When it comes to beer, everyone has their own opinions and favorites. But even so, there are some that just rise above the competition. It’s those that get recognized when the beer industry converges for the bi-annual global brewing competition known as the World Beer Cup. The 2012 World Beer Cup took place in beer capital San Diego, on the last day of the Craft Brewers Conference. Nearly 4,000 beers were entered in the competition, hailing from 54 countries and 45 states – but they can’t all be winners. 284 awards were given out over the night to the best of the best in the zeitgeist of beer production.
If there was any question of what beer style is de rigueur right now, let it be laid to rest – it’s the IPA, guys. 150 beers were entered into the most heavily populated category of American-Style India Pale Ales, while 93 entries vied for top recognition in the second most popular category of Imperial India Pale Ales. In the end, the Midwest and Southwest took the American-Style IPA category –Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. DRIPA (Warren, MI) won the gold medal, with Fat Heads Brewery Head Hunter IPA (North Olmsted, OH) taking silver and La Cumbre Brewing Co. Elevated IPA (Albuquerque, NM) taking bronze.
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The Double IPA category, on the other hand, fittingly came home to roost in San Diego with two out of three medals. Pizza Port Carlsbad Poor Man’s IPA (a WDM Group lunch time favorite!) and Green Flash Brewing Co. Palate Wrecker took the gold and bronze, respectively, while Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Saint Arnold Endeavor (Houston, TX) snuck in to claim the silver.
On the other hand, if you’re thinking about getting into the beer market and don’t want a lot of competition, we certainly have the beer for you: the German-Style Sour Ale category only saw eleven entries.
But the biggest awards of the night were the Champion Brewery/Brewmaster awards, given in five categories based on size. These wins went to:
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
Check out a full comprehensive list of 2012 World Beer Cup winners here .
[SOURCE: Brewers Association]