Santa Barbara is known for its stellar wines that are harvested from the Santa Ynez Valley above, but the coastal city also has hops — you know, for brewing beer.
Santa Barbara-based breweries Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. and Third Window Brewing Co. placed in the 2021 Great American Beer Festival competition this weekend.
The competition, presented by the Brewers Association, targets the best beers in 97 categories.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. won gold in the American brown lager category for the “Davy Brown Ale” and took home a second gold medal for its amber ale “Meat Sweats.”
Figueroa Mountain won silver for its Danish red lager and German dark lager “Schwarz is the new Black.” The company has claimed 29 medals over 11 years of competition.
“Winning this year was extra special,” founder Jaime Dietenhofer said in a news release. “Not only was this the most competitive GABF ever, it was coming off a challenging year for the entire brewing industry and the world. We are so grateful to have our beers recognized at this level and are excited about bringing recognition to beer and breweries on the Central Coast.”
Head Brewer Kevin Ashford expressed a similar sentiment.
“This never gets old, but it gets tougher every year. It’s great to see the Central Coast represented. Hopefully more attention is brought to the great breweries right here in our backyard,” he said.
Third Window Brewing Co. won gold in the international dark lager category for “The Dark.” It is the company’s second consecutive medal.
“It is extremely tough to win anything at this competition and to win a medal for the second year in a row is very gratifying and humbling,” said founder Kris Parker.
Judging spanned 17 days, and 170 judges evaluated the 9,680 entries from 2,192 breweries.
Entries from across the United States were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at the Bellco Theatre in Denver Friday evening during the Craft Brewers Conference. The ceremony was broadcast on the Brewing Network.
“Despite being forced to cancel the festival portion of GABF, our brewing community rallied together to make this year’s GABF competition one for the books — our largest competition judged to date,” said Chris Swersey, competition director, Great American Beer Festival. “Judges continue to be impressed with the quality and innovation of all entries they evaluated. The Brewers Association is proud to honor this year’s deserving winners.”