The great hullabaloo surrounding the Great American Beer Festival this year has little to do with excitement over who will be pouring, and a lot more to do with who didn’t get in. With reported server issues at the Brewer’s Association registration website and overwhelming demand, many breweries who wanted to attend were shut out. The festival filled up in a reported two hours (as opposed to two days last year) with 600 breweries. There is currently a wait-list with 300 breweries hoping to fill the gaps when breweries drop out.
So – which breweries from Santa Barbara made the cut? Below is an incomplete list that will be updated once more breweries check in, but this is what Santa Barbara Beer has learned thus far:
Telegraph Brewing Company will be attending and pouring at the festival. Although owner Brian Thompson wouldn’t say exactly which beers his brewery entered into the competition, he did say that they will be pouring California Ale, White
Ale, Los Padres Saison, Cerveza de Fiesta Pilsner and Obscura Vulpine.
Island Brewing Company will be attending this year as well. No word on what they will pour or what was entered, but I will update that when I hear.
**Update** Island Brewing tells me they will be pouring Avocado Honey Ale, Jubilee Ale, Blackbird Porter and Starry Night Stout (an award-winner). They, too, are holding back on saying which beers they’ve entered.
Both breweries have won medals in this and other major competitions, and it’s not shocking at all that they were on the ball when it came to registering and registering early this year.
Hollister Brewing Company in Goleta will not be attending this year. Eric Rose and his team were not shut out, but made a conscious decision to not attend this year.
Santa Barbara Brewing Company will also not be attending, although according to a tweet from brewer Kevin Pratt, the brewery was “frozen out,” which leads me to believe that they missed the very narrow window for entry.
Pratt reached out to me on twitter (@brewfun) and confirmed that he and SB Brewco are waitlisted (along with about 300 other breweries. Should Brewco make it in, Pratt plans on pouring Old Wrecollection, Rincon Red, State Street Stout and an Imperial Pilsner that is due out in two weeks.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company will be attending GABF this year. Founder and CEO Jaime Dietenhofer confirmed that the Buellton/Santa Barbara brewery will have an endcap booth at the festival and will be pouring beer as well as entering beer into the competition. Like Telegraph’s Thompson he is keeping exactly which beers will be competing a secret for the moment, but did say that it will include some of the brewery’s standard offerings as well as some new beers — which I assume will be brewed at the more experimental Santa Barbara location.
Solvang Brewing Company will be attending GABF, as it did last year. The Solvang brewpub will be entering eight beers into the competition, and will be serving its Blue Eyed Blonde Helles Lager and its Viking IPA.
Stay tuned for more updates.