Brewing competitions like the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup are terrific. They highlight standout beers while celebrating the brewing industry’s trademark camaraderie. There’s only one problem—those competitions’ awards ceremonies are rather exclusive. Only ticket-holding brewery personnel and credentialed media may attend. I’ve been part of both factions and attended multiple GABF and WBC events. They are invigoratingly fun and provide a unique, inspiring glimpse behind the industry curtain that you just can’t get from watching these events over a livestream.
That’s why the San Diego Beer News Awards ceremony—which will take place at AleSmith Brewing at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 28—is completely open to all who wish to attend, from brewery staffers and other members of the industry to beer fans who want to have a blast celebrating the county’s beer scene.”Brandon Hernández, Founder, San Diego Beer News
While logistics and other factors require GABF and WBC organizers to limit the number of attendees at its awards ceremonies, San Diego Beer News is fortunate enough to be able to employ a come-one-come-all, more-the-merrier approach. And thanks to the generosity of host breweries, admission to our awards show is free. The only things attendees will need to pay for is whatever beers they wish to drink or food they choose to purchase. That’s a sweet deal…especially for such a star-studded event!
As we did last year, we’ve rounded up an impressive roster of pro brewers, brewery owners, local TV and radio personalities, representatives from trade organizations, nonprofits and homebrew clubs, plus members of the #SDBeer community, all of whom will take the stage to rip open envelopes and announce winning beers and breweries in the following categories…
Brewery Categories: Best Brewery by Region (Central, North, South, East, West), Best New Brewery, Best Expansion Project, Best Interior/Exterior Design, Best Food/Menu*
Staff Awards: Best Customer Service, Best Can/Bottle Design, Vanguard Brewer Award
Beer Style Categories: West Coast IPA, Hazy IPA, Imperial IPA, Niche IPA, Hoppy Beer, Pilsner, German Beer, UK & Irish Ale, Belgian Ale, Coffee Beer, Sour Ale, Barrel-Aged Sour/Wild Ale, Light Beer/Adjunct Lager*, Strong Ale, Barrel-Aged Beer, Non-alcoholic Beer*, Collaboration Beer
* indicates a new award categories introduced for this year’s competition
This year’s presenters hail from: 91X FM, ABC 10 News, AleSmith Brewing, ALT 94.9 FM, Athletic Brewing, Bagby Beer Co., Barrel & Stave Brewing, Bay City Brewing, Belching Beaver Brewery, BLAH Brewing, Brewers Association, The BruShow, California Wild Ales, CBS 8 / CW6 San Diego, Chula Vista Brewery, Duck Foot Brewing, East Village Brewing, Fall Brewing, Furman Photography, Girl’s Pint Out, Gravity Heights, Helix Brewing, Hodad’s Brewing, Jacked Up Brewery, Jenny Mann Photography, Karl Strauss Brewing, The Lost Abbey, Mcilhenney Brewing, Mission Brewing, Modern Times Beer, My Yard Live Beer Co., New English Brewing, Nickel Beer Co., Northern Pine Brewing, O’Brien’s Pub, Paving Great Futures, Pizza Port Brewing, Protector Brewery, Puesto Cerveceria, QUAFF (Quality Ale & Fermentation Fraternity), Rip Current Brewing, San Diego Brewcycling Collaborative, San Diego Brewers Guild, San Diego Humane Society, Seek Beer Co., Stone Brewing, TapRoom Beer Co., West Coast Smoke & Taphouse, Wild Barrel Brewing and Women’s Beer Collective.
On top of that, we’ll get some help from Pink Boots Society co-leader Lia Garcia, CSU San Marcos Brewchive’s Judith Downie, AleSmith Events Manager Erin Clifford, Burgeon Beer Co. events powerhouse Melody Campbell, photographer and brewery-marketing maven Jenny Mann, and Karl Strauss Brewmaster Paul Segura, who has kindly donated his band’s public-address system for the evening. It takes a village, and none is stronger than the San Diego beer community!
And this year’s awards wouldn’t be possible—or free to attend—without the meaningful and enthusiastic support of our sponsors. All too often, companies that get behind events and initiatives get overlooked, but not at the San Diego Beer News Awards, where representatives from all of our sponsors will be right up on stage with presenters to hand trophies, plaques and medals to this year’s winners.
Reprising a role they’ve graciously fulfilled every year since the very first San Diego Beer News Awards back in 2021 is banner sponsor Yakima Chief Hops. The companies sponsoring our best brewery awards includes Country Malt Group, HRVST, John Fearless Company, Premier Stainless Systems and TapCraft, while POS provider Arryved is again sponsoring the Larry Smith Award recognizing customer-service excellence, and for the second straight year BSG CraftBrewing will hand over the Vanguard Brewer Award to an brewing vet who has had a positive, long-term impact on the brewing community.
The 2023 San Diego Beer News Awards’ other brewery and beer-style award sponsors are Ale Tales Taproom, Alternative Strategies, Bay Bird Public Relations, Beer30 by The 5th Ingredient, Beerwork, Brew Hop, Bottlecraft, CLTVT, H.G. Fenton / Brewery Igniter, Hauck Architecture, Hoppy Beer Gear, Katalyst Public Relations, MiraCosta College, OpenTap, SDSU Global Campus, Shirts On Tap, Westair, White Labs and Wild West Homebrew Supply Co.
With this many great people throwing their energy into this year’s awards show, it’s bound to be one for the ages. Please plan to join us, mix and mingle with the talented professionals who make the beer you so enjoy and have fun celebrating a community that is truly one of a kind!