This past weekend the winners were announced in the World Beer Cup, and I was very happy with the results. Some of my favorite brewers and breweries were honored with awards.
If you’re unfamiliar with the WBC, it bills itself as “The most prestigious beer competition in the world.” This year was the biggest assembly ever with 3,921 beers entered from 799 breweries in 54 different countries. 95 different styles of beer were judged by 211 judges from 27 different countries. This competition does not include homebrewers. It is a competition limited to the pros.
Some of my favorite Wisconsin brewers were given awards for the great beer that they are making right now. My 2 favorite Wisconsin breweries were both honored twice. The Point Brewery in Stevens Point won Silver in the German Schwarzbier category with 2012 Black Ale. They also won Bronze in the German Kolsch category with Three Kings, their new spring seasonal. Capital Brewery in Middleton won Gold in the American Amber Lager category with Winter Skal. They also won Bronze in the German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock category for Blonde Dopplebock. Keep up the great work, JZ and Kirby! We appreciate all of the great beers coming out of your breweries!
As excited as I was for those awards for Wisconsin beers, I was blown away by an award given to a California brewery that doesn’t even distribute beer to Minnesota or Wisconsin. The award I’m talking about is “World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster – Mid-size Brewing Company”. It was given to Matt Brynildson and the Firestone Walker Brewery. The reason this one made me so happy is that Matt is from my hometown of Litchfield, Minnesota. He was a year ahead of me in school, a regular kid from a little town out in Central Minnesota, and a nice guy. I must say that this honor, which is basically “Best Craft Brewer in the World”, going to a guy that I grew up with makes me feel a lot of pride in my state and my hometown. This is Matt’s award. He works his ass off every day to make his beer the best it can be, but out here in “Flyover country” we’ll be telling everyone that the best craft brewer in the world belongs to us. Thanks, Matt, for making us proud. We’ll be happy to buy you a beer next time you’re in town, but unfortunately, it won’t be one of your own.
You can check out a short CNN video that features Matt at Firestone Walker and other notable craft beer personalities from the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference HERE. This video is brought to you by Beerpulse.