Brewers Association Confrence 2022
The Brewers Association does an excellent job representing the craft beer industry worldwide, from the smallest to largest. One event they sponsor, now becoming an annual event, is the World Beer Cup competition. On May 5, 2022, they announced the winners of this world event that included beers from 103 style categories. This event brought together a total of 10,542 beer style entries from 2,493 breweries from fifty-seven countries.
The largest style category, coming as no surprise, is the American IPA followed by the Hazy IPA.
Approximately 225 judges, recognized for their experience in the world of beer, judged the entries. Beer is not only about the science of brewing it is not without opinions and that is based upon personal taste. However, in beer, most styles do have a historic reference point that does take precedence over opinion.
“The World Beer Cup showcases the incredible breadth and talent of the global brewing community,” said Chris Swersey, competition director, World Beer Cup. “Winning an award at this extremely competitive event symbolizes one of the greatest accomplishments in the art of brewing. Congratulations to this year’s winners on their outstanding achievements.”
The craft beer category did see growth in key indicators: craft breweries now total 9,120 in the U.S. and that is an increase of two hundred breweries over 2020; craft production increased 7.9% versus 2020; and taproom closings have decreased 2021 versus 2020.
There were more than 10,000 attendees at the conference. “Also relevant is that the World Beer Cup competition had 10,542 entries. That’s the most ever for a BA competition, and may be the most ever for a professional beer competition globally,” says Bart Watson, PhD-Chief Economist at BA
With fifty-seven countries submitting beer for the competition, 17 countries had winners from the 103 beer style categories. Expected, the U.S. had 252 beers submitted in the categories. On a ratings scale Ireland, who entered six beers had 1 winner, which is a winning rate of 16.67%. Conversely, Austria entered 13 beers and had 1 win, representing a rate of 7.69%. Win ratings do not tell the whole story. The U.S. had a win rating of 3.13%, however they had 252 winners out of 8,058 entries.
Of the 10,542 style entries, the U.S. represented 80% of the submissions and those came from all 50 states. Considering the competition was in Minneapolis one could expect the participant numbers to be skewed to favor U.S. participants.
Average number of beers entered per category: 102
Most entered style categories and the number of entries:
- American-Style India Pale Ale: 384
- Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale: 343
- German-Style Pilsener: 254
- Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout: 237
- International Pilsener or International Lager: 231
- Munich-Style Helles: 202
Source: Brewers Association
Another interesting fact is that the winners (Gold, Silver and Bronze) list is not dominated by the big craft brewers in the U.S. It is represented by a very diverse group of breweries. For a review of the winners and their beer style submissions click the link: https://www.worldbeercup.org/winners/current-winners/
For many, beer is interesting because of its complexity, diversity, exhibiting creativity, and personalities of people who make beer. I have yet to meet someone I did not like in the craft beer industry. The World Beer Cup is a major event. Obviously, there are a great deal of winning craft beers in the market that could not or were not entered, but the fact that they have valued consumer makes them winners.
I also want to give a shout-out to Bart Watson, Chief Economist for Brewers Association. He is always available to provide information on the industry.
Support your local Craft Brewery! Cheers to all 2022 World Beer Cup winners.