Wine & Beer

These 12 Central Coast beers won medals at the Great American Beer Festival

Take a look inside Firestone Walker’s new brewhouse in Paso Robles

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is putting the final touches on a two-year, $15 million expansion of its Paso Robles brewhouse and new visitor center.
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Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is putting the final touches on a two-year, $15 million expansion of its Paso Robles brewhouse and new visitor center.

Central Coast breweries once again brought home a batch of medals from the Great American Beer Festival, a highly competitive national brewing contest held each year in Denver.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. struck gold — this time with its Davy Brown Ale earning the top medal in the American-style brown ale category. The Buellton-based brewery won bronze for its Hoppy Poppy IPA in the English-style IPA category, and its Westlake Village location also earned bronze, for Figtoberfest in the Dortmunder, or, German-style Oktoberfest category.

The 8-year-old brewery has five taprooms and multiple brewing locations, including in Arroyo Grande, and has won 23 GABF medals since opening.

San Luis Obispo’s Central Coast Brewing also had a lucky day at the competition, held in September. This year, the longtime San Luis Obispo brewery, which has opened a new brewery facility and restaurant on Higuera Street, won bronze for Lucky Day in the American-style strong pale ale category.

In the past, Central Coast Brewing won multiple medals at GABF for its Monterey Street pale ale.

Take a peek inside the new Central Coast Brewing location at 6 Higuera St. Owner George Peterson and head brewer Brendan Gough talk about the new beers, food and patio areas.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s sour and wild ale project Barrelworks took two medals: gold for Feral Brut in the experimental beer category and silver for Pixie Dusted in the collaboration category. Paso Robles-based Firestone and Buellton-based Barrelworks collaborated on the wheat blonde ale fermented in neutral oak barrels with pixie tangerines.

The 2018 Great American Beer Festival was the largest in the event’s 37-year history. The competition included 8,864 entries from 2,404 breweries in 102 beer-style categories. One gold, silver and bronze is awarded in each category.

Feral Brut Firestone Barrels GABF
Firestone Walker Barrelworks brewer Jim Crooks with the award-winning Feral Brut. Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

A total of 12 beers from the Central Coast got judges’ attention — two more than at last year’s competition. Other award winners are:

Mai Tai P.A. from Alvarado Street Brewery won gold in the international-style pale ale category. The brewery, which has locations in Monterey and Salinas, also brought home bronze for Contains No Juice in the juicy or hazy imperial or double IPA category. That category had the most entries this year, at 391.

Tropic Maelstrom from Peter B’s Brewpub in Monterey won bronze in the American-style fruit beer category.

Zoned AG Golden Raspberry from Corralitos Brewing Co. in Watsonville won bronze in the fruited wood- and barrel-aged sour beer category.

Madewest Standard from MadeWest Brewing Co. in Ventura won gold in the golden or blonde ale category.

Neighborhood from Ventura Coast Brewing Co. got silver in the American-style pale ale category.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. headbrewer Dustin Kral talks about what the upcoming 805 region's area code changes mean to the brewery, which brews the popular 805 beer.

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