R&D Brewing claimed three medals this month at the 2019 U.S. Open Beer Championship, an international brewing competition that judges more beer styles than any other in the world. Breweries from Russia to Rhode Island submitted over 7,000 beers representing over 130 different styles with judges from England, Canada, and the United States.

R&D Brewing, which only launched in 2017, earned the following honors: 

  • Silver medal in the American IPA category for Seven Saturdays IPA. Seven Saturdays IPA is a Modern IPA brewed with Citra and Mosaic Hops providing a perfectly balanced bitter and sweet finish. 
  • Silver medal in the International Style Pilsner Lager category for Riviera Lager. Riviera Lager, a Mexican Style Lager, is premium, easy drinking, and a year-round bestseller.
  • Bronze medal in the Fruit IPA category for Remix. Remix is a double IPA brewed with Citra hops and pineapple and mango puree.


“For R&D, a new brewery, to earn three medals at one of the world’s premier beer competitions is a particularly humbling honor. The wins clearly indicate we’re scaling our business with both quality and growth as top priorities,” says Director of Marketing Rachel Peterson. “This is a great start — but only a start!  As encouraged as we are about the wins and what they mean for our approach, we’re even more excited for what’s coming in 2020.”  

Brewing Up Innovation and Big Plans

Now based in downtown Raleigh, R&D’s plans for 2020 include opening a 30 bbl production brewery and taproom. The sleek new facility will be located across from R&D’s current location at 1323 Capital Blvd. R&D expects to break ground later this year.  

The company’s initials stand for Research and Development, signaling its intentional approach to developing high quality beers as part of a highly scalable business model. Last year, R&D opened a freshly constructed 3.5 bbl pilot brewing system to research, develop and invite feedback from beer enthusiasts in the North Carolina community that is directly used in the formulation and ideation around new and existing beers.  

With R&D’s three 2019 honors, Brewmaster Ian VanGundy, named to All About Beer’s 30 under 30 list in 2013, has collected 19 international and national medals. In 2008, VanGundy graduated from the acclaimed Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago with an International Diploma in Brewing Technology. 

R&D’s leadership team boasts more than 120 years of combined experience in the beer industry. The company currently employs 17 and plans to grow. 

R&D distributes its award-winning beer in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill), Fayetteville, Pinehurst, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City and New Bern with more markets coming online soon. R&D’s beers are also featured at the 18-week Midtown Beach Music Series, every Thursday through August, and at the upcoming Hopscotch Music Festival, September 5-7 — both being events that the company sponsors.  

In February, R&D purchased Bull Durham Beer Co., the first brewery in America to operate in a Minor League baseball stadium. Founded in 2015, Bull Durham Beer is brewed at the home ballpark of, arguably, the most famous minor league baseball team in the world: The Durham Bulls.

The U.S. Open was created by former Friends Brewing owner and brewmaster, Dow Scoggins in 2009. 

For more information, please visit the R&D’s website and visit the U.S. Open Beer Championship


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