and our community,” Durham said. “We are not well-known outside of the Ozarks, but we believe we are brewing and packaging consistently great beers that celebrate the region we call home.”

Piney River Brewing is located on the Durham’s 160-acre farm in South Central Missouri, operating out of a restored barn built in the 1940’s and a larger production “barn”. Brian and Joleen Durham founded the brewery in 2010 with a 10-gallon brewing system.  In 2019, Piney River Brewing produced 2,350 barrels of beer.

Piney River Brewing operates a tasting room on the farm that is open to the public every weekend.  The brewery has distribution in Missouri and Arkansas.

A complete list of US Open Beer Championship winners can be found at

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Skip to content