For those of you who were in Philadelphia last week for the annual Brewers Association Craft Brewers Conference, it was a sight to behold. Over 13,000 industry members descended on the city, taking over the nightlife, city-life and massive convention center for the week. This was a big jump in attendance even over just one year ago, and the vibe and “feel” of the conference has changed dramatically in a short few years. It is all part of the new normal, and it’s no surprise that the annual conference for the craft brewing industry would grow and transform to reflect the rapid change in the industry it represents. This reporter has attended over 30 CBC’s going back to 1984, it has been a fascinating ride to watch this industry conference grow. But never over the course of that time has the conference grown so dramatically in such a short period of time. It will be very interesting to see what the future holds.
The CBC will be held in Washington DC next year, Nashville in 2018 and Denver in 2019.
The CBC included the World Beer Cup this year, as it does every other year. Below is the press release from the Brewers Association.
Boulder, CO • May 6, 2016—The Brewers Association announced the results of one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2016 World Beer Cup. The awards were presented at the conclusion of Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This edition of the World Beer Cup saw 6,596 beers from 1,907 breweries representing 55 countries—a 38.5 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2014 World Beer Cup, which had 4,754 entries.
Entries were judged by an elite international panel of 253 judges from 31 countries. Judges awarded 287 out of 288 total possible awards, reflecting the chance for one gold, one silver and one bronze award in each of 96 beer style categories. A gold award was not presented in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category.
A detailed analysis of the entries and awards can be found in the 2016 World Beer Cup Fact Sheet.
“Brewing has no boundaries or borders,” said Charlie Papazian, founder, Brewers Association. “The World Beer Cup recognizes the very best in the global community of brewers—their innovation, creativity and the craft of beer and brewing.”
The average number of beers entered per category was 69, up from 50 in 2014—a marker of the 2016 World Beer Cup’s high level of competitiveness.
The category with the most entries was American-Style India Pale Ale with 275 entries.
The second most-entered category was Imperial India Pale Ale with 181 entries.
The third most-entered category was American-Style Pale Ale with 167 entries.
The 287 awards were won by 253 breweries, with few breweries earning more than one award.
225 breweries won one award
22 breweries won two awards.
6 breweries won three awards.
“This year’s judge panel was our most international ever, with three-quarters of judges travelling to Philadelphia from outside the U.S.,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, World Beer Cup. “Judges commented throughout the week that overall beer quality continues to improve across the spectrum of world beer styles. While breweries may hold the awards, beer drinkers around the world are the true winners.”
The competition also bestows Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster awards in each of six brewery categories based on the awards won by each brewery.
Very Small Brewing Company Category
Arch Rock Brewing Co.
Small Brewing Company Category
Noble Ale Works
Evan and The Giants
Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Large Brewing Company Category
Miller Brewing Co.
Miller Brewing Co. Brewing Team
Small Brewpub Category
Jon Howland and Tor O’Brien
Large Brewpub Category
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
Julian Shrago, Ian McCall and Gene Wagoner