Ron Shea came dressed to the Akron Art Museum's Art and Ale beer fest on Saturday ready to defend his People's Choice award.
Shea, the founder and brewmaster at R. Shea Brewing Co. in Akron, wore a boxing outfit, complete with red gloves and a robe. He was set to knock out the competition. R. Shea had won the People's Choice honor two consecutive years and he wanted a three-peat.
He got it.
R. Shea Shandy Isles took first place, edging out McArthur's Brewhouse's Sour by a single vote. R. Shea also picked up third place for Polymer Caramel Espresso Stout.
"The fact that we were able to get it a third year was awesome," Shea said after the honor was announced.
More than 600 people attended the museum's beer tasting. This year, the museum shifted the event to a Saturday and held two sessions, helping boost attendance.
In addition to the People's Choice award, there was a Curator's Choice competition. Three judges — myself, Cleveland.com beer writer Marc Bona and Acme Fresh Market executive Jon Albrecht — sampled more than 30 beers in a blind tasting to determine a best of show winner.
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout took home the top prize. The rest of the top five in order, were:
• Urban Artifact Gadget, a fruit sour
• Masthead Extra Extra, a double New England-style IPA
• Fat Head's Head Hunter IPA
• Akronym BBA Deimos, a barrel-aged Russian imperial stout