Photos by David Mulvihill

Southern California brewers came home with 34 awards from the 2018 World Beer Cup competition. WBC takes place every two years during the annual Craft Brewers Conference. Presented by the Brewers Guild, the City of Nashville played host to CBC/WBC 2018 and brought together industry brewers, owners and staff from all over the world. The awards presentation capped off a week of industry-related seminars, sessions and fun. The following highlights many of the sources and varieties of amazing So Cal craft beer.

Gold Winners

Gold awards went to the following breweries:

Firestone Walker Brewing Company, from Paso Robles, received three gold plaques, a remarkable accomplishment given the sea of 8,234 entrants. Its first was for STiVO in the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category. STiVO was first brewed in 2016 in collaboration with Russian River Brewing Company, as a mash-up between FW’s popular Pivo Pils and Russian River’s STS Pilsner. FW’s second plaque was for one of its long time standards, DBA (Double Barrel Ale), in the Ordinary or Special Bitter category. C-Hops earned the brewery’s third 2018 gold, besting 182 entries in the American-Style Pale Ale category.

 Tustin Brewing Company’s Jerrod Larsen scored gold in the Coffee Stout and Porter category for Portola Breakfast Stout (157 entries). Larson and TBC owner Jason Jeralds were also on stage earlier in the evening to collect the first award presented, bronze for Clutch’s American Wheat. 

Golden Road L.A. received gold for it Mango Cart fruited wheat. 

San Diego’s Societe Brewing Co’s gold was in the Mixed Culture Brett Beer category for
The Thief. 

Jeremy Grinky and the Bruery Terreux team from Anaheim scored gold in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category for Train to Beersel, an American wild ale.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Buellton, CA was awarded gold for “I Dunkled in My Pants,” a Munich-Style Dunkel.

MacGavins Plaid Monkey earned Monkey Paw Brewing (San Diego) its gold in the Scottish-Style Ale category. 

Brad Kominec and Team Noble Ale Works came home with gold In the Imperial India Pale Ale category (196 Entries) for Nobility. 

Silver Awards

Out of 377 entries, Brad’s predecessor and teacher, Evan Price and Green Cheek Beer Co (Orange) earned silver for Radiant Beauty. Dubbed Southern California’s “IPA King,” Price came through again, adding to his numerous decorations received during his current tenure and his time at Noble Ale Works and TAPS.

San Juan Capistrano’s Docent Brewing netted its first WBC award with silver in the American-Style Pale Ale category for Double Nickels. Alechemist Bryan Giesen has established a growing fan base for his tasty and creative ales ever since Docent’s opening in 2017. This award serves to confirm what many already knew about Bryan’s beers.

Mocha Machine, an entry from Beachwood Brewing’s Huntington Beach location, garnered silver in the Coffee Stout/Porter category. Beachwood’s Udder Love also earned silver in the Sweet or Cream Stout category. Team Julian Shrago and Ryan Fields were on hand to accept these two awards for Huntington Beach and two more (another silver and a bronze) for Beachwood BBQ & Brewing-Long Beach Pablo Escobeer (Coffee Beer) and Hoppa Emeritus (American Black Ale). 

Firestone Walker Barrelworks, in Buellton, received its silver in the American-Style Sour Ale category for Krieky Bones.

Costa Mesa’s Barley Forge took silver in the Field Beer category for The Patsy, a coconut rye stout. 

Silver in the honey beer category went to Rancho Cucamonga’s No Clue Craft Brewery.

A silver plaque also went to David Chaney and MacLeod Ale Brewing
(Van Nuys) for Van NICE light lager. 

Figueroa Mountain’s Westlake Village brewery was awarded silver in the oatmeal stout category for Stagecoach Stout. Fig’s Arroyo Grande facility received its silver in the Imperial Red Ale category for Red Rock. 


Bronze awards were received by the following breweries:

Anaheim’s Hoparazzi Brewing Co confirmed its admittance into the big leagues in the Chili Beer category with Heat of the Night, an IPA with chiles. 

Rip Current Brewing (San Marcos): Breakline Bock (German-Style Bock/Maibock).

Brewery Rex (listed as Fullerton): Raspberry Ricky (Berliner-Style Weisse). This reporter will be reaching out to Brewery Rex’s Tyler King and Brian White to find out if Brewery Rex may soon have a home of its own brewing in Orange County. Stay tuned.

Karl Strauss Brewing-4S Ranch: Farmhouse (French & Belgian-Style Saison).

Rouleur Brewing Co (Carlsbad): Domestique Belgian Blonde.

Casa Agria Specialty Ales (Oxnard): El Sur (Belgian-Style Sour). 

Ballast Point (San Diego): Black Marlin Porter. 

MadeWest Brewing Co (Ventura): MadeWest Donlon (Sweet or Cream Stout). 

Institution Ale Co (Camarillo): Restraint (American Brown Ale). 

In the final category of the evening, San Clemente’s Artifex was called to the stage to accept its second WBC award for the consistently delicious HoliDAVE, an American-Style Imperial Stout. HoliDAVE received a silver plaque at the last World Beer Cup in 2016. I think it’s time to break out that coveted bottle of 2016 in my cellar.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

San Diego’s Monkey Paw/Coronado Brewing Team on stage
for gold. 

Noble Ale Works-Gold for Imperial IPA. 

Societe Brewing stays in the mix with its gold for The Thief. 

Tustin Brewing Company returning to the stage for Jerrod’s second award of the evening. 

Bruery Terreux keeping it wild with gold for Train to Beersel. 

Firestone Walker Brewing Co accepting one of its three gold plaques received at the 2018 World Beer Cup in Nashville.