Manufacturing awards

Milwaukee-based craft brewer Lakefront Brewery Inc. announced it won two medals in the 2014 European Beer Star. Lakefront’s Eastside Dark won the gold medal in the Bohemian-Style Schwarzbier category and its Holiday Spice Lager won silver in the Herb and Spice Beer category.

Held at the Nuremburg Convention Center in Germany, the 11th annual European Beer Star features a tasting panel of German brewmasters and is one of the most challenging beer competitions worldwide. The competition draws international participation with more than 1,600 entrant beers from breweries in over 40 countries.

“Some of the European brewers in the category have been making beer for hundreds of years; for us to enter and take gold says we’re producing some world-class beer,” said Lakefront Brewery’s president, Russ Klisch.

Klisch mentioned new brewhouse equipment playing a role in the awards, but largely gave credit to his staff, saying, “We have some of the most talented and passionate brewers in the business, and the best equipment in the world couldn’t replace that.”

Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp.’s Mow ‘N’ Stow engine, exclusively on Toro Recycler mowers with SmartStow, was chosen as a winner in the home category of Popular Science magazine’s 27th annual Top 100: Best of What’s New Awards.

Every year Popular Science chooses the top 100 innovations from among thousands of entries. Judged on significance of innovation, quality of design, originality, ambition and scope of the project, the 100 winners make up thirteen categories, including engineering, entertainment, green, and health and home.

Briggs & Stratton’s Mow ‘N’ Stow engine technology allows consumers to fold and store their Toro Recycler mower with SmartStow upright, requiring 70 percent less storage space than a traditional mower. Specific design innovations included redesigned vents and new oil seals to keep oil and gas in place when the engine is stored upright.

“All of our innovations are based on what we hear directly from our consumer research and Mow ‘n’ Stow is no exception,” said Rick Zeckmeister, Briggs & Stratton vice president of marketing and planning. “In partnership with Toro, we literally changed the way people will store their mower, which gives them more garage space—something they said they desperately need. Receiving this recognition from the nationally renowned publication Popular Science further proves this is a breakthrough innovation.”

Kenosha-based Snap-on Inc. captured seven People’s Choice Awards as voted by the readers of Professional Tool & Equipment News magazine. The 2014 PTEN People’s Choice Awards feature the top 25 products selected by PTEN readers as the best among all the products nominated by manufacturers for the annual Innovation Awards.

Snap-on products won the most of any company. Their award-winning products were the 14.4V MicroLithium Cordless Ratchets, the 18V Lithium Compact Cordless Impact Wrench, the TechAngle Electronic Torque Wrench, the True Digital Video Borescope, the 14.4V MicroLithium Cordless Drill, the Automotive Service Tray and the Heavy Duty Diagnostic Cart.

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive seven of the PTEN 2014 People’s Choice Awards in its inaugural year,” said Tom Kassouf, president of Snap-on Tools Group. “These awards are especially meaningful to us because they were chosen by the readers of PTEN–the people who use our products every day. These innovative products demonstrate our deep customer connections that enable us to help make work easier for professionals.”

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