Beer Birthday: Jeff Bagby

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Today is the 39th birthday of Jeff Bagby, who until a year or so ago was the head brewer extraordinaire at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. There, you can read the entire biography of Jeff “Extra Spicy” Bagby. I’m not sure when it was written, but it definitely needs to be updated, as it ends with the following sentence. “Jeff has his sights set on winning a GABF Brewpub of the Year award and we most definitely believe it is in his future as well.” Three years ago at GABF, Jeff won an amazing seven medals and Pizza Port Carlsbad was awarded the Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year. That means his plaid pants got to go up on stage a record eight times! You can see a retrospective of Jeff’s plaid choices over the years, too, at Jeff “Lucky Pants” Babgy Wins Big. Once he started working on opening his own brewery, I suggested he should consider “Plaid Brewing” or some variation of that idea, like “Plaid Pants Brewing” or “Lucky Plaid Brewing.” Unfortunately, he went with a more sensible Bagby Beer Co. All, well some, kidding aside, Jeff is a terrific brewer and a hell of a washoes player, though I still think Dave Keene and I could beat him and Tomme again. Join me at wishing Jeff a very happy birthday.

Jeff Bagby & His Girlfriend, from Pizza Port - Carlsbad
Jeff with his then-girlfriend, now wife, Dande at GABF a few years ago. And yes, those are his lucky pants.

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Greg Koch and Jeff at the Falling Rock.

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Former Drake’s brewer Melissa Myers with Jeff at an event at Anchor celebrating the Toronado’s 20th anniversary.

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Sam Calagione, Bruce Paton and Jeff at the Lost Abbey for a beer dinner during CBC.

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Jeff at the Toronado for the annual Belgian Beer Dinner last year, with owner Dave Keene wearing his “Who the F@#k is Jeff Bagby?” T-shirt.

Beer Birthday: Pat McIllhenney

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Today is the 59th birthday of Pat McIllhenney, brewmaster and owner Alpine Beer Co. near San Diego. Pat makes some amazing hoppy beers. Unfortunately, his beers are hard to find up our way, but rumor has it he’s building a bigger brewery to solve that problem. Join me in wishing Pat a very happy birthday.

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Pat manning his booth.

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Pat at GABF in 2008.

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Pat at the Boonville Beer Festival in 2008.

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Pat with Tomme Arthur at the inaugural Firestone Walker Invitational last year.

Vertical Epic Vertical Video

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Two weeks ago I flew to San Diego to take part in a fun tasting of all the Vertical Epics from Stone Brewing. The event was Livecast, but if pacing that was described as just below the excitement level of watching paint dry is not your idea of a fun way to spend a couple of hours, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s also been distilled down to a 4 and a half minute video.

For those of us who were there, of course, it was anything but dull, and trying all eleven of the beers was a rare treat. None were completely off or undrinkable, remarkable in and of itself, though as you’d expect a few had started showing their age. Both 02.02.02 (a Witbier) and 03.03.03 (a Belgian Strong Dark Ale) had started to show some papery, sherry-like notes from oxidation. Given that a witbier is not a beer you think of for aging, it was perhaps most surprising, not that it was oxidized, but that it was still drinkable at all. The 03.03.03 — a more personal one for me, since March 3 is my birthday — had the more desirable aged characteristics you might expect in a strong (8.5%) Belgian-style beer. The 04.04.04 (a Belgian Strong Pale Ale) aged a little better but was unremarkable to me, just a decent strong beer starting to show some complexity, though I must say it was surprising that the kaffir lime was still evident in the flavors, among other yeasty notes.

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05.05.05 (another Belgian Strong Dark Ale) on the other hand, was the star of the show. An everlasting gobstopper of a beer, it had complexity to spare and kept changing considerably as it warmed. It was just a beautiful beer that showed the unmistakeable benefits of aging. The first four were all done by Lee Chase, who was Stone’s head brewing during that time period.

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06.06.06 (also a Belgian Strong Dark Ale) was the first one done by Mitch Steele, who’s been the head brewer at Stone since that year. It was a close second to the previous year, and was made with the same yeast. It was almost as complex and was certainly very tasty so it’s hard to put into words exactly why I found the 05.05.05 preferable. They were both great beers, aged beautifully, but the older one just seemed to have more layers and was ultimately more of a joy to drink.

The 07.07.07 (a sort of mix between a Saison and a Tripel) was one I was also hoping to really enjoy, since it’s also my daughter Alice’s birthday every July 7th and so I have several bottles squirreled away until she turns 21, which won’t be until 2025. I don’t think the beer will make it that far, though it’s still tasting pretty good right now. The spices — ginger, cardamom and a “blend of grapefruit, lemon and orange peel — are still there, especially the ginger, were soft and round, making it a fun one to drink, even though I’m not sure I could finish a pint of it. But give me a snifter of it, and I could comfortably sip on this one with my daughter.

Next, Stone tried a Belgian IPA with 08.08.08, which was essentially a “Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe).” As you’d expect, the hops had begun to hide in the folds, but what was more surprising was how bright they still were, actually. My memory of this beer when it was fresh (always a dangerous assumption to make) was that they were over the top, so that my impression is that their mellowing with age has had a positive effect on the beer today, though I shouldn’t think it should be aged much longer, if you happen to still have an unopened bottle of this beer.

For the 09.09.09, they finally went dark, with an Imperial Belgian Porter brewed with vanilla beans and aged on French oak chips. Though to be fair, the color wasn’t particularly Porterish, more of a dark copper or mahogany. But it was the vanilla that really spoke loudly in this beer, though I must confess I’m particularly sensitive to vanilla so a very little goes a long way for me. The 10.10.10 (a Strong Belgian Golden Ale with chamomile and mostly Muscat grapes) was an unusual beer. The grape character was definitely evident, but seemed more to mirror a beer aged in wine barrels rather than one that had grapes added during fermentation. Perhaps that what the aging had done to their character. But it was still a nice beer, with interesting notes, although it wasn’t one of my favorites of the group. I’d like to try it again in a few more years.

Last year’s Vertical Epic was spiced with Hatch green chiles. Though I’m not at all a fan of chili beers, the 11.11.11 was one of the best two chili beers I’ve had (the other was at a New Mexico brewpub). That being said, it still is not my cup of tea, so it’s hard to judge this beer objectively since it grabs hold of my taste buds, wrestles them to the ground and all but ruins me for the next few hours. I’m also a spice wuss, it must be said. So no matter how you slice it, this beer is not for me, no matter how good is seems to be.

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The new release, 12.12.12, is obviously not an aged beer so we’re tasting the only fresh beer of the bunch. The aromas remind one more of a Christmas beer or winter warmer, with spices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg along with banana and clove notes from the yeast. It’s a melange of wonderful smells and tastes, and seems best fresh right now, as I suspect that these spices will drop out over time. If you’re not a fan of big, spicy Christmas beers that may be a positive for you, so how long you want to age this beer is probably directly proportional to how much you enjoy holiday spices in your beer. If you love them, drink it now. Don’t wait, the world may be over in a couple of weeks. You never know.

A big thanks to Greg Koch, Mitch Steele and Brandon Hernandez for allowing me to be a part of this epic tasting. For Mitch’s tasting notes on these beers, see the Final Chapter and all of the homebrew recipes (except for 12.12.12) along with tasting notes from previous tastings can also be found at the Stone Vertical Epic Ale page.

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Greg Koch welcoming us to the tasting (and displaying his keen fashion sense).

Bagby Signs Lease On New Brewery Location

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This is excellent news. Jeff Bagby, who won a boatload of awards while brewmaster at Pizza Port Carlsbad and Director of Brewery Operations for the entire chain, has been searching for the ideal location to open his own brewery, to be called Bagby Beer Co. He announced earlier today that he and his wife, and business partner, Dande Bagby, have signed a lease for the property at 601 S. Coast Highway in Oceanside, California. The 11,000 square foot space used to be “the historical Continental Motors and BMW Oceanside,” and consists of three separate buildings and a small courtyard, which they hope to turn into an outdoor beer garden. They anticipate starting construction on the brewery and restaurant in early 2013. There’s still a lot of work to do before they’re up and running, and Jeff is brewing beer again, but at least they’re over the first hurdle. Join me in congratulating Jeff and Dande on finding a location for their brewery.

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Live Vertical Vertical Epic Tasting Thursday

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Thursday is going to be a fun day, an extra fun day, apart from the travel, at least. I’m flying down to San Diego for what should be a very interesting beer tasting, one that you’ll actually be able to watch, but more on that in a minute.

Almost eleven years ago Stone Brewing began an epic journey, releasing a new beer on subsequent Bonza Bottler Days each year. Created by Australian Elaine Fremont in 1985, “Bonza,” in down under slang, meaning “super, great or fantastic,” while “Bottler” is apparently Australian slang for “something excellent.” So a Bonza Bottler Day is a “super excellent day.” She created Bonza Bottler Day so there would be at least one day each month to celebrate. They occur each month when the day matches the month, so there’s a Bonza Bottler Day every January 1, February 2, March 3, April 4, etc.

Stone Brewing went one step farther and added the year, so that the first Stone Epic Vertical was released on 02.02.02, or February 2, 2002. The sixth was on my daughter Alice’s 3rd birthday, 07.07.07, or July 7, 2007. The eleventh, and last, release will come out in a few weeks on December 12, 2012, thankfully just nine days before the world will end … or not.

But before the Earth is reduced to a smoldering mass of ash by a cataclysmic fireball, I’ve been invited to try all eleven Stone Epic Vertical beers, which includes an early taste of the latest offering, 12.12.12. The entire beer tasting will be broadcast live over that series of tubes known as the interwebs via livestream this coming Thursday. Here is Stone Brewing’s description of the event.

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale marks the end of an era. Since 2002, Stone has released a unique, Belgian-influenced, bottle-conditioned ale, with each subsequent beer available one year, one month and one day from its predecessor, and designed to be aged and enjoyed together on 12.12.12. Beer collectors everywhere are planning tastings and wondering how these long ago procured beers taste. In preparation, Stone founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner assembled a panel of beer experts to provide fans a live, comprehensive report on the state of the Vertical Epic Ales. That group includes top tasters and the very artisans who constructed these beers. Join Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele, former brewmaster Lee Chase, craft beer ambassador “Dr.” Bill Sysak, beer journalist Jay Brooks, Joe Tucker of RateBeer, Stephen Johnson of New Brew Thursday, plus Jason and Todd Alström of BeerAdvocate as they join Greg and Steve for an examination of one of the most ambitious brewing projects in history.

So join us for this monumental beer tasting on Thursday, November 15, beginning at Noon, Californy time (3:00 PM EST) until 1:30 PST (4:30 East Coast time). Watch the festivities on livestream. It’s going to be epic!

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Societe Brewing Quietly Opens In San Diego

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On my way out of town last Sunday, after a week in San Diego for the Craft Brewers Conference, there was one more stop I wanted to make. I’d known brewer Travis Smith since his days at Russian River, where he brewed all the beer on their brewpub system, which was especially important while Vinnie Cilurzo was building their production brewery a few years ago. Smith then moved south to The Bruery, where he also brewed for a time, before setting off to start his own brewery. That effort has now paid off, as his new venture, Societe Brewing, founded by Travis and his partner Douglas Constantiner, quietly opened their doors this Wednesday, May 9. On Sunday, he agreed to show me around as I was leaving town and I met Travis and his family at the brewery.

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The new Societe Brewing. BTW, it’s pronounced “society,” spelled differently for ease of copyright.

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Inside the large 16,000-sq. ft. space, 2,000 of it is dedicated to a tasting room. By the time you arrive, there will be tables and chairs here, too. There’s also a dedicated outdoor patio that’s licensed for patrons, too.

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The shiny new brewhouse. Travis will have essentially three lines of beers. A Belgian-influenced line, a line of hoppy beers, and a barrel-aged line. Societe’s brewery includes a separate cold room for barrel aging, with room for around 400 barrels.

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Co-founder and brewer Travis Smith behind the handmade redwood bar. When I was there, two of his beers were already on tap. The first, The Harlot, which he called a Belgian Extra, is essentially a low-alcohol version of a Belgian Golden Strong. Whatever you call, it was tasting fine, a really nice beer to kick things off. All of their beers will be named from society, occupations and people, as society is many things. The second beer on, The Apprentice, was a nice hoppy IPA brewed with Cascade, Centennial and some other varieties of hops. Travis, who is a perfectionist, wasn’t 100% happy with it, but I certainly was. The Apprentice is terrific, a solid hoppy beer.

The soft opening began Wednesday, and they’ll be open now Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. They’re “keeping this soft opening low key so [they] can continue putting the finishing touches on the tasting room” as they work toward the big Grand Opening, which will take place on Saturday, June 30. So come down and help them work out the kinks of operating a tasting room, and get a preview of San Diego’s newest brewery. I’ve been impressed with everything Travis brews, so I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Check them out, and become part of Societe’s society. Oh, and the address is 8262 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego.

World Beer Cup Awards 2012

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Another record crowd of 2,034 sat down to a beer dinner by Adam Dulye of Monk’s Kettle and to listen to the awards for the 2012 Brewers Association World Beer Cup. This was the 10th World Beer Cup, which takes place every two years. This year’s competition saw 3,921 beers in 95 categories from 54 nations judged by 218 judges (including yours truly). That represented a nearly 18% increase over the last World Beer Cup and earlier tonight 284 awards were handed out to breweries from 21 countries. Congratulations to all the winners.

In years past, I recall writing that California won more medals than any country except Germany. This year, actually, two states won more medals than Germany, the nearest competitor — medal-wise — to the United States: Colorado and California. Germany took home 23 medals while Colorado alone won 27. California crushed it, winning 55 medals, more than both combined. The U.S. won a total 208 of the 284 medals, with Germany second and Belgium in third, with 8 medals. California and Colorado were 1 and 2, with Oregon in 3rd (12), Washington coming in 4th (10), Wisconsin 5th (9) and Indiana 6th (8). After that, there’s a drop off with some states winning 3 or 4. Again, IPA was the category with the most beers entered, 150, with number two this year being Imperial IPA, with 93 entries.

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Individual Beer Awards

Category 1: American-Style Wheat Beer, 23 Entries
Gold: Wagon Box Wheat, Black Tooth Brewing Co., Sheridan, WY
Silver: 1919 choc beer, choc Beer Co., Krebs, OK
Bronze: DD Blonde, Hop Valley Brewing Co., Springfield, OR

Category 2: American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast, 28 Entries
Gold: Whitetail Wheat, Montana Brewing Co., Billings, MT
Silver: Miners Gold, Lewis & Clark Brewing Co., Helena, MT
Bronze: Leavenworth Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen, Fish Brewing Co., Olympia, WA

Category 3: Fruit Beer, 41 Entries
Gold: Eat A Peach, Rocky Mountain Brewery, Colorado Springs, CO
Silver: Da Yoopers, Rocky Mountain Brewery, Colorado Springs, CO
Bronze: Blushing Monk, Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI

Category 4: Fruit Wheat Beer, 28 Entries
Gold: Minoh Beer YUZU-WHITE-ALE, A•J•I Beer, Minoh City, Japan
Silver: Blue Moon Vintage Blonde Ale, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Bronze: Amsterdam Framboise, Amsterdam Brewing Co., Toronto, Canada

Category 5: Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer, 19 Entries
Gold: Turnip the Beets, Bull & Bush Brewery, Denver, CO
Silver: Saint Arnold Pumpkinator, Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, TX
Bronze: The Great Pumpkin, Elysian Brewing Co., Seattle, WA

Category 6: Herb and Spice Beer, 80 Entries
Gold: Sgt. Pepper, Cambridge Brewing Co., Cambridge, MA
Silver: Ring Of Fire, Dragonmead Microbrewery, Warren, MI
Bronze: Hardywood Gingerbread Stout, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, VA

Category 7: Chocolate Beer, 34 Entries
Gold: Házmela Rusa, La Chingonería, Mexico City, Mexico
Silver: X-1 Chocolate Imperial Rye Porter, DuClaw Brewing Co., Bel Air, MD
Bronze: Odin’s Raven, Alpine Beer Co., Alpine, CA

Category 8: Coffee Beer, 56 Entries
Gold: Bacon and Eggs Breakfast Coffee Imperial Porter, Pizza Port Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA
Silver: Drunken Elf Stout, Columbia River Brewing Co., Portland, OR
Bronze: Coffee Stout, Rock Bottom Arlington, Arlington, VA

Category 9: Specialty Beer, 38 Entries
Gold: Hangar 24 Winter Warmer, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, Redlands, CA
Silver: Maple Tripple, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Warren, VT
Bronze: Donner Party Porter, FiftyFifty Brewing Co., Truckee, CA

Category 10: Rye Beer, 29 Entries
Gold: Ruthless Rye IPA, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA
Silver: 3 Flowers IPA, Marin Brewing Co., Larkspur, CA
Bronze: Jopen Jacobus RPA, Jopenkerk Bierbrouwerij, Haarlem, Netherlands

Category 11: Specialty Honey Beer, 23 Entries
Gold: Boréale Dorée, Les Brasseurs du Nord, Blainville, Canada
Silver: Ménage a Trois Braggot, Crabtree Brewing Co., Greeley, CO
Bronze: Killer Bee, Dragonmead Microbrewery, Warren, MI

Category 12: Session Beer, 33 Entries
Gold: Vienna Lager, Squatters Pub Brewery, Salt Lake City, UT
Silver: Kellerweis, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA
Bronze: Revelations Stout, The Public House Brewing Co., Rolla, MO

Category 13: Other Strong Beer, 35 Entries
Gold: Star Brew, Marin Brewing Co., Larkspur, CA
Silver: Imperial Cream Ale, Nexus Brewery, Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: Double Pilsner, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO

Category 14: Experimental Beer, 42 Entries
Gold: Petit Obscura, Telegraph Brewing Co., Santa Barbara, CA
Silver: Noble Rot, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Bronze: Where There’s Smoke…, Manzanita Brewing Co., Santee, CA

Category 15: Indigenous Beer, 26 Entries
Gold: Got Beer, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Tacoma, Huntington Beach, CA
Silver: Hqt, 21st-Amendment Brewery, San Francisco, CA
Bronze: Oyster Stout, Upright Brewing Co., Portland, OR

Category 16: Gluten-Free Beer, 15 Entries
Gold: Glutenberg Rousse, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Montreal, Canada
Silver: Glutenberg Pale Ale, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Montreal, Canada
Bronze: Glutenberg Blonde, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Montreal, Canada

Category 17: American-Belgo-Style Ale, 48 Entries
Gold: Last Chance, The Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Chicago, IL
Silver: Blue Reserve, Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton, VA
Bronze: Le Freak, Green Flash Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Category 18: American-Style Sour Ale, 14 Entries
Gold: Ching Ching, Bend Brewing Co., Bend, OR
Silver: Mattina Rossa, Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, ME
Bronze: Supplication, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, CA

Category 19: American-Style Brett Ale, 28 Entries
Gold: Peche ‘n Brett, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Hood River, OR
Silver: Peche, AC Golden Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Bronze: Wild Wild Brett Rouge, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Fort Collins, CO

Category 20: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer, 34 Entries
Gold: Sarah’s Two Headed Buffalo, Rock Bottom Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Silver: Brandy Barrel Abbey Normal, Fox River Brewing Co., Oshkosh, WI
Bronze: Central City Oaked Porter, Central City Brewing Co., Surrey, Canada

Category 21: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, 91 Entries
Gold: Samuel Adams Utopias 2011, The Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA
Silver: King Henry, Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago, IL
Bronze: Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale, Fremont Brewing Co., Seattle, WA

Category 22: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout, 58 Entries
Gold: Barrel Aged BORIS The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout, Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Co., Akron, OH
Silver: Great Grandfather Raven, Black Raven Brewing Co., Redmond, WA
Bronze: The Event Horizon, Olde Hickory Brewery, Hickory, NC

Category 23: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer, 42 Entries
Gold: Lovibonds Sour Grapes, Lovibonds Brewery, Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Silver: Le Serpent Cerise, Snake River Brewing Co., Jackson, WY
Bronze: Melange #1, The Bruery, Anaheim, CA

Category 24: Aged Beer, 20 Entries
Gold: Samichlaus “2004”, Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg, Vorchdorf, Austria
Silver: Vintage Horn Dog, Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD
Bronze: Release the Hounds Barley Wine Vintage 1999, Bull & Bush Brewery, Denver, CO

Category 25: Kellerbier/Zwickelbier, 45 Entries
Gold: Ketterer Zwickel Pils, Familienbrauerei M. Ketterer, Hornberg, Germany
Silver: VIÆMILIA, Birrificio del Ducato, Roncole Verdi, Italy
Bronze: 5 O’Clock Shadow, Grand Teton Brewing Co., Victor, ID

Category 26: Smoke Beer, 48 Entries
Gold: Fujizakura Kogen Beer Rauch, Fujizakura Kogen Beer, Minamitsuru, Japan
Silver: BraufactuM Roog, Die Internationale Brau-Manufacturen, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Bronze: Grodzinski, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Newark, Newark, DE

Category 27: Australasian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light, 12 Entries
Gold: Quilmes Cristal, Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Silver: Anchor Ice, Hainan Asia Pacific Brewery Co., Haikou, China
Bronze: Norte Blanca, Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Category 28: International-Style Lager, 63 Entries
Gold: Paceña Pico de Oro, Cervecería Boliviana Nacional, La Paz, Bolivia
Silver: Cisk Export Premium Lager, Simonds Farsons Cisk, Mriehl, Malta
Bronze: Birra Moretti, Heineken Italia, Milan, Italy

Category 29: Baltic-Style Porter, 28 Entries
Gold: Baltic Gnome Porter, Rock Bottom Denver, Denver, CO
Silver: Battle Axe Baltic Porter, Fat Heads Brewery, North Olmsted, OH
Bronze: Dan – My Turn Series, Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, WI

Category 30: European-Style Low-Alcohol Lager/German-Style, 18 Entries
Silver: Beck’s Premier Light, Brauerei Beck & Co., Bremen, Germany
Bronze: Hochdorfer Hopfen-Leicht, Hochdorfer Kronenbrauerei Otto Haizmann, Nagold-Hochdorf, Germany

Category 31: German-Style Pilsener, 74 Entries
Gold: Brio, Olgerdin Egill Skallagrimsson, Reykjavik, Iceland
Silver: Schönramer Pils, Private Landbrauerei Schönram, Schönram, Germany
Bronze: Baumgartner Pils, Brauerei Jos. Baumgartner, Schaerding, Austria

Category 32: Bohemian-Style Pilsener, 62 Entries
Gold: Starobrno Ležák, Heineken Czech Republic, Krušovice, Czech Republic
Silver: Krušovice Imperial, Heineken, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bronze: Gambrinus Premium, Plzeňský Prazdroj, Pilsen, Czech Republic

Category 33: Münchner-Style Helles, 68 Entries
Gold: Urtyp Hell, Löwenbrauerei Passau, Passau, Germany
Silver: Löwenbräu, Löwenbräu, München, Germany
Bronze: Helles, Kitzmann Bräu, Erlangen, Germany

Category 34: Dortmunder/Export or German-Style Oktoberfest, 39 Entries
Gold: Švyturys Ekstra, JSC Švyturys-Utenos Alus, Vilnius, Lithuania
Silver: Tauras Tradicinis, Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe, Panevezys, Lithuania
Bronze: Schlappeseppel Export, Brauerei Schlappeseppel, Grossostheim, Germany

Category 35: Vienna-Style Lager, 41 Entries
Gold: Vienna Lager, Devils Backbone Brewing Co., Roseland, VA
Silver: Heavy Seas Marzen Vienna Lager, Clipper City Brewing Co., Baltimore, MD
Bronze: Belle Gueule Originale, Brasseurs RJ, Montreal, Canada

Category 36: German-Style Märzen, 39 Entries
Gold: Florhosen, The SandLot, Denver, CO
Silver: Rocktoberfest, Rock Bottom Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Bronze: Ur-Saalfelder, Bürgerliches Brauhaus Saalfeld, Saalfeld, Germany

Category 37: European-Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel, 34 Entries
Gold: Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel, Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg, Kelheim, Germany
Silver: King Dark Lager, King Brewery, Nobleton, Canada
Bronze: Riegele Aechtes Dunkel, Brauerei S. Riegele, Augsburg, Germany

Category 38: German-Style Schwarzbier, 40 Entries
Gold: Art of Science Schwarzbier, Dillon DAM Brewery, Dillon, CO
Silver: Point 2012 Black Ale, Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, WI
Bronze: Cameron’s Dark 266, Cameron’s Brewing Co., Oakville, Canada

Category 39: Traditional German-Style Bock, 30 Entries
Gold: Doppel-Hirsch, Der Hirschbräu, Immenstadt, Germany
Silver: Winter Bock, Silver City Brewery, Bremerton, WA
Bronze: Troegenator, Tröegs Brewing Co., Hershey, PA

Category 40: German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock, 38 Entries
Gold: Maibock, Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant, Topeka, KS
Silver: Der Ulmer Maibock, Familienbrauerei Bauhöfer, Renchen, Germany
Bronze: Blonde Doppelbock, Capital Brewery Co., Middleton, WI

Category 41: German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock, 44 Entries
Gold: Holzfassgelagerter Eisbock, Brauhaus Faust, Miltenberg, Germany
Silver: Hochdorfer Barbara Bock, Hochdorfer Kronenbrauerei Otto Haizmann, Nagold-Hochdorf, Germany
Bronze: Dominator Dopplebock, Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN

Category 42: American-Style Cream Ale or Lager, 23 Entries
Gold: Prestige, Brasserie Nationale d’Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Silver: Old Style, Pabst Brewing Co., Allentown, PA
Bronze: Milwaukee’s Best, Miller Brewing Co., Golden, CO

Category 43: American-Style Lager or Light Lager, 39 Entries
Gold: Coors Light, Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Michelob Ultra, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO
Bronze: Michelob Light, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO

Category 44: American-Style Premium Lager or Specialty Lager, 37 Entries
Gold: Steel Reserve, Miller Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Evans Original, Cervecería Mexicana, Corona, CA
Bronze: Icehouse, Miller Brewing Co., Golden, CO

Category 45: American-Style Amber Lager, 40 Entries
Gold: Winter Skal, Capital Brewery Co., Middleton, WI
Silver: Colorado Native, AC Golden Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Bronze: Cali Common, Lucky Hand Beer, Novato, CA

Category 46: American-Style Dark Lager, 18 Entries
Gold: Leinenkugel’s Creamy Dark, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Chippewa Falls, WI
Silver: Shiner Bock, The Spoetzl Brewery, San Antonio, TX
Bronze: Santo, Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, TX

Category 47: Australasian-Style Pale Ale or International-Style Pale Ale, 22 Entries
Gold: 805 IPA, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
Silver: Endeavour True Vintage 2011 Reserve Pale Ale, Endeavour True Vintage Beer,
Macquarie Centre, Australia
Bronze: Benny’s Pale Ale, Shoreline Brewery, Michigan City, IN

Category 48: German-Style Kölsch/Köln-Style Kölsch, 46 Entries
Gold: Sunbru, Four Peaks Brewing Co., Tempe, AZ
Silver: Chuckanut Kolsch, Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham, WA
Bronze: Point Three Kings, Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, WI

Category 49: German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier, 29 Entries
Gold: Alt-eration, Hops & Grain Brewing, Austin, TX
Silver: Rhine Heights, Vintage Brewing Co., Madison, WI
Bronze: Real McCoy Amber, Mammoth Brewing Co., Mammoth Lakes, CA

Category 50: German-Style Sour Ale, 11 Entries
Gold: Berliner Weisse, Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Silver: Hottenroth Berliner Weisse, The Bruery, Anaheim, CA
Bronze: Vitis Reductus Weisse, Outer Banks Brewing Station, Kill Devil Hills, NC

Category 51: South German-Style Hefeweizen/Hefeweissbier, 85 Entries
Gold: HEF, Burleigh Brewing Co., West Burleigh, Australia
Silver: Baltika N°8 Wheat, Baltika Breweries, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Bronze: Edelweiss Hefetrüb, Brau Union Österreich, Linz, Austria

Category 52: German-Style Pale Wheat Ale, 22 Entries
Gold: Boscos Hefeweizen, Boscos Brewing Co., Memphis, TN
Silver: Gold Ochsen Kristallweizen, Brauerei Gold Ochsen, Ulm, Germany
Bronze: Ketterer Ur-Weisse kristall, Familienbrauerei M. Ketterer, Hornberg, Germany

Category 53: German-Style Dark Wheat Ale, 29 Entries
Gold: Brauerei Michael Plank Original Hefeweizen, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany
Silver: Schneider Weisse Original, Weisses Bräeuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn, Kelheim, Germany
Bronze: Unertl Gourmet Weisse, Weißbräu Unertl, Mühldorf, Germany

Category 54: South German-Style Weizenbock/Weissbock, 20 Entries
Gold: Brauerei Michael Plank Heller Weizenbock, Brauerei Michael Plank, Laaber, Germany
Silver: Live Oak Primus, Live Oak Brewing Co., Austin, TX
Bronze: Rhaner Lilly Bock, Rhanerbräu, Schönthal, Germany

Category 55: Belgian-Style Witbier, 50 Entries
Gold: Allagash White, Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, ME
Silver: Hoegaarden, Hoegaarden Brewery, New York, NY
Bronze: La Perouse White, Maui Brewing Co., Lahaina, HI

Category 56: French- & Belgian-Style Saison, 44 Entries
Gold: Carnevale, The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA
Silver: Saison Station 55, Hopfenstark Brewery, L’Assomption, Canada
Bronze: Urban Farmhouse Ale, The Commons Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 57: Belgian- and French-Style Ale, 22 Entries
Gold: FSB Spring Brew, Front Street Brewery, Wilmington, NC
Silver: Saison Noir, Bastone Brewery, Royal Oak, MI
Bronze: Gift of the Magi, The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA

Category 58: Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale, 32 Entries
Gold: Ommegang Rare Vos, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Silver: Leffe Blonde, AB InBev, New York, NY
Bronze: Troubadour Blond, Brouwerij The Musketeers, Ursel, Belgium

Category 59: Belgian-Style Sour Ale, 27 Entries
Gold: Oude Geuze Boon, Brouwerij Frank Boon, Lembeek, Belgium
Silver: Oude Kriek Oud Beersel, Oud Beersel, Beersel, Belgium
Bronze: Fifth Element Vintage 2011, Squatters Pub Brewery, Salt Lake City, UT

Category 60: Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale, 16 Entries
Gold: Oude Tart, The Bruery, Anaheim, CA
Silver: Monomoy Kriek, Cisco Brewers, Nantucket, MA
Bronze: Oud Jeremiah, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Brea, Huntington Beach, CA

Category 61: Belgian-Style Dubbel, 39 Entries
Gold: Leffe Brown, AB InBev, New York, NY
Silver: Belgian Dubbel, Bier Brewery, Indianapolis, IN
Bronze: Ovila Dubbel, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA

Category 62: Belgian-Style Tripel, 57 Entries
Gold: Westmalle Trappist Tripel, Westmalle Trappist Brewery, Westmalle, Belgium
Silver: Nectar des Dieux, Bastone Brewery, Royal Oak, MI
Bronze: Steenbrugge Tripel, Palm Breweries, Steenhuffel, Belgium

Category 63: Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale, 33 Entries
Gold: Piraat, Van Steenberge, Ertvelde, Belgium
Silver: Thor’s Hammer, Bastone Brewery, Royal Oak, MI
Bronze: Prisoner of Hell, Dock Street Brewery, Philadelphia, PA

Category 64: Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale, 41 Entries
Gold: Batch 333: The Velvet Fog, Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN
Silver: Two Tortugas Belgian Quad, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Bronze: Grand Prestige, Hertog Jan Brouwerij, Arcen, Netherlands

Category 65: Other Belgian-Style Ale, 41 Entries
Gold: Seef, Antwerpse Brouw Compagnie, Hove, Belgium
Silver: Gauloise Amber, Brasserie du Bocq, Purnode, Belgium
Bronze: Rhinoceros, Telegraph Brewing Co., Santa Barbara, CA

Category 66: English-Style Summer Ale, 32 Entries
Gold: Cross of Gold: Revolution Brewing, Chicago, IL
Silver: Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, Stone & Wood Brewing Co., Byron Bay, Australia
Bronze: Mother Lode Golden Ale, Laurelwood Brewing Co., Portland, OR

Category 67: Classic English-Style Pale Ale, 33 Entries
Gold: Annadel Pale Ale, Third Street Aleworks, Santa Rosa, CA
Silver: Summit Extra Pale Ale, Summit Brewing Co., St. Paul, MN
Bronze: Caldera Ashland Amber, Caldera Brewing Co., Ashland, OR

Category 68: English-Style India Pale Ale, 48 Entries
Gold: Man Beer, Bull & Bush Brewery, Denver, CO
Silver: IP’Eh!, Russell Brewing Co., Surrey, Canada
Bronze: Intercontinental Pale Ale, Flossmoor Station Brewing Co., Flossmoor, IL

Category 69: Ordinary or Special Bitter, 32 Entries
Gold: Redoak Bitter, Redoak, Sydney, Australia
Silver: Happy Hour Hero Ale, Montana Brewing Co., Billings, MT
Bronze: 8th Street Ale, Four Peaks Brewing Co., Tempe, AZ

Category 70: Extra Special Bitter, 49 Entries
Gold: Red Racer ESB, Central City Brewing Co., Surrey, Canada
Silver: GAR Pale Ale, Great American Restaurants, Centreville, VA
Bronze: The Tower E.S.B., Bull & Bush Brewery, Denver, CO

Category 71: Scottish-Style Ale, 26 Entries
Gold: MacPelican’s Scottish Style Ale, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, OR
Silver: Redhawk Ale, Rockyard Brewing Co., Castle Rock, CO
Bronze: Beltaine Scottish Ale, Shoreline Brewery, Michigan City, IN

Category 72: English-Style Mild Ale, 27 Entries
Gold: Crown Brown, Crown Brewing, Crown Point, IN
Silver: Alyssa’s Attitude, Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co., San Clemente, CA
Bronze: Nerf Herder, Pizza Port San Clemente, San Clemente, CA

Category 73: English-Style Brown Ale, 30 Entries
Gold: Longboard Brown Ale, Rock Bottom La Jolla, La Jolla, CA
Silver: Nut Brown Ale, Redhook Ale Brewery, Woodinville, WA
Bronze: Sweet George’s Brown, Dillon DAM Brewery, Dillon, CO

Category 74: Brown Porter, 42 Entries
Gold: Double Nut Brown, Mammoth Brewing Co., Mammoth Lakes, CA
Silver: Poundage Porter, Sound Brewery, Poulsbo, WA
Bronze: Chocolate Porter, Bayhawk Ales, Irvine, CA

Category 75: Robust Porter, 68 Entries
Gold: Pier Rat Porter, Pizza Port San Clemente, San Clemente, CA
Silver: Pro-Am Porter, Wormtown Brewery, Worcester, MA
Bronze: Chocolate Porter, Kumazawa Brewing Co., Chigasaki, Japan

Category 76: Sweet Stout, 25 Entries
Gold: Steel Toe Stout, Ska Brewing Co., Durango, CO
Silver: Outlaw Oatmeal Stout, Great Basin Brewing Co., Sparks, NV
Bronze: Blackjack Stout, Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co., Oroville, CA

Category 77: Oatmeal Stout, 49 Entries
Gold: Naked Oat Stout, Rock Bottom College Park, Indianapolis, IN
Silver: Stumblers Stout, Columbia River Brewing Co., Portland, OR
Bronze: Alaskan Oatmeal Stout, Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK

Category 78: Scotch Ale, 51 Entries
Gold: Wee Heavy, Dry Dock Brewing Co., Aurora, CO
Silver: Way Heavy, Pizza Port San Clemente, San Clemente, CA
Bronze: Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, Kettlehouse Brewing Co., Missoula, MT

Category 79: British-Style Imperial Stout, 40 Entries
Gold: Russian Imperial Stout, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, Media, PA
Silver: Luscious, The Alchemist, Waterbury, VT
Bronze: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, The Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

Category 80: Old Ale or Strong Ale, 51 Entries
Gold: Old Ale, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, Media, PA
Silver: AleSmith Decadence 2010 Old Ale, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Bronze: Old Scrooge, Silver City Brewery, Bremerton, WA

Category 81: Barley Wine-Style Ale, 62 Entries
Gold: Stormwatcher’s Winterfest, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, OR
Silver: Barley’s Wine, La Cumbre Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: AleSmith Old Numbskull, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Category 82: Irish-Style Red Ale, 31 Entries
Gold: Red Trolley Ale, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
Silver: Alaskan Amber, Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK
Bronze: McLovin, Vintage Brewing Co., Madison, WI

Category 83: Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout, 30 Entries
Gold: Blarney Sisters Dry Irish Stout, Third Street Aleworks, Santa Rosa, CA
Silver: Ring of Dingle, Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN
Bronze: Breakside Dry Stout, Breakside Brewery, Portland, OR

Category 84: Foreign-Style Stout, 37 Entries
Gold: Starry Night Stout, Island Brewing Co., Carpinteria, CA
Silver: Malpais Stout, La Cumbre Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM
Bronze: Voo Doo, Left Coast Brewing Co., San Clemente, CA

Category 85: Golden or Blonde Ale, 46 Entries
Gold: Foam Top, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Silver: Labatt 50, Labatt Brewing Co., LaSalle, Canada
Bronze: Steelhead Extra Pale, Mad River Brewing Co., Blue Lake, CA

Category 86: American-Style Pale Ale, 84 Entries
Gold: Pale 31, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
Silver: Mission Street Pale, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
Bronze: BrickStone APA, BrickStone Restaurant & Brewery, Bourbonnais, IL

Category 87: American-Style Strong Pale Ale, 82 Entries
Gold: Hop Knot, Four Peaks Brewing Co., Tempe, AZ
Silver: Odell IPA, Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CO
Bronze: Alaskan IPA, Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK

Category 88: American-Style India Pale Ale, 150 Entries
Gold: DRIPA, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren, MI
Silver: Head Hunter IPA, Fat Heads Brewery, North Olmsted, OH
Bronze: Elevated IPA, La Cumbre Brewing Co., Albuquerque, NM

Category 89: Imperial India Pale Ale, 93 Entries
Gold: Poor Man’s IPA, Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA
Silver: Saint Arnold Endeavour, Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Houston, TX
Bronze: Palate Wrecker, Green Flash Brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Category 90: American-Style Amber/Red Ale, 68 Entries
Gold: Big Cottonwood, Utah Brewers Co-op, Salt Lake City, UT
Silver: Swan Lake Beer Amber Swan Ale, Hyokoyashikinomori Brewery Tenchokaku Co., Agano, Japan
Bronze: Mavericks Amber Ale, Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., Princeton-by-the-Sea, CA

Category 91: Imperial Red Ale, 38 Entries
Gold: G’Knight Imperial Red Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, CO
Silver: Bigfoot, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA
Bronze: Pursuit of Hopiness, Grand Teton Brewing Co., Victor, ID

Category 92: American-Style Brown Ale, 47 Entries
Gold: Face Down Brown, Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride, CO
Silver: Uptown Brown, Galena Brewing Co., Galena, IL
Bronze: Great American Brown, Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA

Category 93: American-Style Black Ale, 49 Entries
Gold: Black Racer, Bear Republic Brewing Co., Cloverdale, CA
Silver: Tarantulas 2.0, Pizza Port Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA
Bronze: Raven, Thornbridge, Bakewell, United Kingdom

Category 94: American-Style Stout, 34 Entries
Gold: Rise American Stout, Revolution Brewing, Chicago, IL
Silver: Pike XXXXX Extra Stout, Pike Brewing Co., Seattle, WA
Bronze: Achievement Beyond Life’s Experiences American Stout Brit Antrim Benefit Beer,
Pizza Port Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA

Category 95: American-Style Imperial Stout, 36 Entries
Gold: Imperial Stout, Silver City Brewery, Bremerton, WA
Silver: The Fundamental Blackhorn, Hornbeer, Kirke Hyllinge, Denmark
Bronze: Imperial Stout, Olde Hickory Brewery, Hickory, NC

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Champion Brewery and Brewer Awards

Large Brewing Company
AB InBev, New York, New York
Claudio Ferro

Large Brewing Company Category
Asia Pacific Breweries Limited, Singapore
APB Brewing Team

Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, CA
Matthew Brynildson

Small Brewing Company Category
Brauerei Michael Plank, Kelheim, Germany
Michael Plank

Large Brewpub Category
Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, OR
Darron R S Welch

Small Brewpub Category
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, Media, PA
Iron Hill Brewery Team

Jeff Bagby Leaving Pizza Port To Open His Own Brewery

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San Diego Beer Blog had the news today that Jeff Bagby is leaving his position as head brewer at Pizza Port in Carlsbad. Nacho will taking his place for now, though Jeff will be staying on in a consultant role while he firms up plans to open his own brewery. That’s awesome news for Jeff and I’m sure that whatever he does will be amazing.

Jeff Bagby & His Girlfriend, from Pizza Port - Carlsbad
Jeff and his fiance Dande at GABF a few years ago.

New San Diego Brewery In Development

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I just heard about a new brewery being planned for San Diego, the Societe Brewing Co. The new venture is a partnership between two brewers, one of whom is Travis Smith. If you haven’t heard of Travis, you will. He brewed at Russian River Brewing for a number of years, before moving south, where he brewed at both The Bruery and the La Jolla Brewhouse.

As of today, he’s just getting started, and when I wrote to ask how far along, here’s what he had to say.

Basically still working on everything. We have money to start but are still raising more capital. We have the concepts done, and are now in the phase were I just need to do it all. I feel like there is so much to do I don’t know where to start.

No estimated opening date yet, but I’ll continue to update Societe’s progress. Join me in wishing Travis the best of luck. Hopefully, we’ll be drinking his beer soon.

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Travis “MacGyver” Smith showing off the cork gun he made with spare brewing parts lying around the Russian River brewery. It shot a beer cork a pretty fair distance and would pierce cardboard at 100 feet.

Jeff “Lucky Pants” Babgy Wins Big

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Jeff Bagby, the head brewer at Pizza Port in Carlsbad, won big this year at the Great American Beer Festival. He picked up a whopping seven medals; four gold, one silver and two bronze. In addition, Pizza Port Carlsbad was awarded the Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year.

Below is a photo of Jeff, with Yiga Miyashira, up on stage picking up just one of his eight awards last Saturday. Notice the eyesore inducing polyester plaid pants? If you’re a regular to the GABF Award Ceremony, you may already remember that Jeff always seems to have on a pair of plaid pants. At first, I thought it was the same pair every year. But looking back over the last few reveals that it’s actually been a different pair of polyester plaid pants each year.

Given that Jeff and Pizza Port Carlsbad have won 19 medals in the last four years, I’d say his plaid pants are pretty darn lucky. Of course, being a great brewer helps, and I don’t want to take anything away from his mad skills. But I’d put even money on the pants making even the most mediocre brewer better. Below is a retrospective of Jeff’s “Lucky Pants” for the past four years.

2009 Lucky Pants
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2008 Lucky Pants
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2007 Lucky Pants
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2006 Lucky Pants
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If you, too, want or need a little luck — and let’s face it, who doesn’t? — I took a close up of the pattern on Jeff’s lucky pants and created some downloadable wallpaper in three different sizes. So now in addition to the Bulletin logo wallpaper page, you can also get Mr. Bagby’s wallpaper, too.

Jeff Bagby’s Lucky Pants 2009 Wallpaper

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