San Diego County breweries have a lot to celebrate. They won 18 medals – including five Gold Medals – at the 2023 Great American Beer Festival (GABF). The nation’s largest professional brewing competition is commonly referred to as “The Oscars” of the craft beer industry, and it takes place annually in Denver, Colo.
The five Golds and 18 medals overall eclipsed last year’s totals of three and 15, respectively.
The Gold Medal-winning breweries are Ballast Point Brewing Company – Little Italy for Barometer Drop in the “Strong Porter” category, Belching Beaver Brewery – Oceanside Brewhouse for Tropical Terps IPA in the “Experimental IPA” category, Santee’s BNS Brewing and Distilling for Gatling Gun in the “Imperial Stout” category, East Village Brewing Company for IZOLA Kvass in the “Historical Beer” category, and North Park’s TapRoom Beer Company for PB Haze in the “Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale” category.
“Our breweries showed incredibly well once again in the Mile High City,” said San Diego Brewers Guild Executive Director Erik Fowler. “It seems like every year we justify our moniker as The Capital of Craft, and I couldn’t be happier for the medal winners and the entire San Diego craft beer scene. Even with summer over, the beer-drinking weather doesn’t really stop, and I hope San Diegans will go out and support all their favorite breweries whether they won a medal or not. There are extraordinarily talented people in America’s Finest City making the finest beer around.”
The other local GABF winners:
Bagby Beer Company (Oceanside): Herd of Turtles in “Strong Porter” category
Burgeon Beer Company (Carlsbad): Carlsbad Crush in “International-Style Pale Ale” category
Modern Times: Mega Devil’s Teeth: Double Dutch S’mores Edition in “Dessert Stout or Pastry Stout” category
North Park Beer Company: X-Raying Flowers in “Juicy or Hazy Imperial IPA” category
Pizza Port Ocean Beach: Giullaume in “Session Beer or Belgian-Style Table Beer” category
Rouleur Brewing Company (Carlsbad): DOMESTIQUE Blonde Ale in “Belgian-Style Ale or French-Style Ale” category
Rip Current Brewing (North Park): Breakline Bock in “Bock” category
AleSmith Brewing Company (Miramar): Nut Brown in “English-Style Brown Ale” category
Breakwater Brewing Company (Oceanside): Rye Dawn in “Rye Beers” category
Fall Brewing Company (North Park): Tora! In “International-Style Pilsener” category
Modern Times Beer: Chaos Grid: The Final Final Course in “Dessert Stout or Pastry Stout” category
Second Chance Beer Company: Fistful of Gummies in “Fruited Sour” category
Second Chance Beer Company: Tabula Rasa in “Robust Porter” category
The 41st GABF competition, which was presented by the Brewers Association,included roughly 9,300 entries within 100 different categories. More than 2,000 breweries entered the competition, and the medals were awarded by more than 200 certified judges and experienced members of the brewing industry. For a complete list of winners, visit https://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/the-competition/2023-winners/.
San Diego County is known as The Capital of Craft™, a moniker that was trademarked in 2015. San Diego has the most craft brewery locations among all counties in the United States with more than 150.
San Diego Brewers Guild is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization that promotes local small businesses and entrepreneurs of craft beer via education, events, and community involvement.