Industry pioneers Fritz Maytag, John Martin, and Ken Grossman are inducted into the CA Craft Beer Hall of Fame

John, Fritz and Ken

Santa Rosa, CA – In 1989, a small group of craft brewers set out to form the first state wide association dedicated to the development and protection of the California craft brewing industry. Their early efforts and passions have cemented California as the birthplace of the craft beer movement.

Last week, the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) celebrated the 25th Anniversary with those same founding members and industry pioneers; Fritz Maytag former owner of Anchor Brewing Co., Ken Grossman owner/founder of Sierra Nevada, and John Martin owner of Triple Rock Brewing Co. at the two-day California Craft Brewers Conference in Santa Rosa, CA.

With an audience of over 400 craft brewery owners, brew masters and industry members in attendance, Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA, inducted the three founding CCBA members into the California Craft Beer Hall of Fame for their extraordinary contributions to the California Craft Brewing industry. The three hall of famers then held a riveting keynote address, reminiscing about their early days in the industry and why they came together to form the association.

Founding board member John Martin, owner of Triple Rock Brewing Co,  looked back fondly on the association’s beginnings saying, ´”It has been wonderful to participate in craft brewing’s early days in the 1980s and through its spectacular growth in California to the present day.  The acceptance of high quality, locally-made craft beer has never been higher, and the important role that the CCBA has played to help protect and grow the California brewing environment cannot be underestimated.”

The craft brewing segment has grown consistently despite the overall beer industry being down in recent years. In 2013 California’s craft brewing industry grew by 20% and contributed more than $5.5 billion in economic impact throughout the state.  The California Craft Brewers Association continues to represent these new and old breweries in California’s legislative policies.

“It is an honor to carry the torch from the founding fathers of the Association,” said Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA. “In the last 25 years, the CCBA has established the most conducive regulatory environment for craft breweries in the country, laying the foundation for a vibrant and growing industry.

For more information on the CCBA Inaugural Hall of Fame Inductees please see the CCBA Website:




AB 2004- Sponsored by CCBA-

Enables Beer Manufacturers to Sell Packaged Beer at Local Farmers’ Markets

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown has signed AB 2004 authored by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata) that allows the sale of packaged beer at certified farmers’ markets and allows beer manufacturers the ability to sell beer and wine on their own premises during private events.

The measure now authorizes a licensed beer manufacturer to apply to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for a certified farmers’ market beer sales permit which allows the licensee to sell packaged beer at a farmers’ market.

Dave Gull, owner of New Helvetia Brewing Co. in Sacramento, is already planning to apply for this new permit, “Having the ability to sell our product at local farmers’ markets is a great opportunity to visit with customers and engage with the community, we are a local brewery and rely on the local support to continue to grow our business.”

The bill also expands a licensed beer manufacturer’s privileges by authorizing a beer manufacturer to sell or serve beer and wines, regardless of source, to guests during private events held on the licensed beer manufacturer’s premises. Under current law, beer manufacturers without a restaurant are not allowed to have wine or beer other than their own on the brewery premise for any reason. This new law will allow breweries to provide wine to guests attending a private function at the brewery. The demand for private events, such as weddings, at these craft brewery venues is becoming much more prevalent.

“AB 2004 provides craft brewers parity with the privileges currently enjoyed by the wine industry. As the popularity and number of craft breweries grows, AB 2004 assists brewers in reaching new consumers and allowing them to meet the demand of the growing industry,” stated Tom McCormick, Executive Director of the California Craft Brewers Association.

AB 2004 had bi-partisan support and passed both the Senate and Assembly chambers without opposition. The measure will go into effect on January 1st 2015.

GABF ~ CA Takes Home the Most Medals!

October 6th, 2014 by CCBA




The Great American Beer Festival presented by the Brewers Association is the largest commercial beer competition in the world.

A record 5,507 beers were judged (16 percent more than in 2013) in 90 categories by 222 judges from 10 countries.

California was the top medal winner with 46 medals out of 268 medals awarded, followed by Colorado with 39 medals.

There were 49,000 attendees, 3,500 beers served, 1,309 breweries in the competition from 50 states plus Washington D.C.


CONGRATULATIONS CCBA Members who received 2014 GABF medals!

Category 10: Coffee Beer, 116 Entries

Gold: Mocha Machine, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA


Category 11: Specialty Beer, 47 Entries

Gold: Campfire Stout, High Water Brewing, Chico, CA


Category 14: Session Beer, 94 Entries

Gold: Oatmeal Stout, Benchmark brewing Co., San Diego, CA

Silver: Guillaume, Pizza Port Ocean Beach, Ocean Beach, CA

Bronze: Mosaic Session Ale, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., La Jolla, CA


Category 15: Other Strong Beer, 43 Entries

Bronze: Aphotic Imperial Porter, High Water Brewing Co., Chico, CA


Category 19: Historical Beer, 21 Entries

Gold: Thurston, New Helvetia Brewing Co., Sacramento, CA



Category: 21 American-Belgo-Style Ale – 69 Entries

Bronze: Le Freak, Green Flash Brewing Co., San Diego, CA


Category: 22 American-Style Sour Ale – 56 Entries

Gold: Cosmic Dust, The Rare Barrel, Berkeley, CA


Category: 26 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 65 Entries

Silver: Recolte Du Bois – Apricot, Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. – , Truckee, CA


Category 28: Kellerbier or Zwickelbier – 48 Entries

Silver: Surfliner Lager, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. – Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA


Category 28: American-Style or International-Style Pilsener, 29 Entries

Bronze: Gold Country Pilsner, Auburn Alehouse, Auburn, CA


Category: 31 German-Style Pilsener – 75 Entries

Gold: Pivo, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA

Silver: STS Pils, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, CA


Category: 32 Bohemian-Style Pilsener – 46 Entries

Bronze: Double Aught, Bear Republic Brewing Co., Healdsburg, CA


Category: 37 Vienna-Style Lager – 48 Entries

Gold: Danish Red Lager, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. -, Buellton, CA


Category: 41 American-Style Dark Lager – 19 Entries

Gold: Lagerithm, Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim, CA



Category: 45 Baltic-Style Porter – 42 Entries

Bronze: Puddy Porter, Faction Brewing Co., Alameda, CA


Category: 51 International-Style Pale Ale – 88 Entries

Bronze: The Pupil, Societe Brewing Co., San Diego, CA


Category: 52 American-Style Pale Ale – 145 Entries

Gold: Grunion, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits – Scripps Ranch, San Diego, CA


Category: 55 Imperial India Pale Ale – 135 Entries

Silver: Hop 15, Port Brewing Co., San Marcos, CA

Bronze: Pliny the Elder, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, CA


Category: 57 Imperial Red Ale – 62 Entries

Silver: Hop Donkey Imperial Red Ale, Auburn Alehouse, Auburn, CA

Bronze: Shark Attack, Port Brewing Co., San Marcos, CA


Category: 62 Irish-Style Red Ale – 60 Entries

Silver: Piper Down, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits – Scripps Ranch, San Diego, CA


Category: 66 German-Style Sour Ale – 80 Entries

Gold: Reserve Wheat Ale, Telegraph Brewing Co., Santa Barbara, CA


Category: 67 German-Style Altbier – 33 Entries

Silver: Dusseldorf Altbier, Redwood Curtain Brewing Co., Arcata, CA


Category: 68 South German-Style Hefeweizen – 89 Entries

Silver: Hefeweizen, Black Market Brewing Co., Temecula, CA


Category: 71 Belgian-Style Witbier – 65 Entries

Gold: White Ale, Saint Archer Brewing Co., San Diego, CA


Category: 72 French- and Belgian-Style Saison – 115 Entries

Silver: Un Atout, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA


Category: 74 Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale – 60 Entries

Bronze: Jon Flanders, Tustin Brewing Co., Tustin, CA


Category: 76 Belgian-Style Tripel – 58 Entries

Bronze: La Flama Dorada, Pizza Port Ocean Beach, Ocean Beach, CA


Category: 78 Other Belgian-Style Ale – 26 Entries

Gold: Witty Moron, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, San Diego, CA


Category: 79 Brown Porter – 61 Entries

Gold: Double Nut Brown, Mammoth Brewing Co., Mammoth Lakes, CA


Category: 81 Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout – 26 Entries

Bronze: Asphalt Jungle, Bagby Beer Co., Oceanside, CA

Category: 82 Foreign-Style Stout – 32 Entries

Bronze: San Quentin’s Breakout Stout, Marin Brewing Co., Larkspur, CA


Category: 86 Imperial Stout – 78 Entries

Bronze: Narwhal Imperial Stout, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA


Category: 88 Old Ale or Strong Ale – 32 Entries

Bronze: Good Faith, Discretion Brewing, Soquel, CA


Category: 89 Barley Wine-Style Ale – 51 Entries

Gold: AleSmith Old Numbskull, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA


2014 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition – 89 Entries

Sponsored by Briess, Country Malt Group, Hopunion & White Labs

Gold: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish 80 Shilling Ale, Bear Republic Brewing Co., Healdsburg, CA

Brewmaster: Team Bear Republic/Richard Norgrove, AHA Member: Michael Kelly


Category 84: Barley Wine-Style Ale, 55 Entries

Gold: AleSmith Old Numbskull, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA


The 2014 Great American Beer Festival Brewery & Brewer of the Year Awards


Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing

Brewer: Julian Shrago and Ian McCall



Beer Competitions

September 22nd, 2014 by CCBA


Everyone loves a good contest and the more dramatic the competition the better. Many of those in the industry believe that competition breeds better beer and thus can only elevate the craft beer scene.

As we look back at the great summer beer competitions and their corresponding beer festivals we also look forward to the Great American Beer Festival and the Beer Competition that complements it. We begin to recognize how beer judging becomes an important focus and how judges can become a hot commodity in the industry.

Beer Judging Certification Program
Tasting and judging beer is more than just donating your liver and taste buds for a couple of days of sipping. What does it take to become an official beer taster and competition judge? Put down that pint and pick up a tasting glass. The American Homebrewers Association recognized the BJCP (Beer Judging Certification Program) as the program they recommend for AHA members that want to become “official” beer judges.

The BJCP offers a three-examination process that starts with an online candidate screening and finishes with a written proficiency exam that includes essay questions to “test skills and knowledge necessary for higher ranks.” The first exam cost $10 for the 200 question multi-choice and true/false screening exam. The second exam called the Judging Exam ($40) takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and exam takers are expected to complete six beer score sheets served at fifteen minute intervals. The third exam, called the Written Exam, cost $25 and is designed for those wishing to advance to National Judge or a higher rank.

CA State Fair Commercial Beer Competition
At the California State Fair Commercial Beer Competition, sponsored by the Northern California Brewer Build, over 850 beers from California are judged in a blind tasting by official beer judges and industry professionals. Beer gets judged in June prior to the opening of the State Fair. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded to the winning beers from each category and a Best of Show is awarded to the top beer of the competition. The awards are presented toward the end of the State Fair at the Commercial Craft Beer Awards Ceremony in late July at Cal Expo.

SD International Beer Competition
The San Diego International Beer Competition coincides with the festival of the same name and happens in late June. Winning beers are awarded in gold, silver and bronze categories with a Best of Show and a Grand Champion (most total points received by a brewery in the competition).

GABF Competition
With ninety different styles of beer and an inordinate amount of sub-categories it takes five three-hour judging sessions, held over three days, to judge all of the beers entered into the GABF competition. The ultimate goal? To best represent each beer-style category as described and adopted by the GABF. Beers are awarded gold, silver or bronze medals that make up some of the most coveted awards in the industry. The GABF is usually held in late September or early October and this year the beer competition will be held on Saturday, October 4th this year.

World Beer Cup
Once every two years the World Beer Cup, presented by the Brewers Association, is held in the spring immediately following the Craft Brewers Conference. This competition started in 1996 and was developed to “celebrate the art and science of brewing by recognizing outstanding achievement.” 91 categories are judged with gold, silver and bronze awards presented within each category. Judges for this completion will be chosen from a variety of “internationally recognized brewers, consultants, industry suppliers and writers.” Judges will only award each of these medals if they feel that “excellent examples of the style” are represented. Judges may choose not to designate any awards in a category if they feel that none of the beers entered in that category actually represent that style. Also, judges may grant an award in any one or more of the three award places (gold, silver, and bronze) without granting awards in all three places.  

Each participant will pay $160 to register their first beer and $160 for each additional brand that is registered. The registration process typically starts six months prior to the competition. The BA capped registration at 500 beers for the 2014 competition.


The Brewers Association (the national trade association representing the craft brewing industry) holds a monthly educational webinar called “Power Hour” for the BA membership. This month’s Power Hour was a look at the mid-year trends and statistics in the craft beer industry, led by Dan Wandel, Senior Vice President of the Beverage Alcohol Market Insights Group at IRI.  Dan laid out some impressive year-to-date craft beer category numbers that on one hand are not surprising given the steady and consistent rise of craft beer in recent years. But on the other hand, these trends are yet again a strong affirmation that craft beer continues to transform the brewing industry both here in the US and globally.

We have seen year after year of strong craft beer growth both in California and nationally, but what is somewhat surprising is that it appears to be accelerating. As Dan pointed out, 2014 could be the strongest year of growth for craft beer ever!

IRI tracks checkout counter scan data at multiple off-premise retail “channels” such as grocery/supermarket, big-box, convenience stores, drug chains, etc. All numbers are YTD through July 13th.

Let’s take a look at our home turf first. Sales of craft beer in California are up 20.7% and now account for a 16.8% market share. That is a strong showing. The national market share for craft is currently between 8-9%. Given a statewide market share of 16%, certain markets in California such as San Diego and San Francisco are sure to be in the 20-25% range at least.

Nationwide numbers are impressive too. Craft’s dollar sales in the grocery channel (IRI’s largest retail channel), are up 20.5%.

The high end beer segment (imports, super premium, cider, craft and others) now makes up over half (50.6%) of total beer dollar sales in the supermarket channel. That is a furthering of the mind-blowing shift going on in the overall beer category. The revolution clearly continues.

In the total beer category, domestic shipments are flat and imports are up ever-so-slightly at +0.5%,

And how about this? Total craft can sales are up 79% in IRI tracked supermarkets and now make up 7.2% market share of total craft sales.

Yes, it is a good year for craft beer (hey, that rhymes!)


In what turned out to be an “interesting” turn of events the CCBA was able to fulfill a last minute request from the Governors office to supply California Craft Beer to Governor Jerry Brown’s luncheon for the President of Mexico. Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaney’s B&L in Sacramento was the caterer for the event and demanded that craft beer be served at this special lunch in honor of President Enrique Peña Nieto at the Leland Stanford Mansion this afternoon. CCBA insiders infiltrated the event and captured these photos of craft beer being consumed by the 300+ guests. 

The CCBA would like to thank the following member breweries that were involved with this operation: Rubicon – Monkey Knife Fight, Track 7 – Panic IPA, Hoppy Brewing Company – Liquid Sunshine Blond Ale.

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