Beer Thirty

Over more than three decades, the Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, Colorado, has become the premier beer festival and competition in the United States. This year, even though the event was virtual, almost 9,000 beers were submitted by 1,720 breweries, including Alvarado Street Brewery, which took home three awards.

Their popular year-round beer, Mai Thai PA, an American strong pale ale, and Double Cone, an imperial IPA, both brought home awards for consecutive years in their categories. Mai Thai took home the bronze, winning awards in four out of the last six years. Double Cone was awarded the gold medal last year and silver this year.

ASB had a new winner in 2020 as well. Haole Punch, the brewery’s most popular sour, won a medal for the first time since they submitted it a few years ago, earning the silver medal in the Contemporary Gose category.

“We constantly tweaked it and constantly sourced more fruit ingredients,” says Wade Caswell, the head brewer of Alvarado Street’s Monterey brewpub.

While their main focus is making sure their customer base (especially locals) enjoys the beer they create, praise from the judges at the festival provides a different kind of pride. “For us it means everything,” Caswell says. “Getting recognition from the industry and our peers, it’s really cool to be rewarded and have people recognize our work and passion.

“Plus, I get to tell my mom that alcohol took me somewhere.”

ALVARADO STREET BREWERY 426 Alvarado St, Monterey, 655-2337; 1215 Dayton St., Salinas, Suite E, 800-3332; Carmel Plaza, Ocean and Mission, Carmel, 293-8621.

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