Good Food Awards 2014 Winners Announced, Everyone Partied

Categories: Events

Anna Roth
Last night's reception had tasting plates with winners from around the country.
The Good Food Awards took place last night, a celebration of everything artisanal. Farmers and small food producers from around the country gathered in the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre to see prizes awarded in categories like best pickles, best jam, best charcuterie, and best cheese. Now in its fourth year, the Good Food Awards is emerging as the pre-eminent awards ceremony for small-batch artisans.

"Oh, you mean the twee awards," said a colleague last evening when I told them where I was headed.

See also: Celebrate All Things Small-Batch and Artisan at the Good Food Awards and Marketplace

Yeah, pretty much -- the absurdity of an awards ceremony in San Francisco centered around the best pickles and jams in the country is not lost on me. But I also see an example of how far the artisan food community has come. There are so many small-batch pickles, cheeses, chocolates, beers, jams, coffees, and everything else in the world now that it's become necessary for a judging body to separate the great from the bad. More than that, it's a nice opportunity to reward the owners of these small businesses -- some second- or third-generation farmers, some who risked everything on a new career -- for turning out truly exceptional products.

Even if in moments the ceremony felt like a parody of itself. Culinary grand dames Ruth Reichl and Alice Waters sat stage left, clad in black, and bestowed medallions on the winners like they were anointing them. Every category had multiple winners, and the number of winners per category fluctuated, so it came across more as a polite, everyone-gets-a-trophy awards show, even though the 130 winners were culled from more than a thousand entries through blind-tasting by 75 judges. Groups tended to play into stereotypes: the beer winners were all men, the jam-makers were all women; the coffee roasters were sleek and stylish, the distillers and the confection-makers were more eclectic. Some of the winners were in tuxes, some in jeans and work boots.

At the orange-crate podium, there were many speeches given by a randomly chosen representative from each of the ten categories. Some used their three minutes for a glorified sales pitch, others spoke movingly about their lives and chosen vocations, like Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese, who gave a beautiful speech about the changing seasons and generations on his Wisconsin farm.

The last speech of the night was from Sarah Weiner, co-founder and director of, the organization that throws the Good Food Awards. She compared the artisans gathered in the room to folk singers of the '60s, people who are eschewing the expected values of society to forge their own way in it. "More people than ever are incorporating good food into their daily lives, realizing it is worth every penny to have something tasty, authentic and responsible," she told the group. "Everyone wants to be close to you and what you do, because it is real, tangible, joyful, connected."

Then we were released into the reception to try the food and drinks of the winners, the Beatles' "Revolution" and Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" playing as the auditorium emptied. Were the artisan food makers in the room really responsible for a brewing revolution? Or were we just a self-selecting group exclaiming over pickled blueberries and onion jam? After a few Mason jars of award-winning IPA, it no longer seemed to matter.

Here's the full list of 2014 winners (Northern California companies are parked with an asterisk). You can still sample their wares tomorrow at the Good Food Awards Marketplace at the Ferry Building (9 a.m.-2 p.m.; $5 at the door).

16 Mile Brewery, Tiller Brown Ale, Delaware
**Almanac Beer Company, Farmer's Reserve No. 3 & Dogpatch Sour, California
**Bear Republic Brewing Company, Café Racer 15, California
Brooklyn Brewery, Greenmarket Wheat, New York
Deschutes Brewery, Black Butte Porter, Oregon
Founders Brewing Company, All Day IPA, Michigan
Grand Teton Brewing Company, Sweetgrass APA, Idaho
Independence Brewing Company, Independence Ale, Texas
Jester King Brewery, Atrial Rubicite & RU-55 Barrel-Aged Sour Red, Texas
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, iO, Michigan
Lakefront Brewery, Inc., Wisconsinite Summer Weiss, Wisconsin
Ninkasi Brewing Company, Believer Double Red, Oregon
Port City Brewing Company, Optimal Wit, Virginia
Victory Brewing Company, Helios Ale, Pennsylvania

Charlito's Cocina, Cerveza Seca - Dry Cured Beer Salami, New York
Continental Sausage, Buffalo Pastrami, Colorado
Cypress, Culatello, South Carolina
Daniele, Inc., Mortadella with Pistachios & Del Duca Vlado's Riserva Prosciutto, Rhode Island
**El Salchichero, Coppa, California
Formaggio Kitchen, Pickled Beef Tongue & Pate de Campagne, Massachusetts
**Fra' Mani Handcrafted Foods, Salame Calabrese, California
Gary West Artisan Smoked Meats, Silver Fork Natural - Traditional, Oregon
Guglhupf Bakery, Restaurant and Cafe, Smoked Hog Head Cheese, North Carolina
Mountain Roots, Sea Salt Beef Jerky, Wyoming
Olympic Provisions, Salami Cotto, Oregon
P. Balistreri Salumi, Salami Point Loma "Rosemary and Garlic", California
Tails & Trotters, LLC, Applewood Smoked Ham, Oregon
The French Bulldog, Hungarian Salami, Nebraska
Underground Meats, Soppressata, Wisconsin
Wheat and Sons, Pickled Beef Tongue, California

Ancient Heritage Dairy, Hannah, Oregon
**Bellwether Farms, Whole Milk Ricotta & Carmody, California
Blackberry Farm, Downer Brown, Tennessee
Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese, Charloe, Ohio
Caves of Faribault, Jeff's Select & St. Pete's Select Blue Cheese, Minnesota
Farms for City Kids Foundation, Tarentaise, Vermont
Glendale Shepherd, Island Brebis, Washington
Jacobs and Brichford Farmstead Cheese, Everton, Indiana
Nature's Harmony Farm, Georgia Gold Clothbound Cheddar, Georgia
**Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, Toma, California
Sequatchie Cove Creamery, Dancing Fern, Tennessee
Sprout Creek Farm, Madeleine, New York
Uplands Cheese, Pleasant Ridge, Wisconsin
von Trapp Farmstead, Mt. Alice, Vermont

Askinosie Chocolate, 62% Dark Milk Chocolate, Fleur de Sel, Missouri
Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker, Madagascar Wild Pepper 70% Dark & Madagascar 70% Dark, Vermont
**Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, 72% Belize, Toledo, California
Fruition Chocolate, Dominican 70%, New York
**Guittard Chocolate Company, Collection Etienne Eureka Works Meritage Blend #27 | 100%, California
Madre Chocolate, Triple Cacao, Hawaii
Patric Chocolate, Signature 70% Blend & Mocha OMG, Missouri
Rogue Chocolatier, Silvestre, Hispaniola, Balao, Massachusetts
Videri Chocolate Factory, 90% Dark Chocolate Ecuador Camino Verde, North Carolina

1000 Faces Coffee, Suke Quto, Georgia
**De La Paz Coffee, Kenya Gichathaini & Peel Sessions, California
**Flying Goat Coffee, Ethiopia Wote Konga, California
Intelligentsia Coffee, Organic Shegole Ethiopia, California
Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Idido, Wisconsin
Kuma Coffee, Kenya Kiamabara AA, Washington
Metropolis Coffee Company, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Aylele, Illinois
Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia Konga, Washington
Panther Coffee, Ethiopia Chelba & Nicaragua Kailash, Florida
ReAnimator Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Sota, Pennsylvania
Roast House, Batzchocola Guatemalan, Washington
**Sightglass Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Guji Yetatebe, California
Square One Coffee, Guatemala Acatenango, Pennsylvania
Tandem Coffee Roasters, Aylele Yirgacheffe Ethiopia, Maine

Alma Chocolate, Sea Salt Hazelnut Crunch Bar, Oregon
Cacao Art Chocolates, Tupelo Honey and Cardamom, Florida
Chocolats Latour LLC, Rosemary Almond Brittle, Ohio
**Coco Delice, Beer Bon Bon, California
**Feve Artisan Chocolatier, Hazelnut Crunch Bar, California
Fruition Chocolate, Brown Butter Bourbon Caramels, New York
Kakao Chocolate, Lavender Truffle, Missouri
**Nosh This, Almond Toffee, California
Nutty Steph's, Inc., Salted Caramel Bar, Vermont
Patric Chocolate, Mint CRUNCH Chocolate Bar, Missouri
Sapore della Vita, Caramel Sauce, Florida
Serendipity Confections, Chocolate Covered Butter Caramels with Fleur de Sel, Colorado
Trini Treats, LLC, Coconut Fudge, New York
WR Chocolatier, Mocha, North Carolina
Xocolatl de David, Raleigh Bar & Brown Butter Bar, Oregon

**Berkeley Olive Grove, California Mission Blood Orange Olive Oil, California
**Fattoria Muia, Fattoria Muia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California
**Frantoio Grove, Frantoio Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California
**Glashoff Farms, Roasted Walnut Oil, California
Hammons Black Walnuts, Black Walnut Oil, Missouri
**Jovia Groves Olive Oil, Arbequina, California
**MoonShadow Grove, Ascolano, California
Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods, Delicata Squash Seed Oil & Butternut Squash Seed Oil, New York
Tallgrass Ranch, Tallgrass Ranch Estate Blend, California
Tiber Canyon Ranch, Tiber Canyon Ranch California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California

Baba's Cooking School, Lala Sauce, Washington DC
Confituras, Pickled Blueberries, Texas
Firefly Kitchens, Firefly Kimchi, Washington
Gordy's Pickle Jar, Sweet Pepper Relish, Washington DC
Happy Pantry, Power Krautage, California
**Jarred SF Brine, Sweet Spiced Pickled Cherries, California
Marcia's Munchies, Bread & Butter, Michigan
Oly Kraut, Sea Vegetable & Curry Kraut, Washington
Pogue Mahone Pickles, Dill & Garlic Pickles, Texas
Rick's Picks, Smokra, New York
SouthPort Grocery, Onion Marmalade, Illinois
The Brinery, Sea Stag, Michigan
Two Chicks Farm, Dill Kraut + Pickles, North Carolina
**Wine Forest, Pickled Sea Beans, California

Bathtub Gin, Limoncello Strawberry, Tennessee
Black Radish Creamery, Billionaire & Mr. Atwood's Jelly, Ohio
Blake Hill Preserves, Plum & Fennel Chutney, Vermont
Central Bottle Wine + Provisions, Juliet Tomato Jam with Hand Harvested Fennel Pollen, Massachusetts
Crosstown Sweets, Plum & Star Anise Jam, New York
Garden Dreams Houston, Peaches and Dream, Texas
Kelly's Jelly, Kelly's Habañero Pepper Jelly, Oregon
Kuaiwi Farm, Papaya, Apple Banana, Rangpur Lime Fruit Leather, Hawaii
Lilli-Pilli Patisserie, Mirabelle Plum, Washington
**Mimi's Confitures, Onion Jam, California
**Plumline, Santa Rosa Plum Jam, California
Quince & Apple, Tart Cherry Grenadine, Wisconsin
Republic of Jam, Marionberry Espresso, Oregon
Swallowtail Farm, Rhubarb Syrup, Michigan
The Jelly Queens, Blood Orange Marmalade, Texas

Clear Creek Distillery, Pear Eau de Vie, Mirabelle Plum Eau de Vie & Cranberry Liqueur, Oregon
Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Delaware Phoenix Rye, New York
**Essential Spirits, Sgt. Classick Gold Hawaiian Rum, California
**Falcon Spirits LLC, Botanica Spirits, California
Organic Nation, Organic Nation Gin & Old Field Rye Whiskey, Oregon
**Osocalis, Inc., Apple Brandy & Rare Alambic Brandy, California
Rogue Ales & Spirits, Oregon Single Malt Vodka, Oregon

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