More GABF Award Winners!

It’s time for a few more Great American Beer Festival Winners! And unfortunately, it’s also “Compliment Sandwich” time. Read on my beer-loving friends….

It's amazing how an image can make you thirsty. I want a beer!


Trumer Brauerei Trumer Pils, 4.8% ABV: Taking Gold in German-Style Pilsner, this beer  is a blazing phenomenon here on the West Coast. I pour more Trumer at Lumberyard Tavern than almost any other beer. People ask for Stella Artois ALL the time, I give them this. And they are happy as clams. People seems to easily get stuck in beer ruts, and I like that I can at least semi-pull them out with a California option. A bright, crisp pilsner with notes of grass, citrus, floral, and a little dry biscuit. Definitely an easy-drinker.

Trumer Pils is the singular beer of Trumer Brauerei Berkeley. Located in (guess where!), Berkeley, California, Trumer has its roots in Salzburg, Austria, and over 600 years of family brewing. CLICK HERE to see the Brauerei timeline.

Opened in Berkeley in 2003, Trumer became an American force of Joseph Sigl with the Gambrinus company. Berkeley was selected as the prime location for its water, similar to the Alpine waters of Salzburg. Soon a steady line of awards followed, including GABF, World Beer Cup, and the Australian International Beer Awards. While it is only distributed in 7 U.S. States, it is also found in Austria (of course!), and Australia. A crisp lawnmower beer for hot weather, easy drinking, and conversion, this is the perfect beer to get people out of the Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Bud Light  flavorless vortex.


Mad River Mad Belgian Pale Ale, 6.5% ABV: Maybe I selected the wrong beer to review from Mad River. I was excited to try this beer, and was actually planning to include it in my 100 Belgian/Belgian-Style beers in 30 days challenge in May. But I ran out of space, so I knew I wanted to try it here.

Although this beer received only a B- on Beer Advocate, I wasn’t going to let that make up my mind for me. I tend to let my own palate decide! But most unfortunately, I am disappointed with this beer. It’s entirely too heavy handed. The candi sugar element is overwhelming, along with a thick yeastiness and sweetness that throws it off balance. If each of these elements were just dialed back a few notches, you would have yourself a lovely, drinkable Golden Ale. Now I realize the name of the beer is Mad Belgian, so it denotes a certain “over-the-topness”. But ultimately, the beer should be something you want to drink more and more of. I wanted to love this beer, but I just couldn’t. After receiving similar comments from other beer lovers, I think this beer needs some fine tuning.

THIS is a beer I want to try.

Now that I feel like I have raked them over the coals, I do look forward to trying their Award winning Steelhead Pale Ale, Serious Madness Black Ale, and especially their John Barleycorn Barleywine (I am a HUGE Traffic fan.) As the winner of Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year, I don’t doubt for a second there are some wonderful beers to be had from Mad River. Located in Blue Lake, California, the brewery was founded in 1989, and was housed in Sierra Nevada’s original location. Quickly growing by leaps and bounds, Mad River expanded to 12,000 square feet in 1996 and a capacity of 10,000 barrels a year. In addition to their popular Steelhead Ales, they also produce a Jamaica Brand.

I’m eagerly hoping for a happy redemption with this brewery….


Tasted the Hillbilly at Dr. Bill's Rare Beer Tasting during GABF.

TAPS Brewery Hillbilly, ? ABV: Ooh! On the nose, super-roasted caramel. I know that sounds funny, and that’s the first time I’ve ever used that descriptor, but there it is. If you could roast caramel, that is the smell! Add to that brown sugar tart, cinnamon, nutmeg, baked bread. Full aromas here. Richly sweet palate, but not cloying thankfully. Maintains a pleasant dryness on the finish that makes you want another sip.

Taking home Brewpub Group and Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year,TAPS Fish House & Brewery is located in Brea, California. Led by Brewmaster Victor Novak, TAPS brews around 26,000 barrels annually for its customers. With its mouthwatering food menus, including lunch, dinner, and my favorite, Sunday Jazz brunch, TAPS is definitely on my must-visit list. I look forward to trying their award-winning lineup with a smorgasbord of delicious eats. If anyone out there has visited, write in and let me know what you thought!

Until next time,

Get out there and try these GABF winners, tell me I’m wrong if you like, and as always, drink Craft beer!



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