O.C. Brewers Clean up at Great American Beer Festival, Alpha King

Orange County craft breweries took home eleven medals from the Great American Beer Festival awards.
There’s a lot to digest from the recent Great American Beer Festival awards, where Orange County craft breweries took home 11 medals. This year saw more than 9,900 beers enter the competition among 177 beer styles, which took 235 judges a daunting nine days to get through. Incredible!
Riip Beer Co takes the stage at the 2022 GABF awards. Photograph Courtesy of Brewers Association.
Orange County was hoisted higher into IPA dominance as Huntington Beach’s Riip Beer Co. was awarded silver for American IPA, among 423 entries, with Dankster Squad and awarded bronze for Black the Riiper, a beer that has won competitions in the past. Radiant Beer Co. got a silver for its hazy pale ale, So Into You, as well as taking first place at Alpha King, the underground industry-only hoppy beer competition, where O.C. breweries swept the competition. Second place at Alpha King went to Santa Ana River Brewing, third went to Brewery X, which also won a bronze at GABF for Pilsner.
Santa Ana River Brewing’s More Hops Than Brains, 2nd place Alpha King winner. Photograph by Geoff Brand

Orange County took the top two spots in the wood and barrel-aged category with The Bruery nabbing silver for Ivoire, the big solera-style anniversary beer, and Bottle Logic getting gold with Flesh to Stone.

Bearded Tang Brewing in Stanton’s Rodeo 39 Public Market hit it out of the park with two silver medals with light and sessionable beers in the cream ale and German wheat ale categories.

Radiant’s brewer Billy Robbins watching the team take the stage at GABF from back in the tasting room, pointing where the new award is going to go. Photograph Courtesy of Radiant Beer Co.

If you’d like to try most of these beers in person and have a spooky time doing so, don’t miss the Orange County Brewery’s Guild Brewer’s Mash Festival, happening Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Heritage Museum in Santa Ana. It’s the guild’s biggest fundraising event of the year, and breweries like to bring their best!

2022 Orange County Great American Beer Festival Winners:

Gold

  • Docent Brewing – Super Tonic oatmeal coffee stout
  • Bottle Logic – Flesh to Stone wood and barrel-aged strong 
  • Beachwood Brewing – Full Malted Jacket Scotch ale

Silver

  • The Bruery – Ivoire wood and barrel-aged strong
  • Bearded Tang – Carlos Danger American cream ale
  • Radiant Beer Co. – So Into You Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale 
  • Bearded Tang – Kristal Weizen German wheat ale
  • Riip Beer Co – Dankster Squad American IPA

Bronze

  • Flashpoint Brewing: Churchill Browns historical beer
  • Brewery X – Battlesnakes Bo-Pils
  • Riip Beer Co – Black the Ripper American Stout

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