U.S. Craft Beer Success at the 2022 Australian International Beer Awards
Brewers around the world participated in the 2022 Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards which took place over five days in May. The competition is the Asia-Pacific region’s largest annual beer competition and presents a valuable opportunity for American craft brewers to compete on the international stage for recognition. This year’s competition saw 65 judges evaluate 3,630 entries from 20 countries.
The Brewers Association (BA) Export Development Program (EDP) covered entry fees and facilitated airfreight shipment and cold storage for brewery members. American craft brewers fared well once again, winning 101 awards this year, including 24 gold, 41 silver, and 33 bronze medals. Belching Beaver Brewery‘s Viva La Beaver Stout won two trophies: Champion International Beer and Best Specialty Flavored Beer. The Bold Mariner Brewing Company took home the Gary Sheppard Memorial Trophy for Best New Exhibitor.
EDP Links Up with SAVOR for the First Time
The eleventh annual SAVOR returned to Washington, D.C. on June 24 after a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus. Over 2,300 attendees enjoyed 65 dishes paired with over 225 beers from 100 independent craft breweries. The elevated pairings were planned and put together by an award-winning culinary team of 10 led by the BA’s own executive chef, Adam Dulye.
Alongside the event, the EDP team brought in journalists Will Hawkes, Emily Monaco, and Anthony Gladman to experience American craft beer innovation in pairing high-quality food and beer. The group, accompanied by Lotte Peplow and Steve Parr, also toured local breweries DC Brau and Port City Brewing. So far, 12 articles and counting in four countries have been published in the Europe market about the event and American craft beer.
London Craft Beer Festival and Related Activities
The London Craft Beer Festival (LCBF) is one of the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) leading craft beer festivals and took place August 12-13 at the Tobacco Dock in the heart of London. Over two days the festival attracted 14,000 beer lovers. The BA booth was highly trafficked throughout the show, pouring beers from 23 American craft brewers.
Using the festival as an anchor event, the EDP conducted a broader trade mission activity that included meetings with importers, collaborations with local U.K. craft brewers, a tap takeover at a London craft beer bar, and a media lunch conducted in partnership with Kingsway Culinary College.
China Beer Pairing Dinner Hosts HORECA Buyers
On August 5 in Guangzhou, the EDP hosted a U.S. craft beer reception and tasting for representatives from area high-end restaurants and hotels. More than 50 general managers, food service managers, chefs, and others gathered at the American-run River House Restaurant to learn about contemporary U.S. craft beer offerings and to taste firsthand how they can be deliciously paired with Chinese cuisine.
Even with the presence of many high-powered figures in the Guangzhou culinary scene, the star of the dinner was undoubtedly the six beers from the United States, which ranged in style from a hazy IPA to imperial stouts and a fruited sour, running the gamut of the most popular craft beer categories in the U.S. today. Dinner was hosted by River House founder and chef Michael Rosenblum, who specially developed a nine-course menu of modern Chinese dishes to pair with the beer list. In doing so, Rosenblum leveraged a unique understanding of Chinese cuisine honed over more than 20 years of living and cooking in China. Prior to founding the River House, Rosenblum served as personal chef to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke and was given charge of the entire U.S. diplomatic compound in Beijing under Ambassador Max Baucus.
“Beer has found a meaningful place at the Chinese table. Our hope in creating this event was not only to reconnect our guests with all of that history but to really share with them how American craft beer pairs so beautifully with Chinese cuisines.”
The EDP has held a series of events in China over the past several years aimed at educating the market about the U.S. craft beer heritage and product offerings, as well as increasing understanding of global craft beer culture. China’s rapidly growing market for craft beer has lifted it to now be the sixth largest export market for American craft brewers. The U.S. exported more than 13,000 barrels (1.5 million liters) of beer to China in 2021, up 3% from 2020.
European Beer Star Competition Shines with EDP Member Award Winners
The European Beer Star, organized by the Bavarian Private Brewers Association, took place for the nineteenth occasion in August and is committed to the traditional European art of brewing. It recognizes high-quality, authentic beers that are genuine and distinctive, and is limited to beer categories that originate in Europe. The EDP covered entry fees and a consolidated airfreight shipment to Germany for members of the program.
This 2022 competition attracted 2,168 beers from 40 countries judged by 140 beer experts, including Lotte Peplow, American Craft Beer Ambassador to Europe. It took place at the Doemens Brewing Academy in Gräfelfing, near Munich, and judges awarded 213 beers with gold, silver, or bronze in 71 categories. Congratulations to the EDP member breweries who won 25 medals in total including eight gold, eight silver, and nine bronze.
Europe Ambassador Media Coverage Highlights
In 2021 Lotte Peplow, American Craft Beer Ambassador in Europe, published 90 articles across eight European countries, with an estimated circulation of 4.8 million. While 2022 is far from over, Lotte has already surpassed 2021 numbers. The total circulation to date is 8,818,500. A few top examples of her media relations work include:
- Bierent.nl – A story about last year’s European Beer Star and Brussels Beer Challenge winners: American Craft Beer scores in European beer competitions
- The Independent – This piece wasn’t exclusively about American craft beer but includes a section from Lotte: The ultimate guide to English beer culture for American dummies
- Bière Actu – This French website is also highly trafficked with 100,000 users: Planète Bière – The Brewers Association strengthens the presence of American craft in France – Bière Actu (biere-actu.fr)
- Caterer.com – A very important title for the hospitality industry and has 435,000 “touch points.” Securing this piece of coverage was a good coup: Westminster Kingsway hosts Brewers Association beer and food matching lunch – The Caterer
American Craft Beer Presented at Drinktec
In September the EDP hosted an American craft beer pavilion in Munich, Germany at the 2022 Drinktec. Germany remains a central hub for the European beer market, with a growing local craft beer market of its own. Taking place every four years, the show is a leading global trade show for the beverage industry featuring 1,000+ exhibitors from 55 countries and nearly 50,000 visitors from 169 countries. The Brewers Association was represented at this year’s show by Bob Pease, Steve Parr, Adam Dulye, Lotte Peplow, and Chuck Skypeck.
The Brewers Association booth featured 40 beers from 16 EDP member breweries for all five days of the show to attending beer industry trade, media, and global beer event organizers. Of note, the booth was visited by members of the United States Consulate in Munich including Tim Liston, U.S. Consul General in Munich; Kelly Smith-Glover, U.S. Commercial Specialist; Sean Timmins, Principal Commercial Officer; and Hanna Khan, Marketing Specialist Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Berlin.
Aside from showcasing American craft beer at the booth, Steve Parr hosted a tasting of EDP member beers while presenting an update on the American craft beer landscape. Bob and Steve also attended the awards ceremony for the European Beer Star which coincided with this year’s trade show.