The World Beer Cup is put on every other year by The Brewers Association, which is headquartered in Boulder, CO. The World Beer Cup is a popular event among brewers and brewing companies, as it brings together the best and brightest in the brewing industry. The 2014 World Beer Cup and Craft Brewers Conference took place in Denver, CO, and included a whopping 4,754 beers, 1,403 breweries from 58 countries and 94 styles of beer! Colorado brewers fared well at the World Beer Cup, bringing home 24 medals (10 Gold, 5 Silver, 9 Bronze).
According to The Brewers Association, “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. The World Beer Cup also promotes the responsible consumption of beer as an alcohol-containing beverage and urges beer producers and distributors to encourage beer enthusiasts to savor the flavor of beer responsibly.”
Colorado Winners @ The 2014 World Beer Cup:
Fruit Beer(57 entries) GOLD: Cherry Kriek, Strange Brewing Co, Denver, CO, SILVER: Apricot Blonde, Dry Dock Brewing Co –Aurora, CO
Chocolate Beer(51 Entries) GOLD: Shake Chocolate Porter, Boulder Beer Co –Boulder, CO
Coffee Beer (109 Entries) GOLD: Big Shot Espresso Stout, Twisted Pine Brewing Co – Boulder, CO
Indigenous Beer (37 Entries) GOLD: Wild and Crazy Rye, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Boulder,CO / Huntington Beach, CA BRONZE: Got Beer, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery – Boulder, CO / Huntington Beach, CA
The Brewers Association recently released their list of the 2013 Top 50 Craft Breweries in the U.S. For the 2nd year in a row, 6 Colorado breweries are on the list. The 6 on the list include; New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Odell, Left Hand, Rock Bottom & Breckenridge. These 6 are the same as last year, but a few of them have moved spots on the list from 2012. Left Hand Brewing Co. made the biggest jump, moving up 5 spots from #43 to #38. Oskar Blues moved up 3 spots from #27 to #24. On the other end of the spectrum, Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries (Rock Bottom) dropped 7 spots from #32 to #39.
6 Colorado Breweries listed in the top 50 Craft Breweries in the U.S.
On April 10, 2013 the Brewers Association released it’s annual list of the Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies in the U.S. The list for 2013 is based on sales volume totals from 2012. Six Colorado breweries made the list including; New Belgium Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewing Co., Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., Odell Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery and Left Hand Brewing Co. New Belgium came in on top of the list for Colorado breweries, and came in 3rd overall on the top 50 U.S Craft Breweries list.
Colorado Brewery Rankings in the Top 50 U.S. Craft Breweries:
New Belgium #3
Oskar Blues #27
Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries #32
Odell Brewing #33
Breckenridge Brewery #41
Left Hand #43
While six Colorado Breweries finished in the top 50 U.S Craft Breweries list, four of those breweries also came in the Top 50 Overall U.S. Breweries List. The four Colorado breweries in the top 50 overall include: New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries and Odell Brewing.
Colorado Brewery Rankings in the Top 50 U.S. Overall Breweries:
New Belgium #8
Oskar Blues #36
Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries #43
Odell Brewing #44
Overall, craft beer sales totaled 6% of all beer sales in the U.S. According to Paul Gatza, Director, Brewers Association. “Increasingly, beer lovers are turning to craft brewed beer from small and independent producers to satisfy their thirst for bold, innovative and flavor-forward beers.” With the continued growth and popularity of craft beer, the percentage of craft beer in the overall beer sales should rise each year.
Other interesting facts about the craft beer industry:
Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 108,440 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs.
Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2012 was 15% by volume and 17% by dollars compared to growth in 2011 of 13% by volume and 15% by dollars.
Craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels* of beer in 2012, up from 11,467,337 in 2011.
The craft brewing sales share in 2012 was 6.5% by volume and 10.2% by dollars.
As of March 18, 2013, the Brewers Association is aware of 409 brewery openings in 2012 (310 microbreweries and 99 brewpubs) and 43 brewery closings (18 microbreweries and 25 brewpubs).
2,347 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2012, comprised of 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries.
As the growth of the craft beer industry continues, many beer drinkers are wondering…what exactly makes a beer a craft beer? A craft beer would be brewed by a craft brewer. According to the Brewers Association, the definition of a craft brewer is:
An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. According to the Brewers Association, a craft brewer also meets these 3 criteria:
Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietor-ships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.
Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.
Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.
There are many interesting facts about craft beer and craft brewers. To read more about the industry, and what makes a beer a craft beer, check out the Brewers Association.
Here’s a quick video on what makes a craft brewer: