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This past Saturday, they announced two very important set of awards for excellence in brewing. Yesterday, we had the distinct pleasure of attending the 2nd Installment of the San Diego County Craft Brewers Festival and Competition. It was an amazing event featuring over 250 of the best beers to be poured in San Diego at one time. The selection was staggering. I for the life of me can’t remember the last time I attended a County Fair where they were pouring Drie Fontenien, Dogfish, Malhuer and many other great beers. Made me want to sneak off and see if Bessie the Cow was in agreement. MOOOOO would have been confirmation enough. Special Thanks to Tom and Chad for organizing the competition and one of the better selections of beer we will have access to this year.

As part of the San Diego County Fair, there is now a Commercial Craft Brewers Competition. You may recall that last year at this innagural event, we at Port Brewing graced the stage 5 times for our beers. We shared the title along with Firestone Walker for most awards earned. This past May they held the second competition and when the rauch settled, we at Port Brewing had earned 6 ribbons for the 10 beers we entered. With our six awards, we continue to set the competition circuit on fire. Combined with our incredible success at the 2008 World Beer Cup and the 2007 Great American Beer Festival, we are truly pumped by the collective success of our beers. For those who care to know which beers scored well with the judges.

Gold Ribbon- Lost Abbey Serpent’s Stout

Silver Ribbons- Veritas 003, Cable Car, Older Viscosity, Gift of the Magi

Bronze Ribbon- Red Poppy

Not a bad haul for us. Chad also pointed out during the awards ceremony, that when you include the Pizza Port family of beers, we earned a total of 16 Awards. If you throw out the Ribbons for Mead Categories which we didn’t enter, there were 75 Total Ribbons possible. With 16 Ribbons in tote, the Port Brewing family of brewers put their stamp on this event with resounding success.

When I got home last night, I fired up my computer and was surfing the net when I came across the results for the 2008 National American Homebrewer’s Competition. It was staggering! This nationwide competition featured over 5600 entries. To put this in perspective, the 2008 World Beer Cup that just concluded this past April judged some 2800 entries and was the largest Commercial Competition in the World! The Homebrew Competition featured double the number of entries.

I want to take a moment to send a shout out to Julian Shrago. Many of you in Southern California have no doubt crossed paths with Julian here at Port Brewing/ The Lost Abbey. We’re blessed to see Julian and Nigel (his English Bulldog) no less than once a month even though he lives behind the Orange Curtain in the OC.

Julian is one of the best homebrewers any of us know. In fact, Sage calls him the best brewer no one has ever heard of. Me, I think of him as the Great White Hype. I don’t know of too many homebrewers who have as much recognition as Julian does around here. I’m beginning to think that he’s more famous than my ego. In fact, my ego went shopping for a dog today. He mumbled something about needing a four legged co pilot. Silly me. I thought he wanted to bring man’s best friend into our life to chase the cats around the brewery.

Either way, Julian’s award comes with a major kudos from us at The Lost Abbey. You see, Julian won a silver medal in the Belgian and French Ale Category. There were only 317 entries in the category!!! DAMN! That is some kind of competition. It’s been a great weekend for us around the brewery. We went to the San Diego County Fair and were decorated for our excellence in brewing. Our Pizza Port bretheren were rewarded as well. Topping it all off, some of our best friends earned awards at the San Diego County Fair and The National Homebrewers Conference. All in all, I would say it’s an inspiring weekend. Congrats to Julian and my brothers at Pizza Port. A job well done on all fronts.

(late night edit) Just got word that Tovarish Imperial Stout brewed by Julian Shrago was the Best of Show winner at the San Diego County Fair Homebrew competition today. Apparently Julian has a large “S” tatoo on his chest and is afraid of Kryptonite?

PS, there’s a batch of Tovarish Imperial Stout on tap in Solana Beach at the Pizza Port that Julian brewed with Greg and Yiga sometime last month. It’s tasty…

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