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Friday, October 2, 2015


BIG TIME—Rip Current Brewery of San Marcos (with a Tasting Room in North Park) came home from the  Great American Beer Festival (aka the world series of beer) in Denver with bragging rights as the nation’s “Very Small Brewery of the Year.”
Editor’s Note: Reprinted with permission from West Coaster craft beer magazine and website, a Pillar to Post media partner.

GUEST BLOG--By Brandon Hernández, WEST COASTER magazine--
After several years in which San Diego County breweries had strong, but annually declining performances at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the 2015 edition of the country’s largest and most prestigious brewing competition saw a whopping 19 medals awarded to San Diego breweries (20 if you count the silver to San Diego-based Karl Strauss Brewing Company’s Costa Mesa brewpub for its Singularity American-style black ale).
Held each year in Denver, Colorado, GABF takes place at the Colorado Convention Center and gets bigger each time out. This year, 242 judges from 15 countries judged more than 6,000 beers from 1,552 brewing companies, vying for gold, silver and bronze medals in 92 beer style categories. Each brewery that received the opportunity to enter the competition was allowed five entries per brewery-equipped location.
San Diego County brewers brought home six gold medals, two silvers and 11 bronzes, with 10 of the awards going to breweries located within the actual City of San Diego. Nearly San Diegan neighbors that also won include Aftershock Brewing Company, which took bronze for its oatmeal cookie-flavored porter in the Herb and Spice Beer category, and Garage Brewing Company, which won gold for its Bucket Seat Blonde in the Munich-style Helles category. Both companies are based in Temecula, California..

Each of Pizza Port’s four San Diego County brewpubs won at least one award. San Diego breweries nearly swept the Coffee Beer category altogether. And first-time winners abounded. But no rookie win was more unexpected or prestigious than that of Santee-based BNS Brewing and Distilling Co., which shocked the industry by beating out 335 other India pale ales to win the competition’s most highly contested category—IPA. As big a deal as that was, one brewery did even better. San Marcos’ Rip Current Brewing Co. was named the “Very Small Brewery of the Year” for 2015 behind gold and silver medals earned in the Bock and Scotch Ale categories, respectively.
The following is a list of all of the San Diego County winners from the 2015 GABF competition.
Very Small Brewery of the Year: Rip Current Brewing Co., San Marcos

Coffee Beer: Gold—Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, New English Brewing Co., Sorrento Valley; Bronze—Bacon & Eggs, Pizza Port, Ocean Beach

India Pale Ale: Gold—Revolver IPA, BNS Brewing & Distilling Co., Santee

Session India Pale Ale: Gold—The Coachman, Societe Brewing Co., Kearny Mesa

Wood & Barrel-Aged Sour Beer: Gold—Veritas 015, The Lost Abbey, San Marcos

American-Belgo-Style Ale: Gold—Le Freak, Green Flash Brewing Co., Mira Mesa

Bock: Gold—Break Line Bock, Rip Current Brewing Co., San Marcos

Scotch Ale: Silver—Black Lagoon Scottish Strong, Rip Current Brewing Co., San Marcos

Oatmeal Stout: Silver—Scripps Pier Stout, South Park Brewing Co., South Park

Session Beer: Bronze—Guillaume, Pizza Port, Ocean Beach

International-Style Pale Ale: Bronze—Karl Strauss Brewing Co., La Jolla

Imperial India Pale Ale: Bronze—Teahupo’o, Breakwater Brewing Co., Oceanside

American-Style Amber/Red Ale: Bronze—Shark Bite Red, Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad

Double Red Ale: Bronze—GRAMBO, Pizza Port, Solana Beach

French- & Belgian-Style Saison: Bronze—Saison, URBN St. Brewing Co., El Cajon

Other Belgian-Style Ale: Bronze—Witty Moron, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Liberty Station

Export Stout: Bronze—Z-Man Stout, Pizza Port, Carlsbad

South German-Style Hefeweizen: Bronze—Windansea Wheat, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., Pacific Beach

Chile Beer: Bronze—Serrano Pale Ale, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Scripps Ranch

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