Exceptional beers and brewers recognized in the largest global competition
BOULDER, CO • May 5, 2012—Brewers from around the world received awards from an elite international panel of judges in the 2012 Brewers Association World Beer Cup. The ninth biennial competition boasted the strongest field of entrants on record, with 799 breweries from 54 countries and 45 U.S. states entering 3,921 beers in 95 beer style categories. A 17.7 percent increase over 2010, the entries were eligible for gold, silver and bronze awards in their respective categories. Judges presented a total of 284 awards.
"It's called 'The Olympics of Beer Competition' for good reason," said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association, the U.S.-based trade association that has put on the competition every two years since 1996. "The event brings together great brewers from all corners of the globe. Plus, the awards are highly regarded. A brewer who wins a World Beer Cup gold award knows that their winning beer represents the best of that beer style in the world. Congratulations to all the winners of the 2012 World Beer Cup. The Brewers Association and the proud sponsors of our event thank all participating brewers for their involvement."
The 2012 judging panel was the largest and most international in the history of the World Beer Cup. Judges from 27 countries conducted blind tasting evaluations of the beers to determine the winners. Drawn from the ranks of professional brewers and brewing industry experts, these 211 judges came mostly from international breweries, with some 67 percent from outside the U.S. In addition to the judging panel, over 250 volunteers helped sort beer entries and steward the competition.
The judging criteria are exacting—some categories are not given the full slate of awards if the panel decides that the entries do not merit recognition.
Award Highlights and Trends
Highlights from the competition:
- The average number of beers entered per category was 41.
- The category with the most entries was American-Style India Pale Ale, with 150 entries. The second most-entered category was Imperial India Pale Ale, with 93 entries. The German-Style Sour Ale category had the fewest number of entries at 11.
- The 2012 World Beer Cup saw substantial growth of entries in the American-Style India Pale Ale category. Category entries grew 41.5 percent over 2010 to make it the largest category of the 2012 competition.
- Additionally, Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster awards are given in each of five brewery categories based on the awards won by each brewery in the given size category.
The five Champion Brewery/Brewmaster award winners are:
Small Brewing Company Category
Brauerei Michael Plank, Michael Plank
Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Matthew Brynildson
Large Brewing Company Category
AB InBev, Claudio Ferro
Small Brewpub Category
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant-Media, Iron Hill Brewery Team
Large Brewpub Category
Pelican Pub & Brewery, Darron R S Welch
The complete list of award winners is available for download.
The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience andAmerican Craft Beer Week. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today's craft brewers and homebrewers.
The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.