We got an early Christmas present this morning, and we're pretty excited about it. We found out that First Frost, our winter persimmon ale, is a finalist in the annual Good Food Awards competition!

The competition judged beer (and cheese, and chocolate, and coffee, and confections, etc.) from 49 states across the country. From a record number of entrants, the judges chose sixteen beers—including ours! We're honored to be the lone Southeastern representative in a category dominated by West Coast breweries.

Around these parts, we've always known First Frost was a special one. We're just happy that the national team of judges thought so too. It's especially awesome to be recognized for a beer that uses an uncommon yet quintessentially Southern ingredient. (In case you haven't noticed, that's what we're all about.)

[caption id="attachment_6193" align="aligncenter" width="300"]firstfrost-300x223.jpg#asset:6544:url Photo Credit: Sandra Hughes[/caption]

Winners won't be announced until January, but we're going to celebrate now. And it won't be long before First Frost 2013 arrives! This year's batch uses 550 pounds of community-foraged and farmed persimmons and will be released just before Christmas. Look out for a press release with details on how and where to buy First Frost 2013.

Also big congratulations to our fellow North Carolina finalists: Escazú Chocolates, Blessed Earth Farm, Looking Glass Creamery, and Farmer's Daughter. We're proud to represent this fine state of food and drink alongside you all.