Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. team

Members of the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. team and friends celebrating their three medals at the Great American Beer Festival are, from left, standing, Charlie Papazian, founder of Brewer's Association, Sean Laidlaw, David Traille, Figueroa Mountain founder and CEO Jaime Dietenhofer, Judie Dietenhofer and Jim Dietenhofer and, kneeling, Ryan Hensley, Juan Zepeda, PJ Perez and Kevin Ashford, Figueroa Mountain’s creative director.

Contributed Photo, Brewer’s Association

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. of Buellton brought home three medals — the most for a California brewery — from America’s largest brewing competition held Oct. 5-7 in Denver, Colorado.

The Buellton brewery won a silver medal for its Hoppy Poppy IPA, a bronze for its Wrangler Wheat and a bronze for its Lighter Than I Look Lager.

That brings the total number of medals Fig Mtn Brew has won at the Great American Beer Festival to 20 since the brewery’s inception in 2010, said Jaime Dietenhofer, founder and chief executive officer.

“This year was more competitive than ever, and we are so happy to bring back three medals to the Central Coast,” Dietenhofer said.

Winners were chosen from 7,923 entries submitted by 2,217 breweries from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., in 98 beer categories covering 161 styles, including all subcategories. An average of 81 beers were entered in each category.

“It is the greatest achievement to be awarded medals after being judged by your peers with blind-judging at the biggest beer competition in the country, very proud of our brew team,” said Kevin Ashford, Figueroa Mountain Brewing’s creative director.

Other Central Coast breweries that brought home medals were Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, Central Coast Brewing in San Luis Obispo, Captain Fatty’s in Goleta and Casa Agria in Ventura.

The competition took place in six sessions over the festival’s three days, with brews judged by 276 experts from 13 countries who also evaluated 118 program entries.

A total of 266 award-winning breweries received 293 gold, silver and bronze medals in a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center.

An estimated 60,000 people attended the 36th annual festival, where more than 3,900 beers were served.

This report was compiled by News Editor Mike Hodgson. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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