Sep 26, 2023 - News

Re-brew: Sampling gold from "the Oscars of beer"

TapRoom Beer Company in North Park

North Park's TapRoom Beer Company took home a gold medal in the 2023 Great American Beer Festival. Photo: Andrew Keatts

We planned to unveil a new feature this week in which we visit and review each of San Diego's more than 150 breweries – and then the brewery we chose for the first installment won gold at the Great American Beer Festival.

Driving the news: San Diego County breweries won five gold medals at GABF, the premiere U.S. beer contest, and another 18 medals overall, an increase from three golds and 15 medals last year.

Why it matters: San Diego is perpetually defending the "Capital of Craft" moniker it gave itself in 2015, on the basis of having more breweries than any other county in the country.

  • The craft beer industry had between a $290 million and $360 million countywide economic impact in 2020, according to the latest estimate from Cal State University San Marcos.

What Andy's drinking: Last week, I headed to TapRoom Beer Company in North Park to sample their wares, because I'd heard they were pumping out great beer.

  • The best beer I had was PB Haze, so fresh the dank smell of Mosaic hops hit me in the nose before the bartender put the pint down.
  • Meanwhile, the same beer went ahead and won gold in the "Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale" category at GABF.
  • It won gold in the same category of the Brewers Cup of California this year, too.

The bottom line: The best compliment I can give this or any hazy IPA is it achieved the soft mouthfeel and pronounced citrusy flavor of the best in the style, and none of the harsh, scratchiness sensation in the back of your throat that's become so common as the style has proliferated.


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