Congratulations to the 2012 World Beer Cup winners and finalists! Once again I wish I’d been at the party: San Francisco Monk’s Kettle Chef Adam Dulye designed a four-course meal with beer pairings for 2000 for the awards dinner. I hear he got lots of applause. The dinner menu is so fabulous it’s posted on the World Beer Cup website. The courses I most wish I’d gotten to taste (though the others sound pretty fabulous and very educational):
Grilled eye of beef rib, potato gratin, fig reduction, truffled deckle pot-au-feu
or Vegetarian: Butter bean cassoulet, spiced carrot, preserved fig; served with Troegenator, Troegs Brewery, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 2010 World Beer Cup Gold, 2008 World Beer Cup Bronze, Traditional German Style Bock
Chocolate cake with salted caramel, dark chocolate pudding, fudge sorbet; served with Left Hand Brewing Company Milk Stout, Longmont, Colorado
2008 World Beer Cup Gold, Sweet Stout (and I’m not even fond of milk stouts, usually)
This is a professional brewery event, and I usually pay far more attention to the home brewer scene, but I have to say there certainly were some interesting entries this year. It’s enough to give beer snobs everywhere some hope that the global beer scene continues to thrive. It’s enough to encourage tourism, I think – I bet I could get friends to plan trips with me to check some of these out. There were plenty of wins by the usual suspects, Germany and Austria, but also entries from Chile, Canada, the Russian Federation, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, China, Japan, Australia, Argentina, even Malta (Simonds Farsons Cisk for their International-style Lager). An Icelandic brewery, Olgerdin Egill Skallamgrimsson, won gold in the German-style pilsner category. You can view their website in Icelandic once you’ve done browsing the English language version. (There’s something deliciously trippy about Icelandic, or is that just my historical slip showing? It’s a Viking (Norse gone on raiding voyages) language with a clear, written ten thousand year history. ) Two Lithuanian breweries, JSC Švyturys-Utenos Alus (the oldest operating brewery in Lithuania) and Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe, won gold and silver in the Dortmunder Export/Oktoberfest category. A brewery called Brasseurs Sans Gluten from Montreal swept the gluten-free category, winning all three awards. Hope for my celiac friends! And finally some good news out of Port-au-Prince in the much-pummeled nation of Haiti: Brasserie Nationale d’Haiti won gold in the American-yle Cream Ale or Lager category, beating Pabst and Miller (they don’t seem to have a website). Go Haiti!
The World Beer Cup’s mission is specific: The mission of the World Beer Cup is to create greater consumer awareness around the world about the quality and diversity displayed by the various beers of the world. The World Beer Cup is dedicated to recognizing both the traditions and innovations shared by the entire brewing industry as well as those customs unique to specific countries and regions. I do believe that’s a big ol’ picture of Charlie Papazian en tuxe.
Some shout-outs to my (relatively) local breweries:
Herb and spice beer: Bronze: Hardywood Gingerbread Stout, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, VA
Coffee Beer: Bronze: Coffee Stout, Rock Bottom Arlington, Arlington, VA
Chocolate beer: Silver: X-1 Chocolate Imperial Rye Porter, DuClaw Brewing Co., Bel Air, MD
American-Belgo-Style-Ale: Silver: Blue Reserve, Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton, VA
Extra-Special Bitter: Silver: GAR Pale Ale, Great American Restaurants, Centreville, VA