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World Beer Cup 2008 - Pinnacle of Success

When do you think Charlie Papazian, founder of the Association of Brewers, president of the Brewers Association, and founder of the World Beer Cup, will be recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions in uniting the global economy of beer? It is a peacemaking mission, isn’t it?

Jalepenos in Alaska, Jasmine in Beer, and Japan reaching the summit as the top brewer of German Style Schwarzbier! Beer has reached the pinnacle… the height of eclecticism throughout the world.

Trumpets and fireworks may not have heralded the opening events for The World Beer Cup 2008, but this “Olympics of Beer” would deserve no less. 129 select judges from 21 countries (64% from countries outside the USA) came together at the Town & Country Resort in San Diego, California, USA for the largest competition of professional brewers in the world. On the 15th and 16th of April, 2008 during the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America, these world-class judges combined their sensory and organoleptic skills to select beers of world-class stature for gold, silver and bronze medals. The competition has grown so large that awards are now presented in two gala events: a US ceremony in San Diego, California, held on April 19, 2008, and a European ceremony in Germany scheduled for May 8, 2008.

In this year’s prestigious World Beer Cup 2008 Competition, 2,864 beers from 58 countries, including 45 (!) states in the USA, were judged in 91 beer style categories, including 11 new categories that had been added since the last competition two years ago.

New categories include 6 traditional styles: Fresh Hop Ale, American-Belgo Styles Ales, Leipzig-Style Göse, Belgian-Style Blonde Ale, Australasian-Style Pale Ale, and Out of Category - Traditionally Brewed Beers. Rounding out the 11 new categories are 5 Barrel Aged Beer styles: Wood-and Barrel- Aged Beer, Wood-and Barrel-Aged Pale to Amber Beer, Wood-and Barrel-Aged Dark Beer, Wood-and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, and Wood-and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer.

Highlights of the World Beer Cup 2008

Medals were awarded to 21 different countries, including surprises such as Latvia (2), Norway (2), Denmark (2), Sweden (2), the Czech Republic (2), Iceland, Bolivia, Honduras, Brazil, Russia, Romania, and Finland. Asia Pacific Breweries in Singapore captured two medals. Those in the brewing industry must wonder how influential the brewing techniques of Fal Allen, who is based at Archipelago Brewery Company in Singapore, may have been in the crafting of these winning beers. It was impressive that 45 of 50 states in the USA submitted entries, but no great surprise that the USA received the majority of awards. Germany impressed the judges, with 25 medals awarded, followed by Belgium with 11, and Japan with 10. UK, Canada, and Austria each won 5.

The complete winner’s list for 2008 is available at:


Photos are(from top): Charlie Papazian of the Brewers Association; World Class Brewmaster Tomme Arthur.


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