With the help of 63 volunteers and stewards, 102 certified beer judges (yes, that's a real title) sampled 1,488 beer entries that came from more than 400 California breweries. The number of entries makes the California State Fair's competition the third largest in the country.
The California Commercial Beer Competition recognizes the best brewers in California. Only beers brewed and available for sale in California were judged in the competition. Beers are evaluated in numerous different classes and judged based on taste, color, and quality.
The judging took place over a 4-day period from June 8 - 11. On the last day, a panel of judges named the Best of Show and Brewery of the Year. The Best of Show was awarded to Flatland Brewing Co's blonde ale "Pilsner-ish". This is a big win for the Elk Grove brewery that's just barely a year old. The honor of Brewery of Year went to Loma Brewery in Los Gatos. A complete list of Commercial Beer Competition winners can be found here.
Flatland Brewing Co. and Loma Brewery will be honored along with the Best of Show winners from the Commercial Wine, Cheese and Extra Virgin Olive Oil competitions at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 22 at a press event on the Capitol North Steps. That evening, the winners of those competitions will sample and pour their winning product at Cal Expo during the Best of California Tasting at 6:00 p.m. For ticket information visit CAStateFair.org/gala
There will be a chance to taste the top brews during the California State Fair. The Best of California Brewfest happens on Saturday, July 22. Discount tickets are on sale for this 21 and older event here. Brewfest starts at 2:00 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 3:00 p.m. for general admission. A VIP ticket gets you 15 samples of beer, general admission receives 10 samples.
The 2017 California State Fair runs July 14-¬30th.