Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Over the weekend, winners from the World Beer Cup, the Olympics of beer, were announced during the closing ceremonies of the Craft Brewers Conference at San Diego’s Town & Country Resort. The biennial event is the largest brewing competition in the world, and one San Diego’s brewers have consistently done well at. In 2008, Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey was named the best small brewing company in the world; an honor Ballast Point Brewing Company earned four years later.
This year, even with a record 3,921 beers submitted by 799 breweries from 54 counties, local companies still fared extremely well, bringing home 16 total awards. Nine individual brewhouses combined to earn five golds, four silvers, and seven bronzes, including both a gold and bronze in a category San Diego is known for—Imperial India Pale Ale (IPA).
The complete list of local winners is as follows:
Imperial India Pale Ale: Pizza Port Carlsbad Poor Man’s IPA (gold), Green Flash Palate Wrecker (bronze)
Coffee Beer: Pizza Port Ocean Beach Bacon and Eggs (gold)
English Brown Ale: Rock Bottom La Jolla Longboard Brown (gold)
French/Belgian-style Saison: The Lost Abbey Carnevale (gold)
Irish-style Ale: Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale (gold)
American-style Black Ale: Pizza Port Ocean Beach Tarantulas 2.0 (silver)
Belgian/French-style Ale: The Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi (silver)
Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale: Karl Strauss Two Tortugas (silver)
Old/Strong Ale: AleSmith Decadence 2010 (silver)
American-style Brown Ale: Pizza Port Carlsbad Great American Brown (bronze)
American-style Stout: Pizza Port Ocean Beach Achievement Beyond Life’s Experiences Stout (bronze)
American Belgo Ale: Green Flash Le Freak (bronze)
Barley Wine: AleSmith Old Numbskull (bronze)
Chocolate Beer: Alpine Odin’s Raven (bronze)
Experimental Beer: Manzanita Where There’s Smoke (bronze)
Pizza Port’s San Clemente brewpub also earned awards for Pier Rat Porter (Robust Porter, gold), Way Heavy (Scotch Ale, silver), and Nerf Herder (English Mild, bronze); making the total number of awards for San Diego-based companies to 19.
Particularly notable is the fact Karl Strauss was able to repeat as the champion in the Irish-style Ale category, earning gold for the second time in the past two WBC competitions. The company’s Two Tortugas, a Belgian quadrupel they brewed as their 2011 holiday beer, won bronze both at the WBC and last year’s annual Great American Beer Festival (the US version of WBC—both competitions are put on by the Brewers Association brewing industry trade group).
Nearly half (three) of Pizza Port Ocean Beach’s eight entries won awards, including Bacon and Eggs, a coffee porter that had previously not won any awards in Brewers Association competitions, but this time out nabbed gold.