Dining With Denise Neil

A Wichita-made beer with a funny name is winning all the big beer awards

If this keeps up, Wichita will soon be known nationwide as the home of the Shaven Yak.

At least in the beer world.

Shaven Yak, an English-style brown ale made by Wichita Brewing Co., just keeps winning prestigious awards.

In October, it won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, an annual contest that's considered the Academy Awards of the craft beer industry.

Then, earlier this month, the beer picked up a silver medal in the English-Style Brown Ale category at what's called "The Olympics of Beer Competitions," the World Beer Cup in Nashville. Just like at the Great American Beer Festival, WBC was the only Kansas brewery to take an award.

"It's a pretty big deal in the beer community," said Greg Gifford, one of WBC's owners.

Shaven Yak was created last year by WBC's head brewer Ned Vahsholtz with the intent of entering it in the Great American Beer Festival. Vahsholtz is a fan of brown ales, so he worked on the recipe and tweaked it for months. The name of the beer is a reference to the cartoon "Ren and Stimpy," whose titular characters celebrated the fictional holiday "Yak Shaving Day."

Shaven Yak is on tap at both Wichita Brewing Company restaurants – at 8515 W. 13th and 535 N. Woodlawn — and is available in cans on the shelves of local liquor stores.

This year’s World Beer Cup drew 8,234 entries from 2,515 breweries in 66 countries.

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