For the third straight year, craft-beer fans and members of the local brewing industry will be called upon to nominate and vote for the best San Diego County beers, breweries and more as part of the third-annual San Diego Beer News Awards. And like last year, it will all culminate in a live, grand-scale ceremony following an awards-show format featuring a who’s-who of the local beer community. Here is how it will work…
Every weekday starting Monday, January 2, we will post an awards category to San Diego Beer News’ Instagram and Facebook accounts, asking followers to nominate their favorite beers, breweries or brewery-owned venues in the comments section. If you don’t already follow us on these platforms, go ahead and do so, then be on the lookout for nomination posts like the one below.
Using nominations collected in January, we will set up an online ballot that will be accessible from February 13-28 for anyone to fill out. At the end of the voting period, we will compile and go through all of the votes to determine winners in each of the categories (see full list below). Then, it’s time to get ready for the fun part…
THE 2023 SAN DIEGO BEER NEWS AWARDS CEREMONY
Last year marked the first-ever physical ceremony for the awards and it was all we could have hoped for and more. Hundreds of staffers from breweries across the counties came together with craft-beer fans to enjoy a free, two-hour awards show featuring members of the industry, local TV and radio personalities, and more. It was an incredibly fun evening that we look forward to making even bigger this time around.
This year’s awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 28 at AleSmith Brewing in Miramar. While we enjoyed packing last year’s venue to the gills, holding this event at the county’s largest brewery tasting room should provide a little more room and a lot more parking. We’ll also have a formal stage and PA system so it should be much easier to see and hear our presenters and award recipients throughout the night.
Last year’s event was one of the most exciting, engaging and just plain fun beer events of 2022, so save the date and plan to be part of it this year. The event is free to attend, and all are welcome!
Realizing that larger breweries with more widespread distribution have greater access to fans casting their votes, this year, we’ll take steps to recognize smaller breweries.
While breweries of any size will be eligible to win first, second and third place awards in each of this year’s categories, the top vote-getting small brewery (companies producing less than 5,000 barrels per year) in each category will be recognized as a “Small Brewer Standout” at the ceremony for being tops in their class.
Also new for 2023 is a Best Food / Menu award and a pair of beer-style categories recognizing the emergence of mindful, more health-conscious drinking. Awards will be issued for the county’s best non-alcoholic beers as well as lighter offerings, including “light beer” and adjunct/international (e.g., corn, rice) lagers. Cold IPAs have also been moved into the Niche IPA category, and the Pilsner category now includes Italian takes on the style.
The following is a list of all of this year’s awards categories, covering a worldly array of beer styles while providing opportunities to recognize organizations and individual members of the industry for their contributions in brewing and non-brewing areas such as design and customer service.
- Best Brewery by Region (North, South, Central, East, West)
- Best New Brewery
- Best Expansion Project
- Best Customer Service
- Best Interior / Exterior Design
- Best Beer Can / Bottle Art
- Vanguard Brewer Award
Beer Style Awards
- Best West Coast India Pale Ale
- Best Hazy India Pale Ale
- Best Imperial India Pale Ale
- Best Niche India Pale Ale
- Best Hoppy Ale (Non-IPA)
- Best Pilsner
- Best German Beer (Non-Pilsner)
- Best Belgian Ale
- Best UK / Irish Ale
- Best Coffee Beer
- Best Sour Ale (Non-Barrel-Aged)
- Best Barrel-Aged Sour / Wild Ale
- Best Strong Beer (Non-Barrel-Aged)
- Best Barrel-Aged Beer
- Best Light Beer / Adjunct Lager
- Best Non-Alcoholic Beer
- Best Collaboration Beer
SPONSORS & VOLUNTEERS WELCOME
And if you would like to help out at the San Diego Beer News Awards ceremony, email us and we’ll be happy to add you to our growing team of volunteers, which includes industry personnel and beer fans alike. This should require minimal effort and help make a great event even better.