This is our final post about breweries that won medals at this year’s Great American Beer Fest and are located along the routes Snowbirds frequently drive on the way south. This post lists medal-winning breweries along Interstate 5 from Bellingham, WA, to Carlsbad, CA (just north of San Diego).

BELLINGHAM, WA: This wonderful city has two great brewpubs/microbreweries. (See our post of October 14, 2011.) This year’s medal winner: CHUCKANUT BREWERY: Chuckanut Vienna Lager — silver (Vienna-style lager), Chuckanut Kolsch-style — silver (German-style Kolsch).

EDMONDS, WA: From this town just north of Seattle, you can catch a ferry to the Olympic Penninsula, or you can stay and enjoy some medal-winning beer. AMERICAN BREWING COMPANY: Polski Porter — bronze (Baltic-style porter).

WOODENVILLE, WA: If you decide to take the circle route (I 405) around Seattle, stop in Woodenville, the home of some world class wineries and the home of Red Hook Brewery (which is partly owned by the Budweiser people, who are owned by…). This year’s medal winers: RED HOOK BREWERY  Red Hook Pilsner — silver (American or international-style pilsner),  Winter Hook — bronze (American-style amber/ red ale).

SEATTLE, WA: Lots of great beers here, but only one winner this year: ELYSIAN BREWING: Men’s Room Original Red Ale (what a great name) — silver (Ordinary or special bitter).

PORTLAND: I guess you could say that it’s like Albuquerque without the sunshine (see the post of October 18, 2012). But to beer lovers, it’s “Beervana” and the greatest beer city in North America. Fifty-three — count ’em — 53 breweries and brewpubs within the city limits. Why, if you hit three a day and took one day off each week, it would take two-and-a-half weeks to visit each of them. This year’s medal winners: BREAKSIDE BREWERY: Breakside Session Brown — silver (English-style mild),  BUMSIDE BREWING: Sweet Heat — gold (Herb and spice beer), COLUMBIA RIVER BREWING: Stumbler’s Stout — silver (Oatmeal stout), THE COMMONS BREWERY: Flemish Kiss — silver (American-style Brett ale), HARVESTER BREWING: Harvester Brewing Pale Ale — bronze (Gluten-free beer), HOPWORKS URBAN BREWERY: Organic Hopworks Kellerbier — bronze (Kellerbier/Zwickelbier), LAURELWOOD BREWING: Mother Lode Golden Ale — bronze (English-style sumer ale), Organic Deranger Imperial Red  — gold (Imperial red ale).

It’s a long drive until the next stop. But if you stayed a little too long in Portland, you’ll be able to make up some time until you hit just south of Los Angeles. (There were lots of California winners this year, but they were off the beaten — that is Interstate 5 — track.

ANAHEIM: There’s nothing Mickey Mouse about the double medal winner from this tourist mecca: THE BRUERY: Sans Pagale — bronze (Belgian-style lambic or sour ale), Papier — silver (Old ale or strong ale).

TUSTIN: A nearby south Los Angeles city. TUSTIN BREWING: Smog City Groundwork Coffee — gold (Coffee beer).

CARLSBAD: Along with Bellingham, this is my favorite small city along the American West Coast — wonderful beaches, interesting shops, good beer — and only 45 minutes from San Diego. This year’s winner: PIZZA PORT: 547 Haight — The Toronado — bronze (Imperial red ale).   By the way there are many Pizza Port restaurants south of Los Angeles and each one brews its own beer — all of it very good.

For medal-winning breweries in San Marcos and San Diego, see our post of October 21, 2012.

Enjoy your beer — take some to your destination — and, if you find something you really like, pick up some on the trip north and share it with your friends when you get home.  Or not!

For a complete list of this year’s Great American Beer Festival winners, go to and clik on “GABF Winners:. For descriptions of the various styles, click on “Beer Styles”. For a list of breweries by state, with addresses, phone numbers, and web sites, go to and click on “Find a Brewery.”