Sam Calagione, a sleeper, is topped by a Van Winkle but honored nevertheless

on 12/05/11 at 9:43 am

Beer

Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione didn’t take home a James Beard Foundation medal Monday night for the country’s Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, but the Delaware brewer is happy that the honor has brought even more attention to artisanal brews.

“It made me proud to be in the culinary industry and prouder still to be the only brewer in a field of wine/spirits producers,” said Calagione on Tuesday.

The Beard Awards, considered the nation’s most prestigious for food and beverage professionals, were presented at a glittery gala at New York City’s Lincoln Center.

Michael Solomonov, of Philadelphia’s Zahav restaurant, was named best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region. Outstanding Chef was José Andrés of minibar in Washington, D.C.

The last time an American craft brewer was honored was in 2008, when Fritz Maytag won a Beard Lifetime Achievement award for his pioneering work at Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco. Garrett Oliver of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Brewery was a Beard nominee in 2010.

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