Gold, silver, and bronze medals were won in 91 categories of beer judged in the 2008 World Beer Cup competition held this past weekend in San Diego, CA. Additionally, the five best breweries in the world were named, including the first woman brewer ever to win this award! I'll share the list of best brewers and then a more-or-less randomly chosen top 10 of the 273 individual winners of the 2008 World Beer Cup.
The Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2008 Champion Breweries/Brewers
1. Large Brewing Company Category
Brewery: Blue Moon Brewing Company, U.S.
Brewer: Warren Quilliam
2. Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Brewery: Privatbrauerei Hoepfner GmbH , Germany
Brewer: Peter Bucher
3. Small Brewing Company Category
Brewery: Port Brewing Company and The Lost Abbey, U.S.
Brewer: Tomme Arthur
4, Large Brewpub Category
Brewery: Pelican Pub & Brewery, U.S.
Brewer: Darron R. S. Welch
5. Small Brewpub Category
Brewery: Bend Brewing Company, U.S.
Brewer: Tonya Cornett (first woman to receive this award!)
10 Gold Medal World Beer Cup Winners (of 91)
Best Beer 1.
Best Classic English-Style Pale Ale:
MacTarnahan's Amber Ale, Pyramid Breweries Inc., Seattle, WA
Relatively new to MacTarnahan's repertoire of ales, its Amber Ale is made with fresh Cascade hops from the Northwest, making its flavor crisp and complex. Thus, it goes best with grilled or gamey meats and full-flavored fish. There were 35 entries in this category.
Best Beer 2.
Best German-Style Pilsener:
Trumer Pils, Trumer Brauerei Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Trumer Pils has a 400 year history, dating from the original family-owned Trumer Brauerei in Salzburg, Austria. It has carried both the brewing tradition and the original crisp, slightly tart taste with it through the centuries. It is made from imported malt and hops from Germany and Austria and is fermented with a propriety yeast. There were 72 entries in this category.
Best Beer 3.
Best Belgian and French-Style Ale:
Brugse Zot Blond, Brouwerij De Halve Maan, Brugge, Belgium
Don't let the fool on the bottle fool you. This Belgian ale has been a winner of many beer competitions over the years. Practically the national beer of Belgian, you can find Brugse Zot Blond served in many crepe and sandwich bars in Brugge. It has a sweet fruity flavor and is bubbly and light, with only six percent alchohol content. There were 37 entries in this category.
Best Beer 4.
Best German-Style Dark Wheat Ale:
Schneider Weisse Original, Schneider Weisse, Kelheim, Germany
The Schneider Weisse Original is spicy with the smell or clove and nutmeg and, according to the brewer, it is fresh, clean, full, harmonious and balanced. In the end it leaves an impression of slight, fine bitterness. There were 29 entries in this category.
Best Beer 5.
Best American-Style Light Lager:
Old Milwaukee Light, Pabst Brewing Co., Woodridge, IL
The beer that made Milwaukee famous has also been making the best light beer (light in calorie and carbs), according to beer raters. Milwaukee's Old Style Light is reported to have some taste of hops and malt; "refreshing" is the word reviewers most often used to describe it. Old Milwaukee Light has 113 calories and 7 grams of fat. There were 34 entries in this category.
Best Beer 6.
Best American-Style Lager:
Tooheys Extra Dry, Tooheys Pty Limited, Lidcombe, Australia
No, it's not Budweiser! Toohey's Extra Dry, known in Australia simply as Ted's, is a refreshing drink with not too much taste of hops, malt, or fruit, geared to young beer drinkers. Advertising is also geared toward the young and the ads are popular down under for some outlandishness, including its beer-addicted walking tongue. There were 48 entries in this category.
Best Beer 7.
Best Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout:
Blarney Sisters Dry Irish Stout, Third Street AleWorks, Santa Rosa , CA
What? Better than Guinness? The Blarney Sisters Dry Irish Stout has won several top awards in the Irish stout category. The chocolate and caramel flavor is strong, but not overwhelming; some say there are hints of licorice and coffee. A full-bodied beer, it's poured black from the tap. There were 20 entries in this category.
Best Beer 8.
Best Scottish-Style Ale:
McGarveyʼs Scottish Ale, Oggi's / Left Coast Brewing Co., San Clemente, CA
This ruddy ale has plenty of flavor without being heavy. Molasses add a nice sweet aftertaste. Left Coast Brewing says there's a tad bit of hops in the ale to keep the bitterness out. Good beer to drink by itself or with a grilled chicken or fish. There were 24 entries in this category.
Best Beer 9.
Traditional German-Style Bock:
Bock Lager, Elk Grove Brewery and Restaurant, Elk Grove, CA
Interesting history about this German lager. The beer was firt made by Trappist monks to drink while fasting during lent. Just picture that!
The Elk Grove Brewery has an health assortment of brews, with its Bock Lager being one of its seasonal beers. The Elk Grove Bock Lager is described as a full-bodied, strong beer, with German style malts, having "a smooth, rich complexity not found in many beers. On tap in late January: limit is 3 pints. There were 21 competitors in this category.
Best Beer 10.
Wood- and Barrel-aged Strong Beer:
Paradox Grain, BrewDog, Fraserburgh, UK
This beer is a marriage of Scotland's greatest productions of whisky and stout. BrewDog partners with Duncan Taylor Ltd of Huntly, aging its Paradox Grain in the casks of some of the greatest whiskeys ever made. "The distinct flavours of these whiskies is beautifully infused into the beer giving a unique and unrivalled experience for both beer and whisky lovers." There were 14 entrees in this category.
The World Beer Cup is an international competition held every two years, and this year 2,864 individual bottles of beer were entries, representing 58 countries. Although beers from 21 countries won medals, the USA (158 awards), Germany (25), Belgium (11), Japan (10), Australia (6) were the top five winners. There were 128 judges from all over the world, even countries without competitors in the contests. For more information on the winners, visit this page .