San Diego’s Indie Brewers Win 16 Medals at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival

2018 Great American Beer Festival convention hall floor

San Diego, CA did well at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) with 16 medals and a small brewery and brewpub of the year award. San Diego continues to push themselves as the capital of craft beer, I still give Portland the edge but San Diego is definitely in the top three along with Denver, Colorado where the 23rd annual GABF was held today, September 22nd, 2018.

More from an announcement by the San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG):

A panel of 293 industry professionals from 13 countries, blind-tasted and judged 8,864 beers. The coveted gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to beers that best represented each category. Since the first GABF in 1982, San Diego independent breweries have won 216 medals, with 73 gold, 69 silver, and 74 bronze. With the additional hardware earned this year, the ‘Capital of Craft’ now holds an impressive total of 232 medals, with 5 more gold, 6 more silver and 5 more bronze.

“The San Diego Brewers Guild is proud to see both respected industry veterans and young breweries take home medals,” said Paul Sangster, San Diego Brewers Guild president and co-founder of Rip Current Brewing. “Congrats to Ocean Beach Brewery on winning Small Brewery/Brewpub of the Year. This year’s Great American Beer Festival featured a lineup of more than 8,800 beers from thousands of national breweries, making it the largest in GABF history. Bringing home medals year-after-year really solidifies San Diego as a top craft beer destination and we couldn’t be more amped about what this means for our members.”

Founded in 2016, the rising stars from Ocean Beach Brewery were named Small Brewery/Brewpub of Year. This impressive accomplishment further showcases the talent found in the ‘Capital of Craft’ and highlights an up-and-coming San Diego brewery as a true stand-out amongst the rest.

San Diego’s independent craft brewers were awarded medals for brewing excellence in the following categories:

Breakwater Brewery: Rye Dawn (Rye Beer)
Eppig Brewing: Natural Bridge Vienna Lager (Session Beer)
Karl Strauss Brewing Company: Liquid A/C (English-Style Summer Ale)
Ocean Beach Brewery: B.Right On Pale Ale (American-Style Pale Ale)**
Societe Brewing: The Coachman (Session India Pale Ale)

Burgeon Beer: Noble Miner (Session Beer)
Duck Foot Brewing: Redrum (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer)
Groundswell Brewing: Piloncillo Brown Ale (American-Style Brown Ale)**
Pizza Port Solana Beach Brewpub: Oats (Oatmeal Stout)
Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey: Duck Duck Gooze (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer)
Rip Current Brewing: Delaminator Doppelbock (German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock)

BNS Brewing & Distilling Co.: Rail Gun Wee Heavy (Old Ale or Strong Ale)
Groundswell Brewing Company: Know Ego (Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout)**
Home Brewing Co.: Zungen Brecher (Historical Beer)
Kilowatt Brewing: Chocolate Macadamia Nut Stout (Chocolate Beer)
North Park Beer Co.: Bird Park (Bohemian-Style Pilsener)
**Brewery won medals in more than one category.

Additionally, Pizza Port Ocean Beach Brewpub was awarded second place for its Double Bagger—a 9.2% double IPA aggressively hopped with Mosaic, Citra and Denali hops—in the Alpha King Challenge. The IPA-centric competition is hosted in conjunction with GABF festivities by Yakima Chief Hops, which is limited to 150 entries and judged by a team of brewers, industry experts and veteran beer writers.

“A huge congratulations to all of our brewery members who took home medals at this year’s GABF,” said Paige McWey, Executive Director of the San Diego Brewers Guild. “It’s because of their talent and commitment to high-quality brewing that San Diego is able to claim the title ‘Capital of Craft.’ Cheers, and we look forward to celebrating more medals in the years that follow.”

Thanks to the winnings from the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, San Diego continues to earn respect and national recognition for its independent craft beer community. For more information about the San Diego Brewers Guild, its brewery and affiliate members, as well as upcoming events, visit Mark your calendars: San Diego Beer Week is taking place Nov. 2-11, 2018. Download and use the SD Beer app to navigate all that San Diego’s craft breweries, tasting rooms, bars and restaurants have to offer.


About the San Diego Brewers Guild
Founded in 1997 by a group of brewers dedicated to the growth of craft beer, the San Diego Brewers Guild is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization comprised of allied brewery members, tradespeople, and various goods and services providers. Since its founding, the Guild’s mission is to promote awareness of local, independently brewed beer via education, events and community involvement. San Diego (aka The ‘Capital of Craft™’) is home to more than 130 independent craft breweries and continuously garners attention for its medal-winning beer styles and positive international reputation. For more information about the San Diego Brewers Guild and its members, visit or follow @SDBrewers on Twitter,Instagram and Facebook.

About the Great American Beer Festival
The Great American Beer Festival is the premier U.S. beer festival and competition. Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer vendors in a public tasting event and a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and diverse beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation. GABF was founded in 1982 and has been growing and evolving along with the American craft brewing industry ever since. For more information about GABF, visit

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: