A while back I was complaining to a fellow chronicler of beer that I was growing rapidly tired of heaping praise upon the San Diego brewery, The Lost Abbey, and its cult favorite brewer, Tomme Arthur. Problem was, Arthur just kept making great beer after great beer, and when you’re in the business I’m in, it’s pretty damn difficult to ignore that sort of thing.
So here I am again in the position of heaping deserved praise upon a Lost Abbey ale, specifically the bourbon cask aged delight known as The Angel’s Share, which just received the first ever gold medal awarded to a non-British beer at the Great British Beer Festival, the beer world’s oldest and arguably most respected fest. (Except amongst some of the more crotchety old anorak-clad “real ale” snobs in the U.K., who bemoan the fact that people less beer-savvy than themselves have the temerity to actually attend the event.) It’s right there in the press release: “The Angel's Share from Lost Abbey Brewery in San Marcos, California was today chosen as the best American cask-conditioned beer at this week's Great British Beer Festival.”
Now, granted, that was the result of a choice made from a mere 46 casks – which makes me wonder why CAMRA elected to give out such an award in the first place, given that the other awards they present come as a result of a lengthy, multi-tiered judging process meant to represent all the ales in Britain – but no matter, it’s an honor which in my opinion would be well-deserved regardless of the number of competing brews.
If you’ve not yet tried The Angel’s Share, or any of the other fine Lost Abbey beers, I’d suggest you get your hands on some as soon as possible. Once word of this latest win leaks out, surely they will become even more rare than they already are.