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Benchmark: Brewery ups the game in experimentation and beer collaborations

Benchtop Brewing Company strives to break ground in beer creations and its work with other breweries.

Dale Price, the number two man under brewer and owner Eric Tennant at Benchtop Brewing Company in Norfolk, wanted their small staff to go to the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), which took place in Denver, Colorado this year. They, after all, won the lottery to set up a table to show off Benchtop’s beer at the awards, and submitted four beers for consideration this year; however, it came down to an economic decision, not an emotional one, and the team didn’t go.

So, on Saturday, October 7, Tennant and his crew were in the brew lab of Benchtop, more than 1000 miles away from Denver doing what they do best — brewing.

Assistant Brewer Nathan Mizner, working next to the bearded and tousled Tennant, would stream audio of the awards periodically on his phone when the opportunity for his hands to be free presented itself. Mizner happened to catch the stream as the bronze and silver winners for best Gose were being declared, and other breweries were proclaimed the winners. Tennant quipped, “I guess we won gold then,” right before the revelation rang out from the phone that the brewery’s Mermaid Scorn Gose won the gold prize.
High fives and an announcement in the tasting room immediately followed, and though the surprise could be heard in several of the celebrating voices, Tennant’s GABF award may prove to be only the first of more to come in the future for the man known as the “mad scientist” to brewers and beer brats around Hampton Roads.

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