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San Diego County brewers’ darker ales shine at Great American Beer Festival

The Great American Beer Festival in Denver drew more than 4,000 beers, including 35 from San Diego County breweries.

Stone Brewing’s Witty Moron won a gold medal for Other Belgian-style Ale at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/Union-Tribune)

Following a trend since the boom of San Diego craft beer, 13 breweries won awards Saturday morning at the nation’s largest craft beer competition.

The Great American Beer Festival in Denver drew more than 4,000 beers, including 35 from San Diego County breweries.

Here are the results:

Gold medalists

  • Brown Porter: Tabula Rasa Toasted Porter, Second Chance Beer Co.
  • Imperial India Pale Ale: Manta Ray, Ballast Point
  • Honey Beer: Orange Blossom Common, Karl Strauss Brewing Company
  • Other Belgian-style Ale: Witty Moron, Stone Brewing
  • Session Beer: Guillaume, Pizza Port Ocean Beach

Silver Medalists

  • American-style Amber or Red Ale: Legally Red, Second Chance Beer Co.
  • Baltic-style Porter: Herd of Turtles, Bagby Beer Company
  • English-style Summer Ale: Back in the ESSA, Monkey Paw Brewing
  • Export Stout: Z-Man Stout, Pizza Port Carlsbad
  • Fruited American-style Sour Ale: Sour Wench Blackberry Ale, Ballast Point Brewing
  • German-style Wheat Ale: Hidden Gem, OB Brewery

Monkey Paw (Rick Nocon / Rick Nocon)

Bronze Medalists

  • Golden or Blonde Ale: Blonde, Culture Brewing Company
  • Scotch Ale: Wee Heavy, AleSmith Brewing Company
  • Specialty Beer: Agavemente, SouthNorte Brewing Company

Look back at previous medals won »

Even though San Diego is known for redefining craft beer by bringing extremely hoppy and bitter flavors to taphandles, the majority of San Diego medals were in darker, maltier styles. The only India Pale Ale medalist was the Manta Ray from Ballast Point.

Also, Mother Earth Brew Co. won a bronze medal in the Fresh or Wet Hop beer category, but that beer came from its Idaho facility.

The full results are here.

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