BOULDER, CO • April 10, 2010—Brewers from six continents earned awards from an elite international panel of judges this week in the 2010 Brewers Association World Beer Cup—the world's largest-ever commercial beer competition. The eighth bi-annual competition announced awards to brewers from 19 countries ranging from Australia and Italy to Iceland and Japan.
This year, 642 breweries from 44 countries and 47 U.S. states vied for awards with 3,330 beers entered in 90 beer style categories. The entries in each category were eligible for gold, silver and bronze awards. Judges presented a total of 268 awards.
The 2010 World Beer Cup eclipsed the record of the Brewers Association's own Great American Beer Festival (GABF) to become the largest commercial competition ever. There were 3,308 entries judged in the 2009 GABF, compared to the 2010 World Beer Cup's 3,330 entries judged.
A detailed analysis of the entries and awards can be found in the 2010 Brewers Association World Beer Cup Fact Sheet.
"Brewers from around the globe participate in the World Beer Cup to win recognition for their creativity and brewing ability," 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. "For a brewer, a World Beer Cup gold award allows them to say that their winning beer represents the best of that beer style in the world."
Judges from 26 countries participated in this year's competition, working in teams to conduct blind tasting evaluations of the beers and determine the awards. Drawn from the ranks of professional brewers and brewing industry experts, these 179 judges came mostly from international breweries, with some 62 percent from outside the United States.
Award Highlights and Trends
Highlights from the competition:
- The average number of beers entered per category was 37.
- The category with the most entries was Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, with 113 entries. The second most-entered category was Herb and Spice Beer or Chocolate Beer, with 108 entries. The German-Style Sour Ale category had the fewest number of entries at 9.
- The 2010 World Beer Cup saw the growth of sour category beers to 85 entries in four categories (46 entries in 2008). Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour nearly tripled in size (39 entries in 2010 vs. 14 entries in 2008); American-Style Sour Ale more than tripled (14 vs. 4).
- Certain categories essentially doubled in size: Coffee Flavored Beer (47 vs. 24); Baltic Porter (28 vs. 15).
- The American IPA (106 vs. 77) and Imperial IPA (71 vs. 39) categories continue to grow. American IPA was the third most-entered category, relinquishing its spot as most-entered category over the past several World Beer Cup competitions.
- Two new categories came in with very strong showings in 2010: Out of Category/Traditionally Brewed Beer (48 entries) and American-Belgo-Style Ale (46).
- Two breweries tied for taking home the most gold awards:
- Baird Brewing Co. from Numazu, Japan
- Numazu Lager – American-Style Amber
- Country Girl Kabocha Ale – Specialty Beer
- Saison Sayuri – Belgian- and French-Style Ale
- Ballast Point Brewing Co. from San Diego, CA
- Bourbon Barrel Aged Piper Down Scottish Ale – Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer
- Fathom IPL – Out of Category – Traditionally Brewed Beer
- Sculpin IPA – International Pale Ale
Champion Brewery/Champion Brewmaster Awards
In addition, the competition bestows Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster awards in each of five brewery categories based on the awards won by each brewery. Four of the five are first-time Champion award winners.
The five Champion Brewery/Brewmaster award winners are:
Large Brewing Company Category
Asia Pacific Breweries Limited, Singapore
APB Brewing Team
Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.
Small Brewing Company Category
Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, Calif.
Ballast Point Brewers
Large Brewpub Category
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Wilmington, Del.
Iron Hill Brewery Team
Small Brewpub Category
Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Roseland, Va.
The 2010 World Beer Cup was sponsored by Partner Sponsors Barth-Haas Group, Krones, Sahm, and Siemens AG.