Raising the Bar: American Craft Brewers Win Top Honors at Japan’s International Beer Competition

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In a showcase of innovation and quality, American craft brewers once again demonstrated their excellence in brewing after clinching top honors at the 2023 International Beer Competition (IBC).

Hosted by the Japan Craft Beer Association, the IBC is the largest international beer competition in Japan, a leading market for exporting American craft brewers. The competition brings together breweries and their beers from all corners of the globe in the spirit of camaraderie, competition, and the endless pursuit of producing world-class beer. This year’s competition received 1,215 entries from 296 breweries across 17 countries. Judging took place in Kanazawa City over three days at the end of September.

American brewers won 36 medals in the 2023 competition, including 14 gold, 12 silver, and ten bronze. Notably, both Bierkraft’s Grodziskie and Brick West Brewing’s Festbier were recognized as Category Champion Winners in their respective categories.

International competitions have long served as a platform for small and independent brewers to not only compete on a global scale but to also create opportunities for increased brand recognition and familiarity when selling beer in international markets. As part of its programming, the Brewers Association Export Development Program facilitated member brewery participation in the 2023 International Beer Cup by covering entry fees and providing quality-focused shipment support to the judging site in Kanazawa.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Brewery Name Beer Name Category Award
Honolulu Beerworks Just The Tip 8.Herb and Spice Beer Bronze
Breakside Brewery Wild & Crazy Kids 33.Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout Bronze
East Brother Beer Company Red Lager 46.Vienna-Style Lager Bronze
The Virginia Beer Company Oktoberfest 47.German-Style Märzen or Franconian-Style Rotbier Bronze
HONOLULU BEERWORKS SCHWARZBIER 49.German-Style Schwarzbier Bronze
Bruz Beers Dame Blanche 65.Belgian-Style Witbier Bronze
49th State Brewing Nitro McCarthy Stout 90.Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout Bronze
No-Li Brewhouse Big Juicy 97.American-Style Strong Pale Ale Bronze
Three Weavers Brewing Co Knotty 102.Imperial India Pale Ale Bronze
Honolulu Beerworks Plum Crazy for Hawaii 111.Free-Style Light Ale Bronze
The Virginia Beer Company Saving Daylight 1.American Wheat Beer Gold
Cruz Blanca Brewery La Floridita Sparkling Rose Ale 4.Fruit Wheat Beer Gold
Honolulu Beerworks Cocoweizen 6.Field Beer Gold
Migration Brewing Company Fresh Outta Portland 23.Fresh Hop Beer Gold
BierKraft BierKraft Grodziskie 24.Historical Beer Gold + Cat. Champion
The Virginia Beer Company Old Friends 32.Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer Gold
Brick West Brewing Co. Pilsner 42.German-Style Pilsener Gold
Brick West Brewing Co. Brick West Festbier 45.Dortmunder/Export or German-Style Oktoberfest Gold + Cat. Champion
Wren House Brewing Co Valley Beer 52.American-Style Lager Gold
Revision Brewing Company El Repaso 53.American-Style Cream Ale Gold
Coronado Brewing Company Salty Crew 94.Golden or Blonde Ale Gold
Fremont Brewing Company Sky Kraken 96.Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale Gold
Three Weavers Brewing Co Expatriate 97.American-Style Strong Pale Ale Gold
Hodad’s Brewing Company Hesher 98.Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale Gold
No-Li Brewhouse Threezy Does It 17.Session Beer Silver
Fremont Brewing Company 14th Anniversary 32.Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer Silver
Maui Brewing Co. Shibata Rice Lager 38.International-Style Light Lager Silver
The Virginia Beer Company Cool Inside 54.American-Style Pilsener Silver
The Virginia Beer Company Griffin Gold 58.Köln-Style Kölsch Silver
Reuben’s Brews Robust Porter 83.Robust Porter Silver
East Brother Beer Company Oatmeal Stout 85.Oatmeal Stout Silver
No-Li Brewhouse Wrecking Ball 86.British-Style Imperial Stout Silver
No-Li Brewhouse Squatch Bandit 98.Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale Silver
tampa bay brewing Coral Head 99.American-Style India Pale Ale Silver
DESTIHL Brewery Deadhead IPA Series:Tourbus Double Dry Hopped Hazy IPA 100.Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale Silver
No-Li Brewhouse Jet Juiced 102.Imperial India Pale Ale Silver