[UPDATE: World Beer Cup winners have been determined. The following post has been updated to reflect that. Even though some of our picks didn’t take home the gold, we still think they’re worth trying! Allow us to twist your rubbery, yeasty, hoppy arm.]
With World Beer Cup 2016 about to announce its winners on May 6, 2016, it got me thinking about craft beer, not that I need a reason to think about craft beer. Mmmmm … beeeeeer.
So I went through the list of breweries that are taking part in this year’s World Beer Cup, a very prestigious competition that only takes place every two years, and picked out a few breweries that are primed to win a medal or two within the plethora of yummy categories.
My list aims to find the best of the best but, ultimately, I will be missing thousands of other breweries that could win many awards, both at the World Beer Cup and other festivals around the globe. I guess that just leaves more for you and I to find and sample. Oh darn.
For now, let’s turn to the prognostications and predict which superstar of the microbrew world will win the most medals at this year’s World Cup. If you can’t find these delectable brews in your local specialty liquor store, you can always order bottles online.
Odds on winning the most medals at the World Beer Cup 2016
This one is no secret, but for those of you just getting into the craft beer hobby, Fat Head’s Brewery is one of the most highly decorated craft breweries in the good ol’ US of A. From humble beginnings in 1992 out of Pittsburgh, PA, Fat Head’s has been making award winning brew for over two decades. They have garnered a great reputation in creating tasty suds, so much so, that they expanded their operation into Cleveland and Portland.
At last year’s Great American Beer Festival, they racked up five medals, four gold and one silver, more than any other brewery. Many people rave about their Hop JuJu Imperial IPA. They will be at this year’s World Beer Cup, so expect more hardware for their trophy collection.
[UPDATE: Fat Head’s Brewery won a gold medal for their HOP JuJu Imperial IPA. They also won bronze for their Midnight Moonlight brew]
English translation: The Three Musketeers, but I’m sure you already knew that. This Quebec brewery just keeps creating exceptional experimental brews. Every year, it seems, they are winning awards; there are far too many to list them all here but one highlight includes the gold medal at the 2015 World Beer Awards for Canada’s Best Experimental Specialty Beer.
They’re perhaps best known for their Hors Serie Double IPA and Série Signature Maibock. (The latter picked up gold medals for Best Seasonal Lager.) Canada’s little French secret is quickly becoming a craft beer heavyweight. Their signature bottles sell out fast, so keep an eye out for them at beer festivals or online. They should continue their winning ways at the World Beer Cup.
Nøgne Ø (Norway): 9/1
We go to Norway for this one. It was very hard to pick the top Euro offering, but I went with Nøgne Ø because of their award-winning Nøgne Ø Brun, which won three gold medals for World’s Best Belgian Style Dubbel. Their Vic Secret IPA has also received rave reviews and numerous accolades.
Nogne, as a brewery, won five medals at last year’s World Beer Awards and should easily grab a few medals in different categories.
California is a hot bed for craft beer, and Bottle Logic is a brewery that isn’t afraid to take chances and experiment with recipes and flavour combinations. They are a relatively new Anaheim-based operation and have already turned heads at competitions like the Great American Beer Festival. They picked up a gold medal in the American-Style Dark Lager category with their popular Lagerithm, and made another statement by winning gold in the Baltic-Style Porter category with their Cobaltic Porter. This little brewery is primed to win an award or two at this year’s World Cup.
[UPDATE: Bottle Logic picked up two silver medals for for their Cobaltic Porter and Darkstar November]
Good day eh? Canada is quickly becoming another craft beer Mecca, especially the western province of British Columbia. Four Winds opened up shop in 2013 but has already blown to the top of the Canadian craft beer scene by winning the prestigious Brewery of the Year (2015) at the Canadian Brewing Awards. When Four Winds releases one of its Single Barrel Series bottles, like the very popular Edna – a crabapple cranberry sour farmhouse ale – there is a lineup around the block.
Keep an eye on this brewery as they craft high-quality brews and are immensely creative. I expect Four Winds to make some noise at the World Beer Cup.
Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinndombrowski/5200218267)