At this years Great American Beer Festival (or ‘GABF’ for the familiar), the ever-experimental Bottle Logic hopes to lure judges with the notorious black beauty that is ‘Fundamental Observation’. Bottle Logic claimed its (rightful) place as one of the most exciting breweries on the west coast by taking home a gold medal for their exponentially inverted Lagerithm lager last year. Anyone who’s spent more than a passing moment at the brewery itself will attest to the fact that all ales and/or lagers fashioned by the Bottle Logic staff (Brandon, Wes, Dylan, Greg, Steve, et. al.) will at the very least meet, or more often far exceed, all expectations.
After FINALLY being recognized at last year’s GABF for the dynamic flavors — At the helm of this beloved homestead is brewmaster Jerrod Larsen, who secured a bronze medal for his anniversary sour, Jon Flanders, a definitive example of a Flanders Red Ale. Larsen brings a special concoction of Jon Flanders with succulent berries – “Jon’s Berries” – to wow the judges this year.
Earlier this year, TAPS Fish House & Brewery added two powerhouse brewers to their team: David Hulus (formerly of Barley Forge) has returned to TAPS to serve as the Director of Brewing Operations, while Kyle Manns (formerly of Bottle Logic) has taken the reigns as Brewery Operations Manager. Exciting things are happening at TAPS, from a new in-house laboratory to contemporary packaging; from Mezcal barrel aging to expansion of beer styles and new barrel aged variants. Aiming to please, the TAPS brew crew brings a plethora of thrilling new brews to GABF forging new ground.
A bit northwest of all the above well-known names is a newer player on the scene, Phantom Carriage. With a knack for hitting the sweet (or rather, tart) spot of sours as well as other funky farmhouse ales, this brewery never shies away from the esoteric. With a brewery closer to the Haunted Mansion than a typical brewing warehouse, the Phantom Carriage crew will bring an equally odd (in a good way!) collection of ales to the festival. If you see the judges sampling, it may be easy to think they’ve just bit into a lemon, but make no mistake, it’s just some Phantom Ale-age.
While our favorite brewers head off the mile high city (Denver), the craft beer community in OC/LA will be cheering them on for a win. Good luck to all who entered!
Here’s what they entered into The Great American Beer Festival. . .
Tustin Brewing Company (Tustin, CA)
Bogey’s Dry Irish Stout
Portola Breakfast Stout
Blimp Hangar Porter
Red Hill Red
Jon’s Berries (Jon Flanders)
TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea & Irvine, CA)
Rubescent (Red IPA)
Hog Tied (Amber Ale)
Velvet Hog (Imperial Porter)
Amend This (Pale Lager)
El Moreno (Euro Dark Lager)
Dortmunder (Export Lager)
Keller Bier (Pilsner)
Phantom Carriage Brewing (Carson, CA)
Rathbone (Dark Sour)
Lugosi (Strong Dark Sour)
Cushing (Strong Blonde Sour)
Bergman (Blonde Sour)
Pleasance (Blonde Wild Sour)
Bottle Logic Brewing (Anaheim, CA)
Starquake (Robust Porter)
Heliosphere (Helles Lager )
Lagerithm (Dark Lager)
Cobaltic Porter (Baltic Style Porter)
Fundamental Observation (BA Strong Stout)