San Diego Breweries Win 16 Medals At 32nd Annual Great American Beer Festival | Ocean Beach Brewery Wins Small Brewpub Of The Year Award

September 22, 2018

San Diego craft breweries continue to thrive in the craft beer industry, winning 16 medals at this weekend's 32nd annual Great American Beer Festival competition in Denver, Colorado, with Ocean Beach Brewery taking home top honors of being awarded the distinction of Small Brewpub of the Year, as well as winning a gold medal in the American-style Pale Ale category! Overall 306 medals were awarded to 280 of the best commercial breweries in the United States.

On Saturday morning, September 22, the Brewers Association awarded 306 medals to 280 breweries across the United States at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival competition. In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, award-winning breweries received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 102 beer categories covering 167 different beer styles, establishing the best examples of each style in the country and earning a symbol of brewing excellence.

Fifteen San Diego craft breweries won a total of 16 medals, including 5 gold, 6 silver, and 5 bronze. Santee’s Groundswell Brewing Co. was the only brewery to win two medals, taking home both a silver and bronze. Ocean Beach Brewery was certainly a standout, being awarded Small Brewpub of the Year honors, as well as a gold in the coveted American Pale Ale category. San Diego breweries also almost swept the session beer category, with Eppig Brewery being awarded gold and Burgeon Beer Co. of Carlsbad taking the silver.

This year's Great American Beer Fest had 8,496 entries (plus 101 Pro-Am and 49 Collaboration entries) from 2,404 breweries from 49 states plus Washington, D.C. (no Mississippi). There were 293 judges from 13 countries deciding the winners of the 306 medals. In its GABF competition debut, the Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale style category was the most-entered with 391 entries. Since 2002, the most-entered category was American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 311 entries in 2018.

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For more information about the Great American Beer Festival, visit and check out the San Diego winners and full medal list below.

  • American-style Pale Ale - Ocean Beach Brewery for its B.Right On Pale Ale
  • English-Style Summer Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Co. La Jolla for Liquid AC
  • Rye Beer - Breakwater Brewing Co. for Rye Dawn
  • Session Beer - Eppig Brewing for Natural Bridge Vienna Lager
  • Session India Pale Ale - Societe Brewing Co. for The Coachman
  • American-style Brown Ale - Groundswell Brewing Co. for its Groundswell Piloncillo Brown Ale
  • German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock - Rip Current Brewery for Delaminator Doppelbock
  • Oatmeal Stout - Pizza Port Solana Beach for Oats
  • Session Beer - Burgeon Beer Co. for Noble Miner
  • Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer - Duck Foot Brewing Co. for Redrum
  • Wood and Barrel Aged Sour Beer - Port Brewing Co./The Lost Abbey for Duck Duck Goose 
  • Bohemian-Style Pilsner - North Park Beer Co. for it’s Bird Park
  • Chocolate Beer - Kilowatt Brewing for Chocolate Macadamia Nut Stout
  • Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout - Groundswell Brewing Co. for Know Ego
  • Historical Beer - Home Brewing Co. for Zungen Brecher
  • Old Ale or Strong Ale - BNS Brewing & Distilling Co. in Santee for Rail Gun Wee Heavy