American craft brewers once again have shown the world that they can bring home the gold – and silver and bronze – in international beer competitions.
Three U.S. breweries walked away with a combined trove of 21 medals—more than a fifth of all the medals awarde, 11 of them gold, at the International Brewing Awards 2013. The competition held earlier this month at England’s National Brewery Centre in Burton-upon-Trent.
Medals went to 96 beers and ciders – just under 10 percent of the more than 1,000 beers and ciders entered, said Ruth Evans, director of the competition organizers, Brewing Technology Services. Beers and ciders were submitted from more than 45 countries by a broad spectrum of producers from regional micro-brewers to multi-national companies.
Boston Beer Co.’s Samuel Adams led the pack with nine medals, including four gold; Deschutes Brewing Co., of Bend, Ore., won five including three gold; Sierra Nevada Brewing, of Chico, Calif., took three medals two of them gold; Bridgeport Brewing, of Portland, Ore., won two silver; Kona Brewing won a gold and Alaskan Brewing, a single bronze.
America brewers have won an increasing number of medals in each succeeding IBA competition. Boston Beer Co. Sierra Nevada and Deschutes also were winners in 2011, when American brewers took home nine medals, five of them gold.
Sam Adams Cream Stout won gold in the dark beer category and silver in the bottled ale category. Sam Adams also was recognized for gold with its Cinder Bock, White Lantern, Black Brew and Latitude 48. The brewer’s other silver winners were Third Voyage and Double Agent IPL. Utopias 2012 was a bronze winner.
Deschutes’ won gold with its Obsidian Stout, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and Inversion IPA; silver with its Black Butte Porter and bronze for its Northwest Pale Ale – Red Chair NWPA, Deschutes Brewery.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale won a gold for the keg version and bronze for the bottled version. Sierra Nevada’s Narwhal Imperial Stout was a gold medalist.
Bridgeport won silver medals for its IPA and its Ebenezer Ale.
Kona’s Big Wave Golden Ale was a gold medal winner, while bronze went to Alaskan Smoked Porter.
The awards will be presented on April 24 at Guild Hall in London, when the overall championship winners of the competition will be announced. The complete list of winners is available at the competition’s web site.
Perhaps less known in the U.S. as other competitions, such as the World Beer Cup, the International Brewing Awards have been around for more than a century. They date to 1886 and long were known as the United Kingdom Bottled and Draught, European and Commonwealth Beer Competitions. Until 1987 European and Commonwealth brewers were allowed to enter only bottled beers. The biennial competition was suspended in for six years, beginning in 2005, and revived in 2011 with new rules to reflect the changing industry landscape.
The competition, judged by professional brewers, was organized by Awards, Brewing Technology Services Ltd (BTS), which is owned by Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers’ Association.