History of the World Beer Cup®
The quality and diversity of beers available around the world prove that brewing excellence knows no borders. Large and small brewing companies located outside of a style’s area of origin are crafting quality beers brewed to traditional styles. Belgian styles in Japan, altbiers in the USA, pale ales in Germany and bock beers in Brazil are just some of the interesting developments in the changing international marketplace. Traditional beer styles are not only celebrated in their native lands, but are now being shared, brewed and enjoyed worldwide. Consumers are discovering and enjoying a wider variety of both traditional and new beer styles, some brewed close to home and others brewed on the other side of the world. The number of new styles and style interpretations appears to be limited only by the creativity of the world’s brewing community.
As consumer choices expand, the availability of information becomes more important. With this in mind, the Brewers Association developed the World Beer Cup International Competition in 1996 to celebrate the art and science of brewing by recognizing outstanding achievement.
This global competition ultimately creates greater consumer awareness about different beer styles and flavor profiles while promoting international brewing excellence. Every two years, a highly qualified professional panel of beer judges honors the top three beers in 91 categories with gold, silver, and bronze awards. The World Beer Cup, often referred to as “The Olympics of Beer Competition,” is the most prestigious beer competition in the world.
Brewers from around the world earned awards from an elite international panel of judges at the 2012 Brewers Association World Beer Cup—the largest-ever international commercial beer competition. The ninth biennial competition boasted the strongest field of entrants on record, with 799 breweries from 54 countries and 45 U.S. states entering 3,921 beers in 95 beer style categories. A 17.7 percent increase over 2010, the entries were eligible for gold, silver and bronze awards in their respective categories. Judges presented a total of 284 awards.
A detailed analysis of the entries and awards can be found in the 2012 World Beer Cup Fact Sheet.