Wine & Beer

10 Central Coast beers win big at Great American Beer Festival

A total of 12 beers from the Central Coast won awards at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival in Denver in September.
A total of 12 beers from the Central Coast won awards at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival in Denver in September.

Central Coast Brewing’s Monterey Street is once again the best American-style pale ale in the nation.

The San Luis Obispo brewery won gold Saturday at the Great American Beer Festival, the beer industry’s leading U.S. competition held each year in Denver. Monterey Street earned a silver medal in 2016, and first won gold in 2015.

Overall, Central Coast breweries will return home from the festival with an impressive medal count of 10, with Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. leading the count at three total.

More than 7,900 beers from 2,217 U.S. breweries were entered to compete in 98 categories this year. One gold, silver and bronze is awarded in each category.

Central Coast Brewing, which has long had a brewery at 1422 Monterey Street and is working to open a second location on Higuera Street, won gold against 198 other beers in the third most-entered category of the competition.

Buellton-based Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. earned two bronzes and a silver. The brewery — which has six taprooms, including one in Arroyo Grande — won silver in the English-style India pale ale category for its Hoppy Poppy IPA and won bronze medals for Lighter Than I Look (a dark lager) and Wrangler Wheat (an American-style wheat beer with yeast).

Lighter Than I Look won silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016.

A collaboration beer between one of the Central Coast’s newest breweries, Silva Brewing of Paso Robles, and one of its oldest, Firestone Walker, earned silver in the mixed-culture brett beer category. Ten Buck Chuck was brewed at Barrelworks, Firestone Walker’s barrel-aging and wild ale facility in Buellton.

Firestone Walker’s popular Pivo Pils also won, this time bronze in the German-style pilsener category. Pivo, which has won gold multiple times in the past, is brewed at Firestone’s expanding Paso Robles location.

Other award winners from the Central Coast:

▪  El Sur from Casa Agria Specialty Ales in Oxnard won gold in the Belgian-style lambic or sour ale category.

▪  Skeptics & Believers from Alvarado Street Brewery’s Yeast of Eden project in Salinas won bronze in the American-style sour ale category.

▪  Kalliope from Captain Fatty’s of Goleta won gold in the berliner-style weisse category.

▪  Zoned AG Apricot from Corralitos Brewing of Watsonville won gold in the fruited wood- and barrel-aged sour beer category.

Jennifer Robillard: 805-781-7888, @mindbodyvoice