Winning the World: Local brewers take global honors

(Howard Lipin/ The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Seven local breweries left Nashville last week with World Beer Cup awards, while Tomme Arthur — co-founder of San Marcos’s The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing — received the Russell Scherer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing.

The Cup competition, judged every other year at the Craft Brewers Conference, is open to breweries from around the world. This year, more than 2,500 breweries entered 8,234 beers in 101 categories.

San Diego-area gold medals

Ole Prospector, BNS Brewing & Distilling, Santee, American-style amber/red ale.

The Thief, Societe Brewing, San Diego, mixed culture Brettanomyces beer.

MacGavins Plaid Monkey, Monkey Paw Brewing, San Diego, Scottish-stye ale.

Bronze medals

Black Marlin Porter, Ballast Point Brewing, San Diego, robust porter.

Farmhouse, Karl Strauss Brewing, 4S Ranch, French and Belgian-style saison.

Breakline Bock, Rip Current Brewing, San Marcos, German-style bock or maibock.

Domestique Belgian Blonde Ale, Rouleur Brewing, Carlsbad, Belgian-style pale ale or Belgian-style blonde ale.

Cup Commentary by the Six-Pack

1. Is anyone surprised when Societe, Karl Strauss, Rip Current, BNS or Ballast Point win awards? These are veteran brewers. But I’m impressed that Rawley Macias guided Rouleur to a medal in its first full year. Let’s hope this brings more fans to his brewery.

2. Monkey Paw had a tumultuous year — new brewers and new owners (it’s now part of Coronado Brewing’s empire). Nice to see the East Village brewpub shrugging aside those distractions and continuing its winning ways.

3. For decades, Tomme Arthur has been expanding my definition of beer — and I’m far from the only one to benefit from his wisdom. National props for brewing innovation? Absolutely.

4. Despite an impressive overall showing, local brewers came away empty in the category they once dominated, India Pale Ales.

5. San Diego County’s seven medals outpaced the Netherlands (five) and Austria (six), while tying the Czech Republic.

6. The San Diego Brewers Guild’s press release failed to mention Ballast Point’s win. I understand that because BP is owned by a New York corporation, Constellation Brewing, it is no longer eligible for Guild membership. But Black Marlin Porter is made here by local brewers. Leaving it off this list of local winners just seems petty.

Read more from Peter Rowe’s beer column, here.