Winners from the 2017 edition of the Great American Beer Festival were announced earlier this morning. Held annually by brewing-industry trade organization, the Brewers Association, in Denver, Colorado, this year’s GABF saw nearly 8,000 beers entered by more than 2,000 breweries in 98 style categories. 293 were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals after being evaluated by 276 judges. GABF is the country’s largest and most prestigious professional brewing competition. San Diego County breweries have historically fared incredibly well. This year saw another strong showing with the region’s brewers racking up double-digit awards.
Eleven local brewing companies brought home 14 medals this time around, including five golds in the Robust Porter (Second Chance Beer Co.) Honey Beer (Karl Strauss Brewing Company‘s Carlsbad brewpub), Imperial India Pale Ale (Ballast Point Brewing) Other Specialty Belgian Ale (Stone Brewing World Brewing & Gardens – Liberty Station) and Session Beer (Pizza Port‘s Ocean Beach brewpub) categories. That went along with six silver medals and three bronzes.
Notable is the fact only one individual brewing facility in the county won more than one medal, Carmel Mountain Ranch’s Second Chance with a gold and a silver. Newly launched SouthNorte Brewing Company garnered a bronze medal in the Specialty Beer category for a beer called AgaveMente that hasn’t even been released to the public yet. And Monkey Paw Brewing, which Coronado acquired earlier this year, earned a silver medal in the English-style Summer Ale category. Also, Vista-based Mother Earth Brew Co. medaled in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category for Fresh As It Gets, a beer brewed at its Nampa, Idaho production facility.
Adding to the unofficial medal count was Belching Beaver Brewery, which for the second time in its history won top honors at the Alpha King Competition. Held in conjunction with GABF each year, this friendly competition crowns the brewing company that submits the hoppiest offering amid a stacked field of IPAs. Belching Beaver previously won Alpha King in 2014. On top of that, Chula Vista Brewery owners Timothy and Dalia Parker received the Samuel Adams Brewing and Business Experienceship, following in the footsteps of Ramona-based ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, who earned the same opportunity in 2014.
The following is a complete list of the winners from brewing facilities located within San Diego County…
- Honey Beer: Orange Blossom Common, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Carlsbad
- Imperial India Pale Ale: Manta Ray, Ballast Point Brewing, Miramar
- Other Belgian-style Ale: Witty Moron, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens—Liberty Station, Point Loma
- Robust Porter: Tabula Rasa Toasted Porter, Second Chance Beer Co., Carmel Mountain Ranch
- Session Beer: Guillaume, Pizza Port, Ocean Beach
- American-style Amber or Red Ale: Legally Red, Second Chance Beer Co., Carmel Mountain Ranch
- Baltic-style Porter: Herd of Turtles, Bagby Beer Company, Oceanside
- English-style Summer Ale: Back in the ESSA, Monkey Paw Brewing, East Village
- Export Stout: Z-Man Stout, Pizza Port, Carlsbad
- Fruited American-style Sour Ale: Sour Wench Blackberry Ale, Ballast Point Brewing—Home Brew Mart, Linda Vista (no gold awarded)
- German-style Wheat Ale: Hidden Gem, OB Brewery, Ocean Beach
- Golden or Blonde Ale: Blonde, Culture Brewing Company, Solana Beach
- Scotch Ale: Wee Heavy, AleSmith Brewing Company, Miramar
- Specialty Beer: AgaveMente, SouthNorte Brewing Company, Bay Park