Sour and extra strong beers recognised at world brewing awards

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

New awards: sour beers, gluten-free and extra strong
New awards: sour beers, gluten-free and extra strong

Related tags Beer

Three new categories have contributed to a leap in entries to the International Brewing and Cider Awards, with 50 countries putting forward more than 1,100 products.

This year the awards will recognise sour beers, gluten-free beers and extra-strong beers (brews with an ABV of 10% or more), in response to increased interest from brewers and consumers around the categories.

Total entries are up by 15% since the competition was last held in 2015, while cider entries rose by 30% and beers by 12%.

Judging will take place in Burton-on-Trent next month, where a panel of keen industry experts will judge the products in draught and smallpack formats.

Regional microbrewers

Ruth Evans, director of competition organisers Brewing Technology Services, said entries came from regional microbrewers, artisan cider-makers and multinational brands.

She added: “We also received entries from many producers and brands that haven’t taken part in the competition before.

“We reintroduced cider to the awards in 2013, after an absence of decades and cider makers have been keen to take part. Ours no, we believe, is the most international of all cider competitions held around the world.”

As well as adding new beer categories to the awards, new cider categories include flavoured cider/perry, fruit-flavoured cider and ciders flavoured with other ingredients.

An award for ‘speciality ciders’ has been created to accommodate products made using innovative processes, such as ice cider, barrel-aged cider or apple wine.

Overall winners

The overall winners of the 10 categories will be revealed at London’s Guildhall on 26 April in front of medal winners and members of the global brewing and cider industries.

Adding the new beer awards is reflective of the future world beer trends predicted​ at the 35th​ Brewers Association beer festival in Denver, Colorado, last year.

According to the experts at the event, which was held in October, there would be a spike in the popularity of sour beers, porters, stouts and barrel-aged strong beers.

The Brewers Association said: “Such beers demonstrate the skill and flair of the brewer and satisfy the beer drinker’s craving for the next new thing, but are likely to remain too niche for the mainstream market.”

Related topics Beer Cider Ale & Stout

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