San Diego Breweries Win 14 Medals At 31st Annual Great American Beer Festival

October 7, 2017

Although a drop from year's past, San Diego craft breweries still did well at this weekend's 31st annual Great American Beer Festival competition in Denver, Colorado, taking home 14 medals including 5 gold, 6 silver, and 3 bronze. Overall 293 medals were awarded to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States.

Presented by the Brewers Association, the Great American Beer Festival is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and known as a symbol of brewing excellence. In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to winning breweries in 98 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country.

Winners were chosen out of 7,923 competition entries from 2,217 breweries in 50 states plus Washington, D.C. (a 15 percent and 24 percent increase respectively from the 7,301 entries and 1,783 breweries in 2016). The competition took place in six sessions over a period of three days and was judged by 276 beer experts from 13 countries, including the U.S. In addition to commercial brewery entries, the judging panel also evaluated 118 Pro-Am entries. The competition was made possible with the help of 365 volunteers.“This year’s GABF was more competitive than ever. So it is a great honor to win four medals and take home the 'Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year' award, and to do so across such a wide variety of beer styles, from a traditional Hef to a session IPA to a barrel aged American sour,” says Matt Johnson, Brewmaster of Brewery Operations.

San Diego Breweries were awarded 14 medals in total, with the full list of local recipients below:

Gold Medals 
Honey Beer: Orange Blossom Common by Karl Strauss Brewing Co. Carlsbad
Session Beer: Guillaume by Pizza Port Ocean Beach
Brown Porter: Tabula Rasa Toasted Porter by Second Chance Beer Co.
Other Belgian-style Ale: Witty Moron by Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station
Imperial India Pale Ale: Manta Ray by Ballast Point Brewing

Silver Medals
American-style Amber or Red Ale: Legally Red by Second Chance Beer Co.
German-style Wheat Ale: Hidden Gem by OB Brewery
English-style Summer Ale: Back in the ESSA by Monkey Paw Brewing
Export Stout: Z-Man Stout by Pizza Port Carlsbad
Fruited American-style Sour Ale (no gold awarded): Sour Wench Blackberry Ale by Ballast Point Brewing Home Brew Mart
Ranch Baltic-style Porter: Herd of Turtles by Bagby Beer Company

Bronze Medals
Specialty Beer: Agavemente by SouthNorte Brewing Company
Golden or Blonde Ale: Blonde by Culture Brewing Company
Scotch Ale: Wee Heavy by AleSmith Brewing Company

This year marks a second year of decline for medals awarded to San Diego breweries, Last year in 2016, San Diego was awarded 18 medals, plus Karl Strauss won the coveted “Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year” award. In 2015, San Diego breweries brought home a total of 20 medals, with Rip Current Brewery taking the title of "Very Small Brewing Company of the Year." 2014 saw team San Diego receiving 14 medals, with eleven awarded to local breweries in 2013.

View the full list of 2017 GABF winners online and be sure head to some of local award winning breweries to try their delicious beers.