Last weekend, the World Beer Cup saw 6,596 beers from more than 1,900 breweries battle for gold in its international kumite of suds.
The judges — imagine 253 hipster Gordon Ramsays from 31 countries — handed out gold, silver and bronze awards to every fathomable style of cold one. If you consider wheat beers beers, 287 different brews medalled.
Because that number feels a little too participation trophy-ish for proper glory, let’s focus on the crème de la crème, the six brewers deemed champions, for your sipping pleasure.
And yes, Miller High Life was a winner, and yes, it’s still the reigning Champagne of Beers.
Champion Large Brewpub: Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Long Beach, CA
Gold for Coffee Beer: Mocha Machine
Silver for American-Style Stout: Kilgore
Bronze for Sweet Stout or Cream Stout: Udder Love
Champion Small Brewpub: 12Degree Brewing, Louisville, CO
Gold for Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale: Treachery
Bronze for French & Belgian-Style Saison: Soleil Saison
Champion Large Brewing Company: Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, WI
Gold for Light Lager: Miller Light
Silver for American-Style Lager: High Life
Champion Mid-Size Brewing Company: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Gold for Belgian-Style Fruit Beer: Rosetta
Bronze for Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadrupel: Three Philosophers
Bronze for Belgian-Style Tripel: Gnomegang
Champion Small Brewing Company: Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Gold for American-Style India Pale Ale: I Love It!
Silver for German-Style Sour Ale: Gosebusters
Bronze for Imperial India Pale Ale: Nobility
Champion Very Small Brewing Company: Arch Rock Brewing Co., Gold Beach, OR
Gold for American-Style Pale Ale: Pistol River Pale
Now, the World Beer Cup may be over, but the similarly-monikered (but completely different) World Beer Awards are still taking applications for this year’s contest.
The World Beer Awards is no XFL, no MySpace, no Doug Pitt ... you get the point. Last year’s WBA fielded more than 1,000 competitors from 30 countries.
Though the numbers are lower at this newer and completely separate event, the participants are more evenly distributed globally.
And there’s always more beer to be enjoyed.