Back in 1857 when German vintners established Anaheim, there’s no doubt they wanted the city to be known for booze. Now, 159 years and one Prohibition later, three Anaheim breweries have etched that vision into stone, taking home six medals from the biennial World Beer Cup that concluded the recent Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia.
“This year’s judging panel was our most international ever, with three-quarters of judges traveling to Philadelphia from outside the U.S.,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager of the World Beer Cup. More than 250 beer judges from 31 countries sampled 6,596 beers from around the world. Seventy-five percent of the judges were from outside the U.S.
BoozeBlog favorite Noble Ale Works took top honors, winning the best Small Brewing Company Champion Brewery and Brewmaster, having won three medals for I Love It! IPA (gold), Gosebusters German-style Gose (silver), and Nobility Imperial IPA (bronze).
Winning gold for IPA among 275 entries is the pinnacle of any brewer’s career, and isn’t just a big deal for the brewery, it’s a big deal for the city, the county, and even the state. Proving the win isn’t blind luck, I Love It! IPA has two previous wins at the L.A. IPA Festival. Adding to Noble’s hoppy prestige, Nobility took bronze for Imperial IPA, and bronze for Nose Candy session IPA in 2015 at the Great American Beer Festival. Its expansion can’t come soon enough.
Anaheim’s two-year old Bottle Logic Brewing continued its medal streak with a silver for its for Cobaltic Porter in the Baltic-Style Stout category, and added a silver medal for Darkstar November in the barrel-aged strong stout category.
Bruery Terreux’s Oude Tart was the only local beer to repeat, having won gold for Belgian-style Flanders ale back in 2010. The beer now is being produced in a mixed fermentation facility in Anaheim, and the brewer will open a tasting room this summer.
Other Cited O.C. Breweries
Only six breweries won three medals in competition, “three of which are within 15 miles of one another … MIND BLOWN,” says TAPS Fish House & Brewery’s Kyle Manns, whose team continues to dominate lager competition. It won for Schwarzbier, international-style lager, and American dark-style lager.
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, which is set to open a Huntington Beach production brewery and tasting room soon, also got top honors for best large brewpub in Long Beach.
Portola Coffee Labs nearly swept the coffee beer category, winning with Tustin Brewing Company’s Portola Breakfast Stout and Beachwood BBQ & Brewing’s Mocha Machine.
South County’s Artifex Brewing won its first big competition medal with HoliDAVE American-style Imperial Stout, in which a friendly bet with nearby Pizza Port brewer Trevor Walls will have the brewer pouring in an Artifex shirt at its tasting room soon.