4, 3, Brew 1: Great American Beer Festival is this week!

As all brewers quickly pack their bags for GABF, this week stirs up a bit of stress, hope and suspense for all those awaiting the decisions of the judges. We live in a great country where beer is appreciated – and it’s pull is growing. There will be much talk of who will be decorated with medals upon medals, but I appreciate all the hard work that brewers do across the country to provide us great American made craft beer! May the hop gods be ever in your favor, Orange County entrants!


Here’s what some of our local favorite OC breweries entered into this year’s Great American Beer Festival, followed by a few quotes from the brewers/owners. . .

Tustin Brewing Company (Tustin)



After a string of victorious medaling years, brewer Jerrod Larsen has been working hard to bring his beer babies to play against the big guns. Here’s what he plans to present this year:

  • Tailgater Light Lager
  • Imperial Brown Ale (Tustin/ TAPS Collaboration)
  • Blimp Hangar Porter
  • Bogeys Dry Irish Stout
  • Portola Breakfast Stout

TAPS Fishouse & Brewery (Brea/Irvine/Corona)



Says brewer Kyle Manns…. “We entered the beers that have been successful one last time and are very proud of our entries whether they medal or not. The team has worked very hard to consistently produce some of the best lagers and ales in the world. We are looking forward to changing things up in 2017, and have already starting vetting potential recipes and entries. Our goal is to medal in as many different categories as possible, so it’s into the next ones!”

  • Cream Ale (Blonde)
  • Irish Red Rubescant (Imperial Red Ale)
  • American Pilsner
  • American Dark Lager
  • Kellerbier (Unflitered Helles)
  • Mass Hive DIPA w/Massey Honey
  • Barrel Aged Strong Ale w/Figs & Dates (TBA)

Bootlegger’s Brewing Company (Fullerton)


Lady brewer Tina Thompson is stoked for GABF this year – she and the rest of the Bootlegger’s crew have been putting in long days – here’s what they’ve been working on:

  • Fuzzy Ninja
  • Little Layla
  • Rocco Red
  • Knuckle Sandwich
  • Galaxian Barleywine
  • More TBA

Unsung Brewing Company (Anaheim/Tustin)



Newcomers to the OC beer scene, Mike Crea and Ryan Hunt have been hard at work to bring their vision of true beer to the world. They’ve entered delicious beers that are not only true-to-style but but modern in they’re own right. Who’s to blame when a bad ass beer label is backed up with a truly full hearty beer! Here’s wishing them a fruitful first year at GABF!

Check out this months featured cover story in Beer Paper LA!

  • Propeller Head
  • Buzzman
  • Anthia IPA
  • Naturia

Barley Forge Brewing Company (Costa Mesa)

Say’s owner Greg Nylen… “As we did last year, we entered primarily beers from our core lineup with the exception of Fugue State and the Pro-Am, because we appreciate the valuable feedback we obtain from the judges regarding our bread and butter.”


  • The Patsy
  • Future Tripping DIPA
  • Fugue State RIS (Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels)
  • Grandpa Tractor
  • Nom Nom Mango Hefe
  • Pro-AM Marlene DIPA (Steve Severn)

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