The Great American Beer Festival concluded last weekend with their annual awarding of medals in a mind-blowing 92 style categories.
The question is, how did Los Angeles do and how did the state of California as a whole do in comparison to other notable craft brewing states like Oregon, North Carolina and Colorado?
The answer? California is the place to be from BNS Brewing in Santee and their gold in the hotly contested IPA category to Morgan Territory Brewing in Tracy, to another winning year for Pizza Port and Lost Abbey in San Marcos. Medals rolled in, and Truckee, Healdsburg, Sacramento, Temecula, Camarillo all were called out for the brewing world to hear.
The big winners were Firestone Walker Brewing Co. who were seemingly on stage every 10 minutes and topped off their day by winning Mid-Size Brewery of the year. TAPS Brewery did very well with their new/old brewing team and took home the Mid-Sized Brewpub of the Year award.
Two other breweries struck gold, twice. Ritual Brewing for Big Deluxe in the Aged Beer style and Fat Hog in Barley Wine. Bottle Logic in Anaheim won for Lagerithm and Cobaltic two dark beer styles.
Closer to home, Smog City Brewing is wearing silver for their Kumquat Saison and Beachwood Brewing has the same for Mocha Machine.
That barely scratches the surface of the medalists. California Brewers will need bigger trophy cases.
The Beer of the Week may cause bewildered looks and brand extension eye rolls but the esteemed Guinness brewery, known for their Stout, will be releasing an IPA. An IPA with the Nitro widget no less. Some people have derided the move on the internet thinking that the large corporate Irish brewery can’t do the now thoroughly American IPA style. Others don’t understand why they’d add the Nitro part. I have my doubts about the hoppiness myself, but I do like what nitro dispense and cask add to IPAs so I am intrigued by the possibility.
Now that it is October and the stores have turned their gaze from Halloween to Christmas. It is now time to give a Homework assignment to celebrate pumpkin beers. The Federal Bar in North Hollywood is featuring a bevy of gourd beers from the granddaddy of the style, Elysian Brewing, as they bring their pumpkin roadshow to L.A.. Eight different pumpkin beers will be poured along with other Elysian offerings. More than enough to get you into the spooky holiday spirit. Maybe pair them with pumpkin spice Oreos.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.
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