The Good Society Brewery and Public House, a modest brewpub that debuted in West Seattle before the pandemic and bridge closure, finally got some good news: Its brewery was crowned “The Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year” over the weekend at the Great American Beer Festival, one of the industry’s highest honors.

The surprise announcement was a much needed morale boost for two friends — Phil Cammarano and Nick Berger, who like many others in the service industry, were struggling to keep their small business afloat. “Our cash reserves were pretty low. We’re just limping along,” said Berger. “We’re not in immediate danger of closing down. But we’re not making money. If this (pandemic) continues to go on for nine to 10 months, we would be in a lot of trouble.”

The Great American Beer Festival did not reveal how the judges came to crown this West Seattle brewery the big prize over the weekend.

The Good Society might not be a household name, but ever since the owners debuted on Valentine’s Day, they’ve ingratiated themselves into the North Admiral community by donating a portion of every pint sold to the local food bank and other charities.

Their brewery, which makes only 300 barrels a year, also nabbed a gold medal for its ale, “First To Fall,” though the public won’t be able to sample that beer again until Nov. 6. After the awards were announced over the weekend, the owners rushed to order more yeasts to make the First To Fall beer that beat out 73 other entries for the gold in the Belgian-style ale and French-style ale category.

The brewery is currently open during the pandemic with 34 seats inside and six picnic tables outside. You can also get their beers in 32-ounce crowlers to go.

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At the Great American Beer Festival, a dozen breweries in Washington State won gold medals this year. The winning beers (out of 8,806 entries) included:

-The Strawberry Zwickelbier from Twin Sisters Brewing Co. in Bellingham; in the American-style Fruit Beer category

-The IPA from Perry Street Brewing in Spokane; American-Style India Pale Ale category

-Built for Speed from Grains of Wrath Brewing in Camas; American-Style Strong Pale Ale category

-First to Fall from The Good Society in Seattle; Belgian-Style Ale or French-Style Ale category

-Chuckanut Maibock from Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham; Bock-style category

-Brown Ale from Lowercase Brewing in Seattle; English-Style Brown Ale category

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-Fresh Hop Hazelicious Reuben’s Brews in Seattle; Fresh Hop Beer category

-The Hopsplainer from Burke-Gilman Brewing Co. in Seattle; Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale category

-Not a Scientist from Cloudburst Brewing in Seattle; Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale category

-Wander Litely from Wander Brewing in Bellingham; Light Lager category

-Chuckanut Chuck Lite from Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham; Light Lager category

-Helles from Kulshan Brewing Co. in Bellingham; Munich-style Helles category

-Thriller Pillar Porter from Bron Yr. Aur Brewing Co. in Naches; Robust Porter category

-Chuckanut Rye from Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham; Rye category

-Hazy L IPA from Bale Breaker Brewing Co. in Yakima; Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale category

-Reuben’s Crush from Reuben’s Brews in Seattle: Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale category