Beers from our breweries in the US, Latin America and Europe have been recognised as top notch by global judges
The World Beer Cup is held every two years to celebrate the art and science that goes into beer production, as well as raising consumer awareness of beer styles and flavours being crafted around the world. Its fans have dubbed it the ‘Olympics of Beer’ because the event awards three medals – gold, silver and bronze – for each category.
The 2014 competition, held in April, saw a total of 4,754 different beers entered by 1,403 breweries, which ranged in size from national market-leaders to small craft operations. At almost double the number of organisations who entered the previous championship in 2012, this once niche competition, first held in 1996, is fast becoming a highlight of the industry’s calendar.
Based in Colorado in the US, the not-for-profit Brewers Association prepares for the event by bringing together top beer experts to form a panel of judges, including international brewers, consultants, industry suppliers and beer writers. This year a total of 219 judges worked together on the enviable task of sampling the beers and awarding bronze, silver and gold medals to the top three entries in each of the 94 categories.
The President of the Brewers Association, Charlie Papazian, said that brewers enter the competition to win recognition for their creativity and brewing skills:
For a brewer, a World Beer Cup gold award allows them to say that their winning beer represents the best of that beer style in the world. Charlie Papazian | President of the Brewers Association
The Beer Cup’s categories are split into three main groups: ales, lagers and hybrid/mixed beer styles. These are then further divided into location-specific variants of the types of beer. Though medals are not always awarded if a category’s entries fail to meet the expected world-class standards, this year saw a total of 281 awards presented.