San Diego County Craft Brewers Win Big at 2021 Great American Beer Festival

September 10, 2021

San Diego County craft brewers have won big at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, taking home nearly 20 medals. 

San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG) has announced its brewery members had another impressive year at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Award Ceremony. In total, San Diego independent brewers received 19 medals this year - earning a grand total of nearly 300 medals for the ‘Capital of Craft’ since 1993.

The 2021 GABF Award Ceremony took place today in Denver, CO. The event made an in-person comeback with limited representatives from each brewery in attendance to receive medals. This year, the Brewers Association, a national organization that hosts GABF, coupled the award ceremony with its noteworthy trade show - the Craft Brewers Conference - which unites craft beer manufacturers with goods and services suppliers for educational seminars and networking events. A total of 2,192 breweries entered 9,680 beers into the world’s largest professional beer competition. The participants competed for a chance to have their creative brews earn recognition from the 170 judges analyzing 98 categories.

"SDBG brewery members really outperformed and shined through the competition," said Virginia Morrison, CEO and Co-Founder at Second Chance Beer and President at SDBG. "We are thrilled to have our brewing community back in Denver, CO for the first time since 2019 and be a part of the always spectacular GABF Award Ceremony presented by the Brewers Association. Congratulations to all the winners, especially those in San Diego who do so much year-round to help us maintain our prestigious title as the 'Capital of Craft.'"

The ‘Juicy/Hazy IPA’ beer category received the most entries, receiving 427 submissions from participating brewers. Among the medal winners in this wildly popular beer-style, San Diego’s very own Attitude Brewing Co. and North Park Beer Co. earned bronze and silver medals, respectively.

Overall, San Diego’s independent craft brewers were awarded esteemed medals in the following categories:

Specialty Beer - Maple Smoked Maibock, Kilowatt Brewing
Non-Alcoholic Beer - Enough Said N/A Helles, Two Roots Brewing Co.
American Sour Ale - Vice Sans Fruit, Wild Barrel Brewing Co.
German-Style Doppelbock - Unfrozen Caveman Lager, Belching Beaver Brewery
English/New Zealand IPA - Palm Sway, Coronado Brewing Co.
Imperial Stout - Dark Seas, Mission Brewery
International Pale Ale - BONKEUR Mosaic Pale Ale, Rouleur Brewing Co.

Session Beer - Natural Bridge: Vienna Lager, Eppig Brewing
Smoke Beer - Ashes from the Grave, TapRoom Beer Co.
International Dark Lager - Puesto Negra, Puesto Cervecería
English/New Zealand IPA - Flight of the Kiwis, My Yard Live Beer Co.
Belgian-Style Session Ale - Austere Abbot, Deft Brewing
Juicy/Hazy IPA - Art is Hard, North Park Beer Co.
Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale - Jan Quadrupel Vincent 16, Belching Beaver Brewery

Coffee Beer - Golden Stout, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. (Brewed at the Anaheim, CA location)
Hoppy Lager - Haole Island, WestBrew
Imperial IPA - Army of the Kinda Dead-Ish, North Park Beer Co.
English-Style Brown Ale - Beería, Craft Coast
Juicy/Hazy IPA - Blissed, Attitude Brewing Co.

The complete list of 2021 GABF Winners can be found here.

With this year’s combined impressive winnings, the ‘Capital of Craft’ now holds a total of 281 medals, including seven more gold, seven more silver and five more bronze from GABF 2021.

For more information about the San Diego Brewers Guild, its brewery and affiliate members, as well as upcoming events, visit Also, save the date because the highly-anticipated San Diego Beer Week will return November 5-15, 2021.