California and Los Angeles breweries represented well at the Great American Beer Festival medal ceremony.
Smog City Brewing (who is celebrating one year and a new space in Torrance) and co-owner Jonathan Porter won gold in the coffee beer category. Victor Novak doubled up as did Julian Shrago for TAPS and Beachwood, respectively. Overall, California picked up 24 medals bringing the Golden State up to an even 500 since 1983.
I went directly from the awards to the Saturday afternoon session to pick up where I left off on Thursday. I toured the Pacific NW via Gigantic Brewing and their Hot Time, Summer in the City. No-Li Brewing’s Silent Treatment and west coast IPA’s a plenty. I also visited the highly decorated Devil’s Backbone booth before finishing up at the booth for Odell’s with their latest incarnation of the WoodCut series. It would have taken me days to properly savor all that was on offer. Over two sessions, I barely scratched the surface. I could easily spend a day at the Pro-Am booth which keeps getting bigger and bigger.
After celebrating the Californians’ (not the Saturday Night Live version) victories. I set out to sample more Denver breweries. Renegade Brewing and Strange Brewing Company remained on the list. Renegade wowed me with their Elevation IPA while Strange’s cherry beers were noteworthy.
Last beer of the night and of the entire trip for me was a pumpkin beer from Upslope Brewing Company in the company of fellow beer bloggers from Portland and Olympia. I started with fresh hops at Great Divide and finished with a fresh pumpkin from Upslope. Perfect bookends for a Colorado beer expedition.
In a future post, I will talk about which breweries to visit in Denver and which beers from GABF that you should seek.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.
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