Competition is the cutting edge of business. Opposition, rivalry, trial and struggle create winners and losers in a market as competitive as craft beer, but the fittest, the smartest and the most innovative survive and prosper — to the consumer’s benefit. Recently, a great battle occurred last week in Philadelphia at the 2016 World Beer Cup. Its winners and awards were presented at the conclusion of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America. We raise our pints to them all.
Last week’s edition of the World Beer Cup saw 6,596 beers from 1,907 breweries representing 55 countries — a 38.5 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2014 World Beer Cup, which had 4,754 entries. Entries were judged by an elite international panel of 253 judges from 31 countries. Judges awarded 287 out of 288 total possible awards, reflecting the chance for one gold, one silver and one bronze award in each of 96 beer style categories. A gold award was not presented in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category. A detailed analysis of the entries and awards can be found in the 2016 World Beer Cup Fact Sheet.
“Brewing has no boundaries or borders,” said Charlie Papazian, founder of the Brewers Association. “The World Beer Cup recognizes the very best in the global community of brewers — their innovation, creativity and the craft of beer and brewing.”
- The average number of beers entered per category was 69, up from 50 in 2014 — a marker of the 2016 World Beer Cup’s high level of competitiveness.
- The category with the most entries was American-Style India Pale Ale with 275 entries.
- The second most-entered category was Imperial India Pale Ale with 181 entries.
- The third most-entered category was American-Style Pale Ale with 167 entries.
- The 287 awards were won by 253 breweries, with few breweries earning more than one award.
- 225 breweries won one award.
- 22 breweries won two awards.
- 6 breweries won three awards.
Champion Brewery/Champion Brewmaster Awards
The competition also bestows Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster awards in each of six brewery categories based on the awards won by each brewery.
Very Small Brewing Company Category
Arch Rock Brewing Co.
Small Brewing Company Category
Noble Ale Works
Evan and The Giants
Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Large Brewing Company Category
Miller Brewing Co.
Miller Brewing Co. Brewing Team
Small Brewpub Category
Jon Howland and Tor O’Brien
Large Brewpub Category
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Julian Shrago, Ian McCall and Gene Wagoner