The commercial beer competition held during the October, 2019 Great American Beer Festival in Denver marked the largest beer competition ever. There were 9,497 entries from approximately 2,300 brewers spread over 107 categories. Southern California brewers fared very well.
Although slightly north of SoCal, the accomplishments of our friends and brewers in Kern County deserve note.
Kern River Brewing Company’s brewing team of Brandon Berube, Emily Kirk and Andrew Karle came home with a whopping four medals, securing the honors as Brewery Group and Brewery Group Brewer of the Year. No brewery won more medals at this year’s GABF. Gold was received for Gravity Check Session IPA and Nénette Belgian-style Blonde. Silvers went to Side Hike Double Hoppy Red and Brown Claw (Brown Porter). Congrats to owners Rebecca & Eric Giddens, and the entire Kern River team.
Bakersfield’s Temblor Brewing earned a bronze medal for Under a Blood Orange Sky (Belgian-style Witbier).
Los Angeles County
The Dudes’ Brewing, in Torrance, was L.A. County’s only multiple-medal winner, receiving silver for Los Dudes’ Cerveza Lager Mexicana and bronze for Grandma’s Pecan (Field Beer category).
Gold awards went to Highland Park Brewery for its Timbo Pils (India Pale Lager) and Claremont Craft Ales for its Station101 Double Hoppy Red.
Additional L.A. Silver:
Arrow Lodge Brewing, Covina: Jungalow Juice Berliner Weisse
Ogopogo Brewing, San Gabriel: Boeman Belgian White
Firestone Walker The Propagator, Marina Del Rey: Summer Opal Saison
Additional L.A. Bronze:
Ambitious Ales, Long Beach: Central Perk (Blonde Coffee Beer)
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach: Kilgore (American-style Stout)
Bluebird Brasserie, Sherman Oaks: Stay Gold (Belgian-Style Pale Strong)
Lucky Luke Brewing, Palmdale: Luke’s Original (Blonde Ale)
Santa Barbara & Ventura
MadeWest Brewing,Ventura, received silver for its MadeWest Standard Light Ale.
Figueroa Mountain Santa Barbara’s Hoppy Poppy was awarded bronze in the English-style IPA category.
OC brewers received a total of eight medals.
Two breweries that are no strangers to the GABF awards stage received two medals each.
Evan Price and Green Cheek Beer Co (Orange) scored gold in the Australian-Style Pale Ale category for Australian For Pale and silver in the highly contested (342 entries) American IPA category for Radiant Beauty IPA.
Kyle Manns and his crew at TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room, Tustin, were awarded medals in two German-Style beer categories, gold for Krystal Clear (Kristalweizen) and bronze for Don’t Drop That Dun Dun Dunkel (Dunkel (Dark Lager).
And, Bravus Brewing, the Newport Beach-based brewer of non-alcohol beer, took home two medals in the sans-alcohol category: silver for Bravus Oatmeal Stout and bronze for Bravus Barrel-Aged Bourbon Stout.
Orange County Gold also went to GameCraft Brewing, Laguna Hills, for There is No Cow Level (Coffee Milk Stout). Tustin Brewing Co took the silver in the same coffee stout category for its highly decorated Portola Breakfast Stout.
San Diego County
Having eight gold, five silver and five bronze medals awarded, San Diego County brewers did not disappoint.
Second Chance Beer Co’s Tabula Rasa once again medaled (gold) in the Robust Porter category. Tabula Rasa also received GABF gold in 2016 and 2017.
AleSmith Brewing, San Diego: Private Stock Ale (Old Ale)
Breakwater Brewing Co, Oceanside: Rye Dawn (Rye Beer)
Pizza Port-Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad: Chronic Amber Ale (Bitter)
SouthNorte Beer Co, San Diego: Sea Señor! Mex Lager (Cream Ale)
The Lost Abbey, San Marcos: A Creator’s Calling (Aged Beer)
Two Roots Brewing Co., San Diego: Enough Said N/A (Non-alcohol)
Coronado Brewing, Coronado: Freebooter (Barleywine)
Saint Archer, San Diego: Citra Pils (American Pils)
SouthNorte Beer, San Diego: Agavemente (Specialty)
Thunderhawk Alements, San Diego: Bowie Knife (American Black)
Stone - Liberty Station, San Diego: Cimmerian Portal (American Stout)
Coronado Brewing, San Diego: Weekend Vibes IPA (American IPA),
Chula Vista Brewery, Chula Vista: Browner Than Ivan (American-Style Brown)
Kilowatt Brewing, San Diego: OB Bubble Dubbel (Belgian-Style Dubbel)
Resident Brewing Co., San Diego: Industrial Gris (Belgian/French)
Rip Current Brewing, San Marcos: Rescue Buoy (Imperial Stout)
Riverside & San Bernardino Counties
Kings Brewing Co., Rancho Cucamonga two bronze medals: Fluffernutter, a fruited sour with raspberry, grape jelly, peanut butter marshmallow and vanilla (Experimental) and Rossano (Barrel-aged Saison refermented on cran and strawberries).
Aftershock Brewing Co., Temecula: Bronze: Red Alert (Amber/Red).