Locals score big at 2023 SDIBC

San Diego breweries win unprecedented 90 medals at the county’s largest brewing competition

Today, winners from the 2023 San Diego International Beer Competition (SDIBC) were notified about their accomplishments by the staff at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Though held after the event, the SDIBC is connected with the San Diego County Fair annual international beer festival and is the county’s largest professional brewing competition.

Now in its seventeenth year, the SDBIC received just over 1,000 total entries in 67 beer categories, which required three days of judging. Due to numerous beer style categories being added, more medals were awarded than in any previous competition. As in year’s past, mead and cider categories were included, and for the first time ever, hard seltzer and hard kombucha had a place in the competition.

San Diego beers earned 90 total medals—29 golds, 34 silvers and 27 bronzes. It was up from last year, when San Diego breweries won 75 medals (27 gold, 20 silver and 28 bronze), and the most awards earned by the county’s brewers in the history of the competition.

Local beer, Vienna Vida, a Vienna-style lager from Vista’s Barrel & Stave Brewing, was named Best of Show, with Mulege Mexican-style lager from Valley Center’s Rincon Reservation Road Brewery coming in as first-runner up for that prestigious honor. Nickel Beer Co. amassed the most awards of any San Diego business with five, while Bagby Beer Co., Burgeon Beer Co. and Mcilhenney Brewing nabbed four apiece.

Additionally, the county’s breweries combined to sweep a whopping 11 style categories: American-style Brown Ale, Belgian-style Dark Ale, English-style Brown Ale, European Lager, Experimental Beer, Fresh Hop Beer, Irish-style Red Ale, Light Lager, Saison, Session Beer and Session IPA.

Competition organizer Tom Nickel (owner of local businesses, Nickel Beer, O’Brien’s Pub and The Pub at Lake Cuyamaca) says next year’s SDIBC will take place in April. Following that, the competition will permanently be held in the spiring.

The following are all of the locally produced beers that earned medals at this year’s SDIBC…


  • American-style Brown Ale: Stone Lifeblood, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station (Point Loma)
  • American-style Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale: Juice Maze, The Original 40 Brewing (North Park)
  • American-style Lager: Tierra Madre, Mother Earth Brew Co. *
  • American-style Strong Pale Ale: Boo Koo IPA, Mother Earth Brew Co. *
  • American Wheat Ale: Meister, Eppig Brewing (Vista)
  • Any American-style Amber/Red Ale: Bank’s Bled Red, OB Brewery (Ocean Beach)
  • Belgian-style Dark Ale: OB Bubble Dubbel, Kilowatt Brewing (Kearny Mesa)
  • Belgian-style Sour Ale: In Praise of Bacchus, Burning Beard Brewing (El Cajon)
  • British-style Strong Ale: Wee Heavy, AleSmith Brewing (Miramar)
  • Belgian-style Wit or White Ale: Stone Dayfall Belgian White, Stone Brewing (Escondido)
  • Chili Beer: Deathtongue IPA, NIckel Beer Co. (Julian)
  • Chocolate/Cocoa-flavored Beer: Double Chocolate Macadamia Stout, Kilowatt Brewing (Kearny Mesa)
  • Dessert Stout: Chaos Grid: Double Coconut, Modern Times Beer (Point Loma)
  • English-style Brown Ale: Battle Ground Brown, Little Miss Brewing (Logan Heights)
  • European Lager: SD Lager, Protector Brewery (Miramar)
  • European-style Amber Lager: Vienna Vida, Barrel & Stave Brewing (Vista)
  • Experimental Beer: Tropical Terps, Belching Beaver Brewery (Oceanside)
  • Fresh Hop Beer: Wet Lambo, Pizza Port (Ocean Beach)
  • Herb & Spice Beer: J’s Carolina, Backyard Brewery (Escondido)
  • Imperial Stout: Illusion of Space, TapRoom Beer Co. (North Park)
  • International-style Pale Ale: Kiwi Connect, Mcilhenney Brewing (Alpine)
  • International-style Pilsener: Surf Punk, Hodad’s Brewing (Serra Mesa)
  • Irish-style Red Ale: Ruby Red, Prohibition Brewing (Vista)
  • Light Lager: Mulege Mexican Lager, Rincon Reservation Road Brewery (Valley Center)
  • Porter: Herd of Turtles, Bagby Beer Co. (Oceanside)
  • Saison: Hillside Rendezvous, Julian Beer Co. (Julian)
  • Session Beer: Guillaume, Pizza Port (Ocean Beach)
  • Session IPA: Mosaic IPA, Karl Strauss Brewing (Pacific Beach)
  • South German-style Hefeweizen: Bier von Bayern, Barley & Sword Brewing (North Park)
  • Specialty Beer: IZOLA Kvass, East Village Brewing (East Village)
  • West Coast-style India Pale Ale: Parallel Paradise, Mcilhenney Brewing (Alpine)


  • American Cream Ale: Cream Ale, Pizza Port (Imperial Beach)
  • American-style Brown Ale: Bright Eyes, Pizza Port (Imperial Beach)
  • American-style India Pale Ale: Daybreak, Gravity Heights (Sorrento Valley)
  • American-style Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale: Three Day Millionaire, El Cid Brewing (North Park)
  • American-style Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale: Diamond Dust, Pure Project Brewing (Vista)
  • American-style Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale: Bulbous Flowers, Societe Brewing (Kearny Mesa)
  • American-style Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale: Integrated Paths, Burgeon Beer Co. (Carlsbad)
  • American-style Pale Ale: Stone USC Fight On! Pale Ale, Stone Brewing (Escondido)
  • American-style Strong Pale Ale: Thuja, Burgeon Beer Co. (Carlsbad)
  • American Wheat Ale: Bells Bluff, Mcilhenney Brewing (Alpine)
  • Any American-style Amber/Red Ale: Red Rattler, Rincon Reservation Road Brewery (Valley Center)
  • Belgian-style Dark Ale: DeftCon 4, Deft Brewing (Morena)
  • Belgian-style Pale Strong Ale: Panic at the Nunnery, Burning Beard Brewing (El Cajon)
  • Chili Beer: Habeerneros IPA, Dos Desperados Brewery (San Marcos)
  • Coffee Beer: Caramel Mocha Latte, Belching Beaver Brewery (Oceanside)
  • Dark Lager: Puesto Negra, Puesto Cerveceria (Mission Valley)
  • English-style Pale Ale: King of the Britons, Bagby Beer Co. (Oceanside)
  • English-style Brown Ale: Three Beagles, Bagby Beer Co. (Oceanside)
  • European Lager: Brite Lites, Mcilhenney Brewing (Alpine)
  • Experimental Beer: Pineapple Under the Sea, Mission Brewing (East Village)
  • Fresh Hop Beer: Green Truck Double IPA, Nickel Beer Co. (Julian)
  • Fruit Beer: Peachy Keen, Karl Strauss Brewing (Pacific Beach)
  • German-style Ale: Holzfass, Bagby Beer Co. (Oceanside)
  • German-style Bock: Language of Influence, Fall Brewing (Miramar)
  • Imperial India Pale Ale: Mixed Greens, Burgeon Beer Co. (Carlsbad)
  • India Pale Lager or Cold India Pale Ale: Duo Ipa, Abnormal Beer Co. (Rancho Bernardo)
  • Irish-style Red Ale: Kilroy Irish Red, Little Miss Brewing (Logan Heights)
  • Light Lager: CRUSHEUR Light American Lager, Rouleur Brewing (Carlsbad)
  • Pilsener: Pershing Pils, Mike Hess Brewing (North Park)
  • Porter: Dawn of the Deft, Deft Brewing (Morena)
  • Saison: Saized and Confused, Northern Pine Brewing (Oceanside)
  • Scottish-style Ale: Orkney Ale, Barley & Sword Brewing (North Park)
  • Session Beer: Clever Kiwi, Burgeon Beer Co. (Carlsbad)
  • Session IPA: New Fang, Burning Beard Brewing (El Cajon)


  • American-style Brown Ale: Abnormal Brown, Abnormal Beer Co. (Rancho Bernardo)
  • American-style India Pale Ale: Right Side of Happiness, The Lost Abbey (Vista)
  • American-style Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale: Hazers Gonna Haze, Belching Beaver Brewery (Oceanside)
  • Belgian-style Dark Ale: Platypug, Duck Foot Brewing (Miramar)
  • Bitter: Extra Special, Fall Brewing (Miramar)
  • Brett & Other Sour Ale: Peach Afternoon, The Lost Abbey (Vista)
  • Coffee Beer: Solstice Sunrise, Julian Beer Co. (Julian)
  • English-style Brown Ale: Dove Castle English Brown, Ten-75 Brewing (San Marcos)
  • English-style Pale Ale: West Coast Warfighter DDH IPA, Protector Brewery (Miramar)
  • European Lager: Premium Lager (LINC), TapRoom Beer Co. (North Park)
  • European-style Amber Lager: Festbier, Eppig Brewing (Vista)
  • Experimental Beer: Gamblin’ Gamelin’s German Chocolate Cake Stout, Five Suits Brewing (Vista)
  • Fresh Hop Beer: Good Show Mr. Olson!, Nickel Beer Co. (Julian)
  • German-style Ale: Kawaii Kolsch, Duck Foot Brewing (Miramar)
  • German-style Weiss Beer: Junk in Da Trunkel, Pizza Port (Ocean Beach)
  • Golden or Blonde Beer: Salty Crew Blonde Ale, Coronado Brewing (Bay Park)
  • Hybrid Belgian-style Ale: Day Moon, TapRoom Beer Co. (North Park)
  • International-style Pale Ale: The Pupil, Societe Brewing (Kearny Mesa)
  • International-style Pilsener: Tora!, Fall Brewing (Miramar)
  • Irish-style Red Ale: C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red, Nickel Beer Co. (Julian)
  • Light Lager: Nado Japanese Lager, Coronado Brewing (Bay Park)
  • Pilsener: Leave No Trace Pilsner, Mother Earth Brew Co. *
  • Saison: Lion About My Age, Nickel Beer Co. (Julian)
  • Session Beer: Friars Robe, The Original 40 Brewing (North Park)
  • Specialty Beer: Maple Smoked Maibock, Kilowatt Brewing (Kearny Mesa)
  • Session IPA: The Coachman, Societe Brewing (Kearny Mesa)
  • West Coast-style India Pale Ale: Local, Hodad’s Brewing (Serra Mesa)
  • Wood- & Barrel-aged Strong Beer: Marley’s Ghost, Arcana Brewing (Carlsbad)

* Mother Earth Brew Co. operates a facility in Vista, but their winning beers were brewed at their headquarters in Nampa, Idaho

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