Getting Gold at the Beer Olympics

On Saturday the Brewers Association held the eighth-annual World Beer Cup, which broke the record for the biggest commercial brewing competition ever. 3,330 beers, produced by 642 breweries from 44 countries competed in 90 categories.

In keeping with the current craft beer trends of high-alcohol, hops all up in your face, barrel aging, and throwing a witch's brew of crazy stuff into the brew kettle, the three most-entered categories were: "Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer" with 113 beers competing, "Herb and Spice Beer or Chocolate Beer" with 109 entries, and "American-Style India Pale Ale" with 104. Gold medal winners in the respective categories were: Bull & Bush's The Legend of the Liquid Brain Imperial Stout out of Denver, Colorado; Coco Jones Porter from Black Raven Brewing Company in Redmond, Washington; and Norm's Raggedy-Ass IPA from the Big Rock Chop House & Brewery in Birmingham, Michigan.

The Oscars best picture-esque category, 2010 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster, went to Asia Pacific Breweries Limited out of Singapore (large brewery), Paso Robles, California's Firestone Walker led by brewmaster Matthew Brynildson (mid-sized), and San Diego, California's Ballast Point Brewing Company (small-sized.)

And CHOW's neighbors at 21st Amendment took home a gold in the "Other Strong Beer" category for Imperial Jack, an Imperial ESB made in a collaboration with San Francisco beer-speakeasy Elizabeth Street Brewery.

Image ©2008 Jason E. Kaplan