"We do all we can to recreate classic beer styles in a modern brewery."
San Diego, California (PRWEB) June 22, 2012
San Diego’s Lightning Brewery announced today that its craft beer Old Tempestuous Ale won Best of Show at the California State Fair Commercial Brewing Competition, beating 475 other entries from 60 state breweries including Karl Strauss, Island Brewing and Pyramid. Best of Show is the fair’s highest award for commercial craft beer.
Dr. James Crute, Lightning Brewery’s owner, was thrilled to receive the honor. He explains, “We find that Old Tempestestuous Ale is enjoyed most for its rich and complex maltyness. Like many of our craft beers, we do all we can to recreate classic beer styles in a modern brewery. For Old Tempest Ale, we made sure to source a specialized UK ale-type yeast, Golding hops imported from the East Kent region of the UK, and imported malt from the Simpsons Malt of England, the last free-standing floor malster in the UK.”
In addition to the coveted Best of Show prize, Lightning Brewery won medals for eight more of its craft beer entries: golds for Lightning Amber Ale, Thunderweizen, Old Tempestuous Ale and Electrostatic Ale. It also won a silver medal for its Fair Weather Pale Ale and bronze medals for its Elemental Pilsner, Sauerstom Ale and Black Lightning Porter. The Commercial Craft Brewing Competition featured 38 categories with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top competitors in each. The Best of Show was chosen from among all categories’ 38 gold medal winners. Instituted in 1993, the California State Fair Commercial Craft Brewing competition is run by the California Brewers Guild, an alliance of California brewers that produce brewing events. Their judges are selected from top commercial brewers and the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). With 475 beers to evaluate, judges take two weeks to narrow their selections to gold, silver and bronze winners and finally Best of Show.
A biochemistry Ph.D. who spent 20 years as a biotechnology executive, Dr. Crute is recognized in the local brewing scene for his uncompromising focus on quality in Lightning Brewery craft beer as well as his fastidious involvement in all stages of the brewing process. “Not many brewery owners oversee every aspect of brewing like I do,” Crute explains.
His experience in the application of biochemical principles to commercial drug discovery while working in biotech sparked an interest in the chemical basis of craft beer brewing. He’s convinced that the manipulation and perfection of the brewing process helps brewers create an amazing variety of flavors from just the four traditional beer ingredients: water, hops, grain and yeast.
Lightning Brewery’s sales in the first half of 2012 doubled from the same period in 2011. Crute credits an alliance with Stone distribution for the jump. Lightning beers are on tap at more than 100 San Diego restaurants including all Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza locations and the five-star Torrey Pines Lodge. Available in many county liquor and convenience stores, Lightning beer is the best selling craft beer in all San Diego County Sprouts chains.
Currently, Dr. Crute serves on the board of the San Diego Brewers Guild and is chairman of the board of the Poway Chamber of Commerce. Despite many engagements, Crute still enjoys attending his local QUAFF homebrew club’s meetings. He is at work on a book on the biochemical basis of craft beer brewing and enjoyment.
Lightning Brewery is open to the public on Fridays from 1:30 – 5:30 and Saturdays from 1-5 for tastings at 13200 Kirkham Way, Poway, CA.