4 Beery Takeaways From GABF 2020

Nagel: Four Beery Takeaways From GABF 2020
{Photograph} courtesy of Nice American Beer Pageant


I miss occasions. For a beer lover, there’s no better occasion than the Nice American Beer Pageant that occurs each fall in Denver. There’s sometimes a bag half-full of brewery shirts and the opposite half crammed with “room beers”… as if brewery excursions, a four-hour session of the pageant with 4,000 beers to select from, and a nightcap at Star Bar, Falling Rock Tavern, or Bierstadt for a well-known Sluggish-Pour Pils aren’t sufficient.

The top of the occasion for the brewers is the awards ceremony, the place some 8,806 beers from 1,720 breweries are judged in 91 classes. Usually judging takes place the week of the occasion over the course of three days. This 12 months, the competitors spanned over three weeks due to the pandemic.

Though profitable a medal is a big honor that may mark a brewery in historical past, breweries that don’t win something appear to shake it off as a stepping stone. Listed below are my takeaways for this 12 months’s awards:

Takeaway one: A lot of O.C.’s breweries have struggled throughout COVID-19. Some have lowered workers, lower manufacturing, and a few have closed for good. It’s considerably of a miracle the competitors passed off in any respect, contemplating the World Beer Cup (in April 2020) opted to distill many of the competitors entries and donate the top product to creating hand sanitizer for frontline staff. If there’s one takeaway right here, it’s to please assist your native brewery.

Takeaway two: Orange County breweries nabbed 12 medals this 12 months, one fewer than San Diego, and another than Los Angeles county. With solely a 3rd of the breweries of San Diego, and fewer than half of Los Angeles, O.C. breweries persistently show the beer scene right here is destination-worthy.


Takeaway three: First-time winner Docent Brewing in San Juan Capistrano got here out enormous with two gold medals for Tremendous Tonic Espresso Stout and Hefty Price Session IPA. For no matter cause, Orange County brewers win in these extremely fragrant beer types, reminiscent of Karl Strauss in Anaheim for its Golden Stout (silver), in addition to riip beer co in Huntington Seashore for The Riizzo Espresso Stout and Black the Riiper Black IPA (silver). Final 12 months, O.C. was awarded two medals for Espresso beers as nicely, every utilizing Portola Espresso Labs customized blends and roasts.


Takeaway 4: German-style beers are gaining recognition because of their crisp lightness and drinkability. O.C. breweries took residence 4 bronze medals with their Americanized variations, together with Fullerton’s Bootlegger’s Brewery for Funfest (Dortmunder/Festbier) and Placentia’s Stereo Brewing for Summer time Solar (fruited American-style Berliner-Weiss). On the darker aspect, Laguna Hills’ Gamecraft Brewing received its second medal in as a few years as for Umbeereon German-style darkish lager (Schwarzbier). TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room in Tustin received for B.A. Dunkel; TAPS has received 26 medals on the pageant since opening its brewpubs 1999, most of which for German-style beer, together with the non-barrel-aged Dunkel profitable in 2019. Prost!

Full Orange County Outcomes:


  • Docent Brewing, Tremendous Tonic Espresso Stout, San Juan Capistrano
  • Docent Brewing, Hefty Price Session IPA, San Juan Capistrano
  • Chihuahua Cerveza, Rico American Lager, Costa Mesa
  • Golden Street, Get Up Offa That Brown Brown Ale, Anaheim
  • riip beer co, Tangible Ardour, Belgian-style ale, Huntington Seashore


  • riip beer co, The Riizzo Espresso stout, Huntington Seashore
  • riip beer co, Black the Riiper, Huntington Seashore
  • Karl Strauss, Golden Stout, Anaheim


  • Stereo Brewing, Summer time Solar Fruited Bitter, Placentia
  • Gamecraft Brewing, Umbeereon German Darkish Lager, Laguna Hills
  • Bootlegger’s Brewing, Funfest Lager, Fullerton
  • TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room, B.A.Dunkel, Tustin

For extra details about how you can assist your native brewery, go to ocbrewers.org


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