The boom in craft brewing around the world is reflected in the diversity of beers and ciders that won medals at the International Brewing and Cider Awards.
Bronze, silver and gold medal winners were announced after three days of judging at the National Brewery Center in Burton-upon-Trent, where a panel of 43 judges assessed close to 1,000 beers and ciders submitted from 50 countries. The medal winners came from 23 different countries and from a broad spectrum of producers from regional microbrewers to multi-national companies. There were hundreds of medal winners, click here for the full list.
Chair of judges Bill Taylor said, “One of the strengths of the International Brewing Awards has always been its ability to accommodate a wide range of beer styles and this year we have seen even more diversity in the entries. The structure of the competition, with broad, style-based categories, means that there is a place for every beer and cider and all have an equal chance of winning a medal or even a trophy.
“The standard of entries this year was again extremely high and our judging panel put in long hours tasting and debating the merits of the beers and ciders to arrive at a consensus on the 100+ medal winners. Brewers and cider makers who entered this competition can be confident that their product received quality consideration from our judges.”
Cider entries doubled in number this year, endorsing the organizers’ decision to reintroduce ciders to the competition in 2013. The cider competition will be developed further for 2017, with input from several of the cider makers who judged this year.
The competition continues to extend its international reach, with around 60% of entries this year coming from countries outside the UK. Ruth Evans, director of competition organizers Brewing Technology Services (BTS), said, “We received many entries from brewers who haven’t participated in the competition before, and from several countries which don’t have a long tradition of brewing. The fact that both new and established brewers and cider makers want to benchmark the quality of their products in our competition speaks volumes for its growing reputation and particularly the integrity of our judging process.” The awards are unique in requiring that all judges are currently working as brewers or cider makers.
The 10 overall championship winners – nine beers and one cider – will be unveiled at an awards luncheon at London Guildhall on April 29.
The International Brewing Awards and International Cider Awards will run again in February 2017, with entries open from August 2016.
Taylor concluded, “We brought the International Brewing Awards back to Burton in 2011 and were overwhelmed by the response from brewers all over the world, which continued in 2013 when we extended the awards to cider makers. With a third, very successful event now concluded, we have consolidated our position as a unique competition that represents the best beers and ciders globally.”