DENVER — On Saturday morning, Oct. 13, thousands of brewers, media and festival volunteers watched as Long Beach-based Beachwood BBQ and Brewing accepted two medals at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival. Winning gold and bronze for L.A. County, they were in good company with California brewers, who took in 47 medals overall.

Beachwood first won bronze in the French and Belgian-Style Saison category for their El Verano Saison. Returning to the stage to take gold in the Sweet Stout category for Udder Love, brewmaster Julian Shrago accepted both awards from Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association and founder of the GABF.

Those tending toward long-growth mustaches and fixies will shrug nonchalantly when they hear that Los Angeles-based Pabst Brewing Co. won gold for American-style lager — along with Large Brewing Company.

Beachwood BBQ Booth; Credit: Erika Bolden

Beachwood BBQ Booth; Credit: Erika Bolden

Southern California, from Santa Barbara to San Diego counties, did well overall this year, but Santa Barbara County saw the most improvement, with 8 total medals (up from 3 last year.) Compared to years previous, breweries and brewpubs outside of major metropolitan areas did exceptionally well.

See below for Southern California breweries that medaled, by county, or click here for a complete list.


Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. (Buelton)

Hollister Brewing Co. (Goleta)

Island Brewing Co. (Carpinteria)

Telegraph Brewing Co. (Santa Barbara)


Beachwood BBQ (Long Beach)


The Bruery (Placentia)

Pizza Port San Clemente (San Clemente)

TAPS Fishouse & Brewery (Brea)

Tustin Brewing Co. (Tustin)


AleSmith Brewing Co. (San Diego)

Alpine Beer Co. (Alpine)

The Beer Co. (San Diego)

Green Flash Brewing Co. (San Diego)

The Lost Abbey (San Marcos)

Port Brewing Co. (San Marcos)

Pizza Port Carlsbad (Carlsbad)

Pizza Port Solana Beach (Solana Beach)

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