San Diego brewers rock. At the end of September at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF as it's known to crafty drinkers), our beloved local breweries took home 19 medals, including golds for India pale ale and session India pale ale, and a bronze for imperial India pale ale.
Deliciously fitting, considering we live in the planet's mecca for hoppy beer! But taking home medals is no easy feat at GABF, and with some categories, such as imperial India ale, having more than 200 entries this year, the competition was more fierce than ever.
San Diego classics Green Flash, Pizza Port (5 medals), Ballast Point, Karl Strauss, Lost Abbey, and Stone all took home medals, as did several smaller and newer local breweries.
"What's really cool is that, while the veteran brewers are still winning medals, we're also starting to see a newer wave of breweries (Rip Current, Breakwater, BNS, South Park, and URBN) now rocking medals," said Paul Segura, brewmaster at Karl Strauss.
In addition to the 19 medals, San Diego's Rip Current Brewing took home the award for Very Small Brewing Company of the Year, and brewers Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe won Very Small Brewers of the Year.
"It was truly humbling and an honor ... this is not an award we had thought about as it's so difficult to even win a single medal, so the thought of winning multiple and taking one of the top awards is a shock to us," Sangster said.
Here is the rundown of all our winners:
• Break Line Bock by Rip Current Brewing Co. Bock
• Le Freak by Green Flash Brewing Co. American-Belgo-style ale. I've written about how much I love this beer before, the first ever Belgian Trippel-American IPA hybrid. A perfect balance between the citrus, piney hops, caramel, malt and Belgian spice.
• Revolver IPA by BNS Brewing & Distilling Co. India pale ale
• The Coachman by Societe Brewing Co. Session India pale ale. Can Societe do wrong? I would say no.
• Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout by New English Brewing Co. Coffee beer
• Veritas 015 by The Lost Abbey. Wood and barrel-aged sour beer. A ridiculously yummy sour with notes of peaches and apricots, and just the right amount of funk.
• Black Lagoon Scottish Strong by Rip Current Brewing Co. Scotch ale. A rich dark caramel flavor with low bitterness and a clean soft finish.
• Scripps Pier Stout by South Park Brewing Co. Oatmeal stout
• Bacon & Eggs by Pizza Port, Ocean Beach . Coffee beer. One of my all time favorites, with comforting notes of chocolate, dark caramel and coffee.
• Grambo by Pizza Port, Solana Beach. Double red ale
• Guillaume by Pizza Port, Ocean Beach. Session beer
• Saison by URBN St. Brewing Co. French- and Belgian-style saison
• San Diego-Style IPA by Karl Strauss Brewing Co., La Jolla. (International-style pale ale)
• Serrano Pale Ale by Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Scripps Ranch. Chili beer. Try this and their other fiery hot beers for your perfect Mexican food matchup.
• Shark Bite Red by Pizza Port, Bressi Ranch. American-style amber/red ale. Hoppy red with notes of grapefruit, orange, caramel and toast.
• Teahupo'o by Breakwater Brewing Co. (Imperial India pale ale)
• Windansea Wheat by Karl Strauss Brewing Co., Pacific Beach. South German-style hefeweizen. Always a classic San Diego favorite, with balanced banana, clove and spice.
• Witty Moron by Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Liberty Station. (Other Belgian-style ale)
• Z-Man Stout by Pizza Port, Carlsbad. (Export stout)
From all of us at DiscoverSD, congratulations and cheers!