The Great American Beer Festival is both the largest, most respected annual beer fest and professional brewing competition in the country. Held each fall in Denver, Colorado, it is organized by national trade organization, the Brewers Association. This year’s edition—the 38th in the event’s history—was held this weekend and, earlier this morning, winners were announced from the competition component.
According to the BA, this year’s competition included 9,497 entries from 2,295 U.S. breweries located in all 50 states. There was a total of 107 different style categories, with an average of 80 entries per category. It took a total of 322 judges to go through and rank all of those beers.
In the end, San Diego County breweries brought home a total of 18 medals—eight gold, five silver and five bronze. Coronado Brewing and SouthNorte Brewing—sister companies with shared ownership—earned two medals each. The latter took gold in the American-Style Cream Ale category for its Sea Señor Mex Lager and silver in Specialty Beer for the second time with its Agavamente, while Coronado took silver for its Freebooter Barleywine and bronze for its Weekend Vibes IPA. That last medal was in the category with the second-most entries (342), American-Style India Pale Ale. Pizza Port’s family of breweries also accounted for three medals, golds in the Ordinary or Special Bitter category for Chronic Amber Ale (at the company’s production brewery in Bressi Ranch) and Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout for Solana Stout (from its Solana Beach brewpub) plus another gold in Aged Beer for A Creator’s Calling (from associated brand, The Lost Abbey).
“The San Diego Brewers Guild is extremely proud of San Diego’s consistently strong showing at GABF,” says Kris Anacleto, vice president of the guild and CEO of Booze Brothers Brewing Co. in Vista. “It is because of our craft beer community’s pioneering spirt and innovation that San Diego’s craft beer legacy continues to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive national landscape. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”
San Diego has a long history of showing well at the Great American Beer Festival. In recent years, local operations have earned 16 (2018), 14 (2017), 18 (2016) and 19 (2015) at the annual competition.
The following is a full list of local winners…
Rye Beer: Rye Dawn, Breakwater Brewing, Oceanside
Non-Alcohol Beer: Enough Said N/A, Two Roots Brewing, Kearny Mesa
Aged Beer: A Creator’s Calling, The Lost Abbey, San Marcos
American-Style Cream Ale: Sea Señor Mex Lager, SouthNorte Brewing, Bay Park
Ordinary or Special Bitter: Chronic Amber Ale, Pizza Port Brewing, Carlsbad
Robust Porter: Tabula Rasa, Second Chance Beer Co., Carmel Mountain Ranch
Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout: Solana Stout, Pizza Port, Solana Beach
Old or Strong Ale: Private Stock Ale, AleSmith Brewing, Miramar
Specialty Beer: Agavamente, SouthNorte Brewing, Bay Park
Contemporary American-Style Pilsener: Citra Pils, Saint Archer Brewery, Miramar
American-style Black Ale: Bowie Knife, Thunderhawk Alements, Miramar
American-Style Stout: Cimmerian Portal, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, Point Loma
Barley Wine-Style Ale: Freebooter Barleywine, Coronado Brewing, Coronado
American-Style IPA: Weekend Vibes IPA, Coronado Brewing, Bay Park
American-style Brown Ale: Browner Than Ivan, Chula Vista Brewery, Chula Vista
Belgian- and French-Style Ale: Industrial Gris, Resident Brewing, Downtown
Belgian-Style Dubbel: OB Bubble Dubbel, Kilowatt Brewing, Kearny Mesa
Imperial Stout: Rescue Buoy Imperial Stout, Rip Current Brewing, San Marcos