Tangled Roots in Ottawa takes the bronze in nationwide beer contest

Brewery will showcase its products at Navy Pier in Chicago

Tangled Roots Brewing Company’s last few weeks have been good to them, first finalizing a deal to become the official beer of Navy Pier’s beer garden and then winning the bronze medal in the Fruit Wheat Beer category at this year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver for its Sunkissed Blonde.

The Ottawa-based brewery’s CEO Scott Struchen said the beer won bronze at the largest beer competition in the world and it’s an amazing honor.

“We’re very lucky and extremely happy that we have one of the highest rated beers in the world,” Struchen said. “It’s a true honor.”

Sunkissed Blonde, along with many other Tangled Roots beers, are available at stores in Ottawa, Streator and the surrounding area while supplies last.

Struchen said becoming the sponsor for the beer garden at Navy Pier took work and determination from the team at Tangled Roots.

“We’ve been working with Navy Pier trying to make something happen,” Struchen said. “Tangled Roots is about believing in tourism and economic development, and really showcasing Illinois and Illinois products.”

Tangled Roots’ hops and barley are grown locally and now it will get to show off in a major tourist destination, which is being taken over from Molson Coors.

“We were able to take over a spot that’s been run by the second largest beer company on the planet in Molson Coors, so for us to edge out a very large entity is a true testament to where the state is headed,” Struchen said. “We’re really starting to take pride in what we do in our own state by being makers and brewers. It’s something to be proud of.”

As for what’s next, Struchen said there’s still developments with the Rocket Brewpub in La Salle (at the former Maytag building) and the Keg and Kernel in DeKalb, but those still are in the works.

“Everyone hears ‘what’s next’ and thinks weeks or months,” Struchen said. “These things take time to build, to get the architecture and thought process and concepts behind it. But we are making moves in the Illinois Valley to expand our footprint.”

The immediate future, though, contains the Tangled Roots Oktoberfest in Ottawa this weekend starting at 5 p.m. Friday. Tangled Roots products will be featured during the festival.