This year’s GABF medals were presented virtually. | Credit: Courtesy

Last week, the 34th annual Great American Beer Festival Competition doled out medals to the best beers brewed around America, although this year, the October 16 ceremony was conducted virtually. Out of 8,806 beers entered into the auspicious competition, eight beers from breweries headquartered in the 805 area code were honored out of 63 from California.

First-time winners include Santa Barbara’s Third Window Brewing Co. for III Belgian Blond (bronze in Belgian-style Ale category); Santa Maria Brewing Co.’s Holy Smokes! (silver in Smoke Beer, fitting given the region’s red-oak smoked grilling style); and Topa Topa Brewing Co.’s Dozer Line (silver in German Dark Lager).

Gold medals were bestowed upon Ventura Coast Brewing Co.’s Beachscape (American-style Pilsner) and Paso Robles–headquartered Firestone Walker for Wookey Jack in the long-winded, American-style Black Ale or American-style Stout. This marks Wookey Jack’s third gold medal in the category and Firestone Walker’s 54th medal over 19 years. Buellton-based Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. earned its 25th medal, a bronze for Stagecoach Stout, bringing its winning streak to 10 straight years. And Institution Ale Co., which brews in Camarillo but operates a State Street taproom, took home two medals: silver for Somewhere Golden (American Pale Ale) and On Pins & Needles in the Session IPA category.

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