Bay Area Breweries Collect Over One Hundred Fifty State Fair Awards

For some Californians, summer doesn’t truly arrive until the onset of the State Fair in Sacramento, where thousands of people flock to the Magical Midway, Livestock Pavilion, Giant Slide and drool over sugar laden elephant ears. While these visitors are getting an overdose of fatty food and carnival rides, some people are in the throws of serious competition. There are animals, art and technology exhibits, just to name a few, being judged and awarded.

Breweries from around the state also vie for awards and bragging rights during the commercial craft brew competition, which takes place before the Tilt-A-Whirl’s inaugural spin. Brewers send in their best samples to be judged in numerous categories according to the Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guidelines. The results were recently announced and Bay Area breweries collectively received 162 awards. That’s quite an accomplishment and some people might be surprised by the results.

It should be noted that some breweries don’t participate and the number of sample submissions varies greatly between brewers. As for specifics, unfortunately the number of submission and participating breweries isn’t available. A wine competition press release was issued, but not for beer (Grrrr…).

The following list is organized alphabetically by brewery. If you would like to see the results in their entirety, head over to the California State Fair website.

Congratulations to the winners!


21st Amendment Brewery

  • 2nd, Gold, Drunken Monk, Belgian Strong Light Color
  • Silver, Mr.Poom’s Thai’d House Ale, Spice Herb Vegetable/Winter Beer
  • Silver, Red Giant, Wood Aged Beer
  • Silver, Amber Waves, American Pale Ale
  • Silver, Gigantes IPA, American IPA
  • Bronze, Hendrick’s Imperial Stout, Russian Imperial Stout


Bear Republic Brewing Company

  • Gold, Hop Rod Rye, Specialty Beers
  • 3rd, Silver, XP Pale Ale, American Pale Ale
  • Silver, Red Rocket Ale, American Amber Ale
  • Silver, Peter Brown Tribute Ale, American Brown Ale
  • Silver, Racer 5 IPA, American IPA
  • Silver, Racer X Double IPA, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Big Bear Black Stout, Stout – Dry, Sweet, Foreign & American


Blue Frog Grog & Grill

  • Gold, Blonde, Blonde Ale
  • Silver, DIPA, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, IPA, American IPA


Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company

  • Gold, Silicon Blonde Ale, Blonde Ale
  • Honorable Mention, Gold, Deadicated Amber Ale, American Amber Ale
  • 2nd, Silver, Full Boar Scotch Ale, Scottish Ales
  • Silver, California Sunshine Rye IPA, American IPA
  • Silver, Lager Diabla, Light Lagers
  • Bronze, Kaleidoscope Black Ale, Specialty Beers


Drake’s Brewing Company

  • Honorable Mention, Best of Show, Gold, Drakonic, Russian Imperial Stout
  • 1st, Gold, Drakonic, Russian Imperial Stout
  • 3rd, Gold, Denogginizer, Imperial IPA
  • Gold, Drake’s IPA, American IPA
  • Silver, Drake’s 1500, American Pale Ale


El Toro Brewing Company

  • 2nd, Gold, El Toro Yo Barleywine, Barleywine
  • 3rd, Silver, El Toro Poppy Jasper Amber Ale, English Brown Ale
  • Silver, El Toro India Pale Ale, American IPA
  • Silver, El Toro Deuce Imperial IPA, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, El Toro Oro Golden Ale, English Pale Ale
  • Bronze, El Toro Negro Oatmeal Stout, Stout – Oatmeal


Faultline Brewing Company

  • 1st, Gold, Stout, Stout – Oatmeal
  • 2nd, Silver, Kolsch, Kolsch & Cream Ale
  • 2nd, Silver, Hefeweizen, German Wheat & Rye
  • 2nd, Silver, Oktoberfest, Euro Amber Lager
  • 2nd, Silver, Doppelbock, Bock
  • 2nd, Silver, Belgian Blonde, Belgian Strong Light Color
  • Silver, Best Bitter, English Pale Ale
  • Silver, Dunkleweizen, German Wheat & Rye
  • Silver, Pale Ale, English Pale Ale
  • Silver, India Pale Ale, American IPA
  • Silver, Belgian Abbey, Belgian Strong Dark Color
  • Silver, Irish Red, Irish Red Ale
  • Bronze, Golden, Blonde Ale
  • Bronze, London Porter, Porter – Robust/Baltic
  • Bronze, Belgian Tripel, Belgian Strong Light Color


Heretic Brewing Company

  • Honorable Mention, Best of Show, Gold, One Nut In The Grave, Specialty Beers
  • 1st, Gold, One Nut In The Grave, Specialty Beers
  • Gold, Evil Cousin, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Worry, Wood Aged Beer
  • Silver, Evil Twin, American Amber Ale
  • Silver, Shallow Grave, Porter – Robust/Baltic


Hermitage Brewing Company

  • Gold, Citra Single Hop IPA, American IPA
  • Silver, Maltopia, Scottish Ales
  • Silver, Hoptopia, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Ahtanum Single Hop IPA, American IPA
  • Silver, Coastal Fog IPA, American IPA
  • Silver, One Door Sour Ale, Sour Beers
  • Bronze, Ale of the 2Tun, Russian Imperial Stout
  • Bronze, Ale of the Imp, Imperial IPA
  • Bronze, Coastal Fog Pale Ale, American Pale Ale
  • Bronze, Coastal Fog Amber Ale, American Brown Ale
  • Bronze, Ale des Dieux, Belgian & French Ale


Jack’s Brewing Company 

  • 2nd, Gold, Jack’s Double IPA, Imperial IPA
  • 2nd, Gold, Hardwood Pale Ale, American Pale Ale
  • Gold, Jack’s IPA, American IPA
  • 3rd, Silver, Boys of Summer Wheat, Kolsch/Cream Ale
  • Silver, Jack’s Hefeweizen, German Wheat & Rye
  • Silver, Penalty Shot Porter, Porter – Robust/Baltic
  • Bronze, Grid Iron Amber, Amber Hybrids
  • Bronze, Anniversary Ale, Bock


Magnolia Brewery

  • 1st, Gold, Blue Bell Bitter, English Pale Ale
  • 2nd, Silver, Sara’s Ruby Mild, English Brown Ale
  • Silver, Weekapaug Gruit, Spice Herb Vegetable/winter Beer
  • Bronze, Prescription Pale, American IPA
  • Bronze, Big Cypress Brown, English Brown Ale


Marin Brewing Company

  • Honorable Mention, Best of Show, Gold, Pt Reyes Porter, Porter – Robust/Baltic
  • 1st, Gold, Pt Reyes Porter, Porter – Robust/Baltic
  • 1st, Gold, Cuvee Roge’, Sour Beers
  • 2nd, Gold, Hoppy Holidaze, Spice Herb Vegetable/winter Beer
  • 3rd, Gold, Quad, Belgian Strong Light Color
  • 3rd, Gold, Airporter Chocolate Porter, Specialty Beers
  • 2nd, Silver, Orange & Black, Fruit Beer
  • Silver, San Quentin’s Breakout Stout, Stout – Dry, Sweet,Foreign & American
  • Silver, White Knuckle Double IPA, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Old Dipsea Barleywine, Barleywine
  • Silver, Bourbon Barrel Old Dipsea Barleywine, Wood Aged Beer
  • Silver, Marin IPA, American IPA
  • Bronze, Marin Hefeweiss, American Wheat/Rye
  • Silver, Marin Abbey Special, Belgian Strong Dark Color
  • Bronze, Mt Tam Pale Ale, American Pale Ale
  • Bronze, Tiburon Blonde, Belgian & French Ale
  • Bronze, Tripel Dipsea, Belgian Strong Light Color
  • Bronze, Saison De Revolution, Belgian & French Ale
  • Bronze, 21 Year Old Ale, Od Ale
  • Bronze, E.S.Chi, Spice Herb Vegetable/winter Beer


Moylan’s Brewing

  • 1st, Gold, Hell’s Export Lager, Light Lagers
  • 1st, Gold, Hopcrak XXXIPA, Imperial IPA
  • 3rd,Silver, Moylan’s Wheat Ale, American Wheat/Rye
  • 3rd, Gold, NDR CAL IPA, American IPA
  • Honorable Mention, Best of Show, Gold, Hopcrak XXXIPA, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Wet Hopsickle, Wood Aged Beer
  • Silver, Moylander XXIPA, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Hopgarten Pilsner, Pilsner
  • Silver, Chelsea Moylan’s Porter, Porter – Robust/Baltic
  • Silver, Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout, Russian Imperial Stout
  • Silver, Moylan’s Chocolate Porter, Spice Herb Vegetable/winter Beer
  • Silver, Dragoons Dry Irish Stout, Stout – Dry, Sweet,Foreign & American
  • Silver, Octoberfest Marzen, Euro Amber Lager
  • Silver, Hopsickle Imperial XXXIPA, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, White Christmas Winter Beer, Spice Herb Vegetable/winter Beer
  • Silver, Orange & Black Congrats Ale, Fruit Beer
  • Silver, Moylan’s Special Bitter, English Pale Ale
  • Silver, Celts Golden Ale, Blonde Ale
  • Silver, Old Blaney Barleywine, Barleywine
  • Silver, Tipperary Pale Ale, American Pale Ale
  • Bronze, Danny’s Irish Red Ale, Irish Red Ale
  • Bronze, Pommegranate Wheat Ale, Fruit Beer
  • Bronze, Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, Scottish Ales


Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing Co.

  • Silver, Orgasmica Triple I.P.A., Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Orgasmica I.P.A., American IPA
  • Silver, Orgasmica Chocolate Imperial Stout, Russian Imperial Stout
  • Silver, Orgasmica Kolsch, Kolsch & Cream Ale
  • Silver, Orgasmica Four Grain Hefeweizen, German Wheat & Rye
  • Silver, Orgasmica Pale Ale, American Pale Ale
  • Bronze, Orgasmica Amber Ale, American Amber Ale
  • Bronze, Orgasmica Golden Ale, Blonde Ale
  • Bronze, Orgasmica Porter, Porter – Robust/Baltic
  • Bronze, Orgasmica Peach Pale Ale, Fruit Beer


Pyramid Breweries

  • 1st, Gold, Pyramid Curveball Blonde Ale, Blonde Ale
  • Gold, Pyramid Outburst Imperial IPA, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Pyramid Hefeweizen, American Wheat/Rye
  • Silver, Pryamid Apricot, Fruit Beer


Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub

  • Honorable Mention, Gold, Citrus Wheat Ale, Spice Herb Vegetable/winter Beer
  • 1st, Gold, Cloverdale Ale, American Amber Ale
  • 2nd, Gold, Monster Brown, American Brown Ale
  • Gold, Floyd IPA, American IPA
  • 3rd, Silver, McGown’s Dry Irish Stout, Stout – Dry, Sweet,Foreign & American
  • Bronze, Caroline’s Blonde, Blonde Ale


Sonoma Springs Brewing Company

  • 1st, Gold, Uncle Jack’s Kolsch, Kolsch & Cream Ale
  • 3rd, Silver, New Bavaria Roggen, German Wheat & Rye
  • Silver, Daedalus, Wood Aged Beer
  • Bronze, Lil’ Chief, American Pale Ale


Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

  • Gold, Payback Porter, Porter – Robust/Baltic
  • 3rd, Silver, Scarface Imperial Stout, Russian Imperial Stout
  • Silver, Big Daddy IPA, American IPA
  • Silver, Double Daddy, Imperial IPA
  • Silver, Prohibition Ale, American Amber Ale


Strike Brewing Company

  • 1st, Gold, Strike Brown, American Brown Ale
  • Silver, Strike Blonde, Blonde Ale
  • Bronze, Strike Porter, Porter – Brown
  • Bronze, Strike Wit, Belgian & French Ale


Thirsty Bear Brewing Company

  • Honorable Mention, Silver, Weizenbock, German Wheat & Rye
  • 3rd Silver, Broadsword, Scottish Ales
  • 3rd Silver, Cherry Stave, Sour Beers
  • Bronze, Winter Stave, Sour Beers


Tied House Brewing

  • 1st, Gold, New World Wheat, American Wheat/Rye
  • Silver, Ironwood Dark, English Brown Ale
  • Silver, Alpine Gold, Blonde Ale
  • Bronze, Cascade Amber, American Amber Ale


Trumer Brauerei

  • 3rd, Silver, Trumer Pils, Pilsner


Healthy Spirits Releasing Results of First Barrel Aging Partnership with Moylan’s Brewery


Last December a bourbon barrel arrived at the doorstep of Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. It wasn’t a newly purchased prop for the store. Owner Rami Barqawi, beer manager Dave Hauslein and bourbon buyer Nate Breed were about to launch the second part of their new project. The barrels contents had already been turned into an exclusive line of bourbon for the shop. They planned on filling it with beer and contacted Denise Jones at Moylan’s Brewery who topped it off with Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout.

Eleven months later you can buy a bottle of the very limited results this Friday, December 16, at 6pm. How limited? Only twenty cases off 22oz bottles were produced. Customers will be limited to two per purchase.

I got a sneak peek of the beer last night and it’s wonderfully balanced. The nose is full of bourbon, but it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor, which contains hints of dark chocolate, toffee and maybe a bit of dark fruit.

This beer is just the beginning of a more extensive barrel aging program Healthy Spirits has embarked on with local breweries. Dave Hauslein provided a few more details about the beer and their plans for the project over email via Q&A.

– – – –

When did you decide to launch the program?

We began the process of starting a barrel program about 2 years ago. The selection of the first barrel happened in 2010. We selected our Eagle Rare barrel from over a dozen samples and the bourbon was exclusively bottled for sale at the store. The barrel was delivered freshly emptied and given to Moylan’s, who filled it with a fresh batch of Ryan Sullivan’s. It stayed in the barrel approximately 10 months.

Could you give me some insight into how you’re choosing barrels with the beer or partner breweries in mind?

Since we are taking the bourbon for sale in the store, quality is the primary consideration. The employees make scorecards that list various tasting criteria and we compare our scores. After tasting through all the samples multiple times, we decide on a barrel and it is bottled for us. Usually the distilleries sell the barrels themselves or find other uses for them, but we found out most will give you the barrel if you commit to buying the contents. Once we have the whisky, I contact breweries to see who is interested and what styles they could do. We decide which one to go with based on which beer/bourbon combination seems most harmonious.

Why did you choose Moylan’s to partner with first? 

We have known Arne Johnson at Marin Brewing Company for a long time and I’ve always enjoyed the beers of Marin and Moylan’s. They tend to be well made examples of classic styles that are accessible without dumbing it down. More than a few customers have told me that Marin and Moylan’s were their first introduction to craft beer. Also, they’re local and we had a relationship with them. As we go on with the program we’ll inevitably work with some non-local brewers, but for the most part I’m choosing small local producers.

How often do you plan on collaborating with other brewers? 

There are a few already in the works, two of which we’re planning to release during SF Beer Week. Every time we get a freshly emptied bourbon barrel, it will go to a brewer. This will assure that we always have something in the works and can hopefully have a couple of releases a year. At least that is my hope.

Which beer styles will you focus on?

Imperial Stouts, Barley Wines, and other strong ales for the most part. We may have a sour ale lined up, but you won’t see that for a little while.


Lagunitas Brewing & Moylan’s Garner European Beer Awards

Photo © Brian Stechschulte

Craft beer’s continued growth partly hinges on international success and it’s great to see Bay Area breweries getting accolades in big time competitions across the pond. They’ve been getting a little help from the Brewers Association as members of the Export Development Program, which seeks to upend America’s fizzy lager reputation. Notable awards were recently handed out at the European Beer Star Competition and the Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival.

European Beer Star Competition

In it’s eighth year this competition has become one of the most prestigious events in the world. Over 1,100 beers from 39 countries were evaluated in 49 different categories. According to the competition organizers, “Prizes are awarded to the beers which best fulfill the respective type criteria, and whose taste and quality impresses the most.” Congratulations to Moylan’s Brewery & Restaurant for taking home silver in the Imperial Stout category for Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout.

Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival

Europe’s largest beer and whiskey trade show celebrated it’s 20th anniversary by evaluating a record breaking 1,200 competition entries and welcoming 34,000 attendees. In this event, not only did Lagunitas Brewing capture a gold medal in the Modern Style Ale (6% and above) category for New Dog Town Pale Ale, but the same beer also took home the inaugural Beer of Festival award for receiving the highest rated score among the gold medal winners.

Congratulations to our local brewers!

Bay Area Brewers Win U.S. Open Beer Championship Awards

Yesterday, organizers of the 2011 U.S. Open Beer Championship announced the results of this year’s competition and three Bay Area Breweries won medals: Moylan’s Brewery, 21st Amendment Brewery and Bison Brewing. The unique event pits professional brewers against award winning home brewers and accepts entries from around the world. Congratulations to our winners!

Here’s the results from the award winning categories:

English IPA

GOLD –  Green Monsta IPA – Wachusetts Brewing

SILVER –  Flyin’ HI.P.Hay – Maui Brewing

BRONZE –  Moylan’s IPA – Moylan’s Brewery

Imperial IPA

GOLD –  Hop Hedge – Deschutes Brewing

SILVER –  Swamp Ape IPA – Florida Beer Company

BRONZE –  Moylan’s Double IPA – Moylan’s Brewery

Strong Scottish Ale

GOLD –  Big Sound – Cigar City Brewing

SILVER –  Piper’s Scotch Ale – Sprecher Brewing

BRONZE –  Moylan’s Kilt Lifter – Moylan’s Brewing

American Pale Ale

GOLD – Teton Ale – Grand Teton Brewing Company

SILVER – Bitter American – 21st Amendment Brewing

BRONZE – Tap Room No. 21 Pale Ale – Tap Room No. 21 Brewing

Fruit/Vegetable Beer

GOLD – Wailua – Kona Brewing Company

SILVER –  The Sour Kraut – Neustadt Springs Brewery

BRONZE –  Hell or High Watermelon – 21st Amendment Brewery

Specialty / Anything Goes

GOLD –  Monk’s Indiscretion – Sound Brewing Company

SILVER – Monk’s Blood – 21st Amendment Brewing

BRONZE – Maui Onion Ale – Maui Brewpub

Best of Show Organic

GOLD –  Mothership Wit – New Belgium Brewing

SILVER –  Green Lakes Organic Ale – Deschutes Brewing

BRONZE –  Organic I.P.A. – Bison Brewing