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2024 Skunkworks Lounge at CBC: Best in Show

Six breweries competed in this year’s Skunkworks Lounge at CBC, but only one earned the Best in Show Award. Learn more about the competitors and the extraordinary beers they crafted.

The Abstrax Skunkworks Lounge is a unique space where the art of brewing fuses with scientific innovation. The result? Extraordinary beers that defy all expectations. Brewers get the opportunity to showcase their craft, connect with a community that pushes the envelope, and compete for the coveted Best in Show Award. 

After last year’s impressive showing, we thought we knew what to expect. We’re thrilled to say that this year’s competitors brought flavors that genuinely shocked and excited us. While it was a competition, we genuinely feel that all of our contestants showed up with a winning brew.

That’s why we want to feature every last one of them. These breweries represent a wide range of some of the most respected names in craft beer. From iconic West Coast titans to genre-defining Midwest giants and fleet-footed up-and-comers, our competitors showed us that craft beer is entering a new era of flavor innovation.

So, crack open a beer, sit back, and learn more about our 2024 Skunkworks Lounge competitors and their groundbreaking brews.

Belching Beaver Brewery

Belching Beaver has been making great beer and having a “Dam Good Time” since 2012. This award-winning craft beer company is focused on two things. First, having a brand that offers quality craft beer while also being whimsical, fun, and inspiring good times. Second, make beer for everyone and all palates. We think it’s safe to say they accomplished that with their 2024 Skunkworks entry.

Belching Beaver Brewery Logo

Inspired by their Tropical Terps, which took home gold at last year's GABF, they created a Hazy IPA called Terps N Time. If you’re into dank beers that are super juicy and tropical, then this is right up your alley. 

Beer Name: Terps N Time

Type: Hazy IPA

ABV: 7.0%

Yeast: London Tropics with Thiol Boost

Abstrax Product: Simcoe Quantum, Citra Quantum, Mosaic Quantum, OG Kush BrewGas

Fast Fashion Brewing

Want to sample some of the fresh, hoppy beers made by this Seattle brewery? You’ll have to act fast because, for the most part, Fast Fashion doesn’t make the same beer twice. Their brewery and taproom are in the heart of Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood; the vibes are eclectic, and you never know what to expect from them.

Fast Fashion Brewery Logo

Much like the oyster sauce of the same name, Mignonette was designed to make certain flavors pop. This 7% Hazy IPA throws tastebuds a serious curveball with shockingly balanced notes of Citra and their custom hop, Anchovies. Yes, you read that right. The next time you’re in Seattle, be sure to stop in and get a dose of the unexpected from Fast Fashion.

Beer Name: Mignonette

Type: IPA

ABV: 7.0%

Yeast: London Tropics with Thiol Boost

Abstrax Product: Citra Quantum & Anchovy Quantum

Fieldwork Brewing Co.

Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Fieldwork Brewing Company has been brewing exceptional beers since 2014. They’re not afraid to explore new paths to find the beer they’ve envisioned, and we find that fearlessness particularly admirable. 

Fieldwork Brewing Co Logo

In an interview with our Director of Food and Beverage Innovation, Ross Hunsinger, the head brewer of Fieldwork explained that they “really focus on traditional beers but always play around with new ingredients and just new and exciting processes.” This was clearly the case with their West Coast IPA, Foam Dome. This deeply resinous brew had a remarkably chewy hop presence that was unlike anything we’ve experienced. Honestly, you just had to be there.

Beer Name: Foam Dome

Type: West Coast IPA

ABV: 6.7% Yeast: London Tropics with Thiol Boost

Abstrax Product: HBC586 Quantum & Strata Quantum

Hop Butcher for the World

Fans of Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago” will immediately understand the meaning behind this brewery’s name. With a fervent dedication to hops and unceasing experimentation, Hop Butcher crafts beers that pay homage to traditional craftsmanship. While embracing the moniker "Hop Butcher," they remain committed to global outreach, honoring their origins while pursuing broader horizons.

Hop Butcher for the World Brewery Logo

This commitment to experimentation led to the creation of their Double Grind, a 6.5% IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic, and Strata. Head Brewer Justin Miller told us, “It’s going to be an absolute ripper. It’s kind of like a take on our Double Grid with a little bit of a Strata twang and some Abstrax magic.” 

Beer Name: Single Grind

Type: IPA

ABV: 6.5%

Yeast: London Tropics

Abstrax Product: Citra Quantum, Mosaic Quantum

New Realm Brewing Co.

New Realm believes “in a new realm of thinking, doing and most importantly brewing.” Beer Connoisseur named them the second runner-up for Brewery of the Year in 2023, so that mentality clearly works. They’ve also successfully opened four different locations and have created some wildly delicious beers through various collaborations and partnerships.

New Realm Brewing Company Logo

Ross traveled to their Charleston facility on Daniel Island, where they brewed their West Coast IPA, Pineapple Puff. Head brewer Geoff Belcher explained that it was made using 100% El Dorado hops throughout the boil, whirlpool, and even dry hop process, but that they also added a little something special. “I think [Pineapple Skyfarm] added great depth and complexity of flavor to the beverage that you just couldn’t quite get out of hops alone.”

Beer Name: Pineapple Puff

Type: West Coast IPA

ABV: 7.2%

Yeast: Superbloom

Abstrax Product: Pineapple Skyfarm

Mountains Walking: 2024 CBC Skunkworks Best in Show

This Montana-based brewery has a deep respect for brewing. They describe their process as “open range,” meaning they take inspiration from the  terroir of Bozeman, brewing traditions from all over the world, and “discovering what each beer naturally wants to be.”

Mountains Walking Brewery Logo

This attitude has clearly contributed to their award-winning legacy and this year, it’s helped Mountains Walking become the two-time winner of our Skunkworks Best in Show award.

Their Skyflowers Berry edition has a hazy pale ale base with bold, drinkable flavors. Head brewer Eric White explained that this beer was made with a mix of Strata, Cryo Huell Melon, and a blend of two Abstrax terpenes. He added, “We’re always going for drinkability and having those flavors that welcome the next sip.” 

Beer Name: Sky Flowers Berry

Type: Hybrid IPA

ABV: 5.5%

Abstrax Product: Blackberry Kush BrewGas, Strawberry Skyfarm 

Mountains Walking Skyflowers Berry Hybrid IPA

Apply Today and Compete at the 2025 Skunkworks Lounge!

Our second annual Skunkworks Lounge exceeded our expectations. All of our contestants showed up with a beer that redefined the boundaries of taste and aroma, and they reminded us that this is so much more than a competition. 

The Skunkworks Lounge honors bold innovators and trailblazers. It celebrates those who use novel ingredients and methods to create truly unique beverages—and your brewery could be next.

Enter the 2025 Skunkworks Lounge competition, showcase your craft, connect with fellow innovators, and compete to win the Best in Show Award. Apply today and let your brew do the talking. 

APPLY TODAY

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