The results of the 2015 Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition are in, and the list of winners is heavy with SoCal breweries and brewpubs, including a dozen wins for L.A.-area craft beer producers.
The competition is organized by Fairplex as a part of the Los Angeles County Fair. After an open call for entries from commercial breweries, the judging took place over Saturday and Sunday, and medals were awarded in over 80 style categories, inclduing American IPAs, sour beers and traditional German and British styles.
Two L.A. brewpubs each took home a trio of medals. Agoura Hills' Ladyface Ale Companie took home silver medals in the Marzen and English IPA categories. The winning marzen, Conejo, is a particularly excellent example of a style rarely seen in Los Angeles. It was also awarded a bronze in the Wood-and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category for its Verruckt Weizen.
A product of the brewpub's burgeoning barrel program, this soured weizenbock is a novel combination of tradition and innovation. It mixes the deep malty sweetness and potent banana-twang of a traditional Weizenbock with the delicate acidity of a Flanders Oud Bruin — a beer that's worth the drive to Agoura for any serious beer geek.
San Pedro Brewing Co. won a gold medal for its Pumpkin Red, along with bronze medals for Terminal Island Black Lager and a silver for Bruin Blonde (in the Schwarzbier and Kolsch categories respectively). The expanding Kinetic Brewery in Lancaster also earned a bronze medal in the Kolsch category for its Potential Blonde Ale.
If you'd rather sample winners in the comfort of home, Eagle Rock Brewery and Golden Road Brewing won awards for brews available in retail shops. The newly released Ginger Saison from Eagle Rock Brewery took a silver in the Herb and Spice Beer category, and the beer is always a welcome addition to spring in Los Angeles.
In the English mild category, Eagle Rock's signature beer Solidarity took a deserved gold, and the ever-popular Manifesto Wit stood up to some strong competitors to take a Bronze in a scuffle of Belgian witbiers. Golden Road Brewing's Get Up Offa That Brown earned a gold in the English brown ale category, and their approachable lager 329 Days of Sun took silver in the American-style Pilsener race.
In Orange County, Bottle Logic Brewery was the big winner with three gold medals, while TAPS Fish House took a gold and a bronze, and Barley Forge Brewery and the Anaheim Brewery each scored one prize.