I recently attended the 2010 International Beer Challenge awards presentation on behalf of The Brew Club. The IBC sees itself (and who am I to argue) as the premier Global awards for packaged (ie bottled beers).
The Italian brews were particularly interesting – brewing in Italy is coming up with some exciting beers… keep an eye out for beers from “Birra Toccalmatto” , “Birrificio Turbacci”, “Birrificio Cittavecchia”and “Birrificio Del Ducato” all of whom won medals.
It’s probably worth noting that the following trophies were awarded :
Best Low Alcohol Beer – Bill Brewer from Harvey and Son (2nd year running)
Best Ale – Highlander from Fyne Ales (Scotland – 2nd year running)
Best Stout or Porter – Vital Spark from Fyne Ales (Scotland)
Best Wheat Beer – Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier (Germany – 2nd year running)
Best Lager – Sam Adams Noble Pils (USA)
Best Specialty – Sam Adams Utopia 2009
Supreme Champion – Sam Adams Utopia 2009.
While I was there I also managed to get a photograph of me with the lone ‘bottle’ of 2009 Utopia on display… which I subsequently sampled and reveled in its rich, warm, almost Cognac or Armagnac flavours. Having experimented with some of the super strength beer recently, this was a true revelation and a worthy Supremem Champion. I think that, in a blind tasting, I’d have identified it as a brandy, rather than anything made with mere malt and hops.
I also managed to grab a drink with Pete Brown, who recently wrote one of the best articles on the state of British Brewing that I’ve read for a very long time. Pete conceded that his article had been ‘simmering’ for quite a while.
I also caught up with Steve Williams – the ‘Official London Beer Taster’ – whom I barely recognised in a sensible shirt!
Steve and I agreed to meet up in a few weeks for a quiet beer, or two. Needless to say, I’ll keep The Brew Club informed!