Like most things not driven by a press release, a television news story, or plain conversation, this writer learned that local breweries were awarded medals, earlier this month.

Started in 2000 the Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition is a celebration of commercial brewers throughout the world. Many of you might already be recalling the World Beer Cup Awards. You would be incorrect as this event is held every year, when compared to the WBC which is held every two years.

With style ranging from the common American-style Wheat Beer to the Baltic-style Porter, the LA International Commercial Beer Competition requests all breweries, both large production and small to enter their beers for judging.

Using a judging method similar to the Great American Beer Festival, each judge is certified by Beer Judge Certification Program, and cannot be affiliated with the beer style for which they are blind-judging. In short, if your beer is in that category you can't be present.

Once all beers have been judged, the scores totaled, medals are issued based on a third thru first place. Essentially if the brewery placed third they get a bronze, second a silver, and gold for first place.

For 2013 the winning breweries from the Northwest are ...

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Bronze for ther Hefeweizen in the American-style Wheat Ale category. Much like NABA this beer reminds people that although there are other Wheat ales to consume you can't forget your first.

Brewery Description

MEET THE BEER THAT STARTED IT ALL. OUR NATURALLY CLOUDY FLAGSHIP BREW STARTS WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY WHEAT. IT'S BOLD, CLEAN FLAVOR AND PRONOUNCED CITRUS AND FLORAL AROMAS ARE WHAT DEFINE AMERICAN-STYLE HEFEWEIZEN. SO POUR YOURSELF A COOL, CLOUDY GLASS, FINISH WITH A LEMON AND ENJOY THE ORIGINAL.

Bronze for their Marionberry Hibiscus Gose in the Fruit Wheat Beer category. As someone that seeks this out during the Oregon Brewers Festival we are always happy to see this beer being recognized. Prost!

Brewery Description

GOSE IS A TRADITIONAL CLOUDY GERMAN STYLE WHEAT BEER THAT BALANCES TART AND SLIGHTLY SALTY FLAVORS WITH A SOFT MALT BACKGROUND. OUR UNIQUE TAKE USES A HEALTHY DOSE OF OREGON-GROWN MARIONBERRIES AS WELL AS DRIED HIBISCUSFLOWERS FOR A TART, FLORAL PROFILE WITH CLOVE & CORIANDER FLAVORS TO ROUND IT OUT. PROST! OR GOSEANNA!

Gold for their Citra Blonde in the Session Beer category

Brewery Description

CITRA HOPS LEND THEIR NAME TO THIS INTERPRETATION OF A GOLDEN ALE. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL THEY BRING TO THE PARTY. THEIR STRIKING CITRUS AROMA AND THIRST-QUENCHING FLAVOR ARE THE PERFECT PAIRING FOR SOFT MALT NOTES. TOGETHER THEY CREATE A BEER THAT’S FULL IN FLAVOR AND UNIQUELY REFRESHING

Bronze for their Hopside Down IPL in the Experimental Beer category. For those keeping score this makes Hopside Down a twice medaled beer in the Northwest (including their win at the North American Beer Awards).

Brewery Description

WE'RE TURNING THINGS DELICIOUSLY UPSIDE DOWN WITH THIS AGGRESSIVELY HOPPED, COLD-FERMENTED BREW THAT BRINGS TOGETHER THE CLEAN, CRISP FINISH OF A LAGER WITH THE HOPPY AROMA AND CHARACTER OF AN IPA. HOPSIDE DOWN IS OUR TAKE ON AN INDIA PALE LAGER --OR IPL. THIS SECOND RELEASE IN OUR ROTATOR IPA SERIES IN 2013 OFFERS A BIG FLORAL HOP AROMA AND A REFRESHING DRY, MILDLY BITTER FINISH PERFECT FOR THE WARMER SUMMER MONTHS. PROST! TO TURNING CONVENTION ON ITS HEAD.

Full Sail Brewing Company

Gold for their Full Sail IPA in the English-style India Pale Ale category

Brewery Description

The British colonists who once visited India invented India Pale Ale. But we seriously doubt they ever enjoyed one after a day of fullblown kiteboarding. What a shame.

Generously hopped to 60 IBU’s in the classic style, our IPA is a real thirst quencher. It has a full, malty body and there’s even a hint of fresh citrus to it. Perfect after your favorite water sport. Even if that happens to be the grueling drag-the-poolside-lounge-chair-into-the-sun event.

Silver for their Full Sail Session Lager in the American-style or International-style Pilsner category. Admittedly I have a soft spot for this beer ever since it was a test batch called Lawnbrau. Definitely my 'lawn mowing' beer.

Brewery Description

Original Session, with the bright red label, is a classic all-malt pre-Prohibition style lager that reminds us of what American lagers used to taste like. It's flavorful, refreshing, and has a touch of that import-style taste. (Which, once upon a time, you didn't have to buy an "import" to get.) Oh, and it comes in a stubby, 11-oz bottle like your grandpa used to buy. So after your next session (surf, jam, gab, whatever), crack open a Session and drink to the good old new days.

Named World's Best Premium Lager at the World Beer Awards and winner of a slew of other shiny trophies, Session has truly earned itself a place at the bar. Not to mention the barbeque.

Gold for their Full Sail Session Black in the American-style Dark Lager category. If you are one who is too lazy to seek out the true original (see Kostrizer Schwarz) then you can't wrong with this beer.

Brewery Description

Short, Dark, and Drinkable and seven time Gold Medal Winner including the 2009 GABF! The second addition to family, Session Black, carries the mantra of drinkability into new territory. Most beers this dark are so heavy-duty, you could eat them with a fork. Session Black, on the other hand, lets you have your dark beer and drink it, too. With just a hint of roasty chocolate character, Session Black is short, dark, and totally drinkable. At long last, a dark beer that doesn't drink like a meal.

Deschutes Brewery Incorporated

Gold for their Twilight Summer Ale in the International-style Pale Ale category

Brewery Description

A lighter, yet full-flavored, aromatic Ale for the long days of summer. Twilight’s solid malt foundation pairs with distinctive Amarillo hops for flavors every bit as intriguing as bigger, heavier ales. A back porch, lingering sunset wonder.

Bronze for their Black Butte XXIV in the Chocolate Beer category

Brewery Description
24 years after Black Butte Porter’s debut, our potent, layered, imperial tribute returns. As usual, it’s a jazz riff, guided by the brewer’s muse and the lure of exotic ingredients. Artisanal dark chocolate nibs. Daglet dates. Mission figs. It may, possibly, hopefully, be the best edition yet. But, as it should be, you’ll be the judge of that.

Gold for their Jubel 2010 in the Aged Beer category.

Brewery Description

Jubel 2010 is a deeply complex, intensely flavored take on our festive winter seasonal, Jubelale. Available on tap as Super Jubel at our pubs around the holidays, 2010 is only our second bottling of this prized rarity originally released to mark the 2000 millennium.

Silver for their Dissident 2012 in the Belgian-style Lambic or Sour Ale category. Since 2008 when former brewer Larry Sidor concocted this beer the Dissident has been proving that the United States and Oregon know what an Oud Bruin tastes like. Cheers.

Brewery Description

The Dissident is an Oud Bruin, a distinctive Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a heavenly aroma and flavor. Our first and only wild yeast beer, we use Brettanomyces to give The Dissident its characteristic sour taste. Our stiffest brewing challenge, it must be fermented in isolation from our other beers for a full 18 months, partly in pinot and cabernet barrels. The words coddled and “worth it” come to mind.

Gold for their Black Butte Porter in the Brown Porter category. For Deschutes this not only marks the 25th year of producing what some have called the 'perfect porter' but also this marks a second medal in a major competition (including the North American Beer Awards)

Brewery Description

With a dark beer as our first and flagship brand, Black Butte defined Deschutes as a radical player. A slight hop bitterness up front enhances the distinctive chocolate and roasted finish. It’s prized for its creamy mouthfeel and intense complex flavors.

Flyers Restaurant and Brewery

Silver for their Barnstormer Brown in the English-style Mild Ale category. For brewer Tony Savoy this makes three awards this year, two silvers and one gold (reference North American Beer Awards, LA International Commercial Beer Competition, and the Washington Beer Awards) for what many have called their favorite Brown Ale in the Northwest.

Brewery Description
A rich, deep brown ale in color with dark amber highlights, slightly sweet with hints of nut and toffee finishing smooth with no lingering aftertaste.

Silver for their Heat Seek Hefe Germany-style Wheat Ale category. Congrats goes out to Tony again on bringing home another medal to hang on an already crowded wall.

Brewery Description
A light, refreshing, and cloudy Bavarian Hefe' with slight hints of banana and clove.

Curious who else won? Here’s the list.

If you happen to see any of the above beers, raise a pint and tell your friends that you know what an award winning beer tastes like.

Cheers

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