November 20, 2023
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Region’s breweries take home barrel of medals from Great American Beer Festival


The tri-county region’s breweries came home from the 2022 Great American Beer Festival in Denver with gold medals in five different categories and a handful of silver and bronze medals, too.

The Great American Beer Festival is one of the world’s top beer competitions, and the 2022 edition ended Oct. 8. Seven breweries based in the Tri-Counties won medals, three of them winning two each.

Wild Fields Brewhouse in Atascadero was the biggest winner, with two gold medals. Both were for relatively malty beers, at a time when California microbrews are still generally hop-heavy: Its Pine Mountain Monolith won gold in the English-Style Brown Ale category, and its Magic Swirling Sip was the festival’s best in the Scottish-Style Ale category.

Topa Topa Brewing Co. in Ventura won gold in the English Ale category for its Level Line, though that beer is actually a classic example of an American pale ale. Topa Topa also won a silver medal in the International-Style Pilsner category, for its Dos Topas Mexican-style lager.

Another Ventura brewery, MadeWest, also took home gold, for Waxing and Waning, in the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category. Kellerbier and zwickelbier are a German style of unfiltered lager.

Third Window Brewing Co. in Santa Barbara won gold for its Summer Saison, a French-style farmhouse ale, in the Specialty Saison category. The brewery also won bronze in the Belgian-Style Witbier category for its Third Window White.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., based in Buellton, won two bronze medals: for Dreaming of Bamberg, in the Smoke Beer category; and for Hoppy Poppy IPA, in the English IPA or New Zealand IPA category. English and New Zealand styles of IPA tend to be less hop-forward and lower in alcohol than American IPAs.

Captain Fatty’s in Goleta, won silver for its Calypso cucumber sour, and three other breweries from the region won a bronze medal: Casa Agria in Oxnard, for its Eyes are Mosiac IPA; Cold Coast Brewing Co. in Lompoc, for its brown ale, Brown Evolved; and Liquid Gravity Brewing in San Luis Obispo, for its Pale From The Crypt IPA.

A judge at the 2022 Great American Beer Festival in Denver. (courtesy photo)