January 15, 2019

Four Maine companies — six winning products — at Good Food Awards

Courtesy / Liquid Riot Bottling via Twitter
Courtesy / Liquid Riot Bottling via Twitter
Liquid Riot Bottling Co. General Manager Matthew Marrier was at the Good Food Awards ceremony at the San Francisco War Memorial on Friday to accept the three awards won by Liquid Riot in this year's national competition.

Liquid Riot Bottling Co., a brewery, distillery and resto-bar located in Portland's Old Port, won three awards in the ninth annual Good Food Awards competition, leading a strong showing by the four Maine companies that were named finalists in this year's event.

The four Maine finalists won six awards in the competition celebrating American food and drink crafters "who demonstrate a commitment to creating tasty, authentic and responsible products and, in doing so, bettering our nation's food system." This year's competition featured 220 winners selected from 324 finalists (out of 2,035 total entries) who were selected in a blind tasting held in September.

Of the 220 winners, 55% are first-time winners. They come from 34 states and Washington, D.C., with the greatest number of winners coming from California (59), followed by Oregon (25), Washington (19), Massachusetts (12) and a three way tie between Virginia, New York and Colorado (11 each).

The winners were announced at the gala awards ceremony in San Francisco on Friday night.

Liquid Riot, located at 250 Commercial St., won for its products in the spirits and beer categories: Old Port Straight Bourbon Whiskey; Fernet Michaud; Blushing Star Barrel-Aged Lager with Peaches.

The company announced the good news with a 6:54 a.m. Monday tweet telling its customers: "We are closed today and tomorrow so each of our employees can take turns wearing the #goodfoodawards. We'll be back Wednesday at Noon with fresh minds and 16oz cans of A Beer Has No Name #portlandmaine"

It elaborated on its blog with this posting on Saturday: "We're incredibly excited to share that last night we earned three 2019 Good Food Awards, two from the Spirit category for our Liquid Riot Old Port Straight Bourbon Whiskey & Fernet Michaud; and Blushing Star earned an award too, from the Beer category. General Manager Matthew Marrier was at the ceremony at the San Francisco War Memorial to accept the awards. It is a great honor to win any award, but winning our first three Good Food Award is really special. We are proud of the hard work that goes into making each and every one of our products, and thankful for our great team that helped make these awards possible."

Other Maine winners were:

  • A Small Good, located at 461 Commercial St. in Rockport, won in the charcuterie competition with its Cider Brined Coppa.
  • Bard Coffee, located at 185 Middle St., Portland, won in the coffee competition with its Organic Costa Rica La Mirella coffee.
  • Portersfield Cider, located 255 Elmwood Road, in Pownal, won for its artisanal cider Ridlon 16/2.

This year's Good Food Awards recognized makers in 16 categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, coffee, confections, elixirs, fish, honey, oils, pantry, pickles, preserves, snacks, spirits).

Sarah Weiner, director of the competition, said the 220 winners are talented artisans and local businesses who are strong advocates of sustainability in their products and practices.

"Through your very existence by growing and thriving and continuing on through seasons of boom and bust you show everyone that America's appetite for truly good food is here to stay," she said in a news release. "At a time when the message of 'us versus them' grows louder, you quietly yet firmly send a different message about how this country works and what we value. Everyday — through the choice to protect our land and waters, to pay fairly and transparently, to build community wellness alongside your businesses — you say 'all of us or none of us."


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