This is one of those things that I read about last year and forgot about this year until just now while I was enjoying a Magic Hat #9 (with a hint of apricot don't-you-know). I don't think I've agreed with the judges on the "winner", but it is fun to follow along.
It's also a way to get introduced to a number of really good micro-brews that you may not have had the opportunity to try. This year's winner was Hook & Ladder Backdraft Brown, from Silver Spring, MD.
A smooth and refreshing beer loaded with flavor. Specialty malts balanced with just the right amount of cascade hops give it a roasted taste and beautiful brown color. This drinkable brown ale easily rivals an expensive import.