The yearly Craft Beer Conference was held in San Diego last week, and this year the conference also hosted the annual World Beer Cup that judges beers submitted from breweries around the world and awards medals for the best beers in nearly 100 categories. The results are in, and we’ve crunched the numbers so that you don’t have to!
The awards are broken in categories based on beer styles, with judges awarding Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals to everything from the ubiquitous American-Style Light Lager (gold medal to Coors Light) to the esoteric German-Style Sour ale (where Steamworks Brewing’s Berliner Wiesse took gold.) Over twenty countries submitted beer to the contest, though the vast majority of winners were from American craft breweries.
And while Los Angeles breweries were predictably thin among the winners, our neighbors in the rest of Southern California had a very strong showing. Firestone-Walker, The Bruery, Hanger 24, and the Pizza Port Brewing locations all won multiple medals, and breweries in the rest of the state helped California dominate the medal winners. While Oregon and Colorado are generally thought of as the biggest craft beer states, it is hard to deny California’s place after our state’s showing in this year’s cup.
Of the 284 total medals awarded California breweries claimed 55 total: 21 gold, 12 silver, and 22 bronze medals. Colorado came second in the total metal count with 27, while Germany predictably led the international pack with 23 total medals.
Some highlighted winners are below, or you can download the PDF list of all the winner at the World Beer Cup site.
- Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye took the gold in the Rye Beer category, with Marin Brewing Co’s 3 Flowers and Jopen Jacobus RPA from the Netherland’s Jopenkerk Bierbrouwerij taking silver and bronze.
- Rock Bottom Brewing in Long Beach was the only California brewery to take a medal in any of the 11 traditional German-style categories. Their Rocktoberfest won silver in the German-Style Marzen category.
- Orange County’s The Bruery took gold in the Belgian-Style Flanders Red Ale category with Oude Tart.
- California had a good showing in the Porter categories with Mammoth Brewing Co’sDouble Nut Brown winning gold among the Brown Porters and Pizza Port Brewing’s San Clemente location won gold in the Robust Porter category with Pier Rat Porter.
- Firestone-Walker showed they truly do have a “passion for the pale” by taking both silver and gold medals. The Pale 31 (AKA California Pale or Yellow-label) took gold while Mission Street Pale, which they brew for Trader Joes, won silver.
- The American-Style IPA category had the most entries at 150, and winners were: DRIPA from Kuhnhenn Brewing Co, Head Hunter IPA from Fat Heads Brewery, and Elevated IPA from La Cumbre Brewing Co. respectively.