Brewing in Singapore

One man's adventure of brewing beer in Asia.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Craft Brewer's Conference & World Beer Cup

I was in San Diego for The Craft Brewer's Conference (CBC) & World Beer Cup (WBC). The CBC is an annual event that moves around the country. Last year the CBC was in Austin Texas; a great city with great music and a lot of great food (esp the BBQ). The CBC is an educational conference with presentations and lots of opportunities to exchange ideas and network with fellow brewers and other people in the industry. As you might imagine a conference of craft brewers is more fun than a conference of software engineers or sales persons (believe me, I speak from experience). And I say this not to cast aspersions on those other groups, but to confirm what most people already believe - that making beer for a living ismore fun than most jobs. But having said that, all in all a conference is a conference - there are speaker sessions and a trade show and hopitality rooms and discussion groups and open forums and a lot of schmoozzing. Sama Sama, tetapi tidak sama (same same, but different).

The WBC is an every other year event. This year there were almost 3000 beers entered in 91 styles from 644 breweries in 58 countries. That's a lot of beer. The judging took 129 judges from 21 countries three days to complete (that's about 2350 hours of judging!). I was lucky enough to be one of those 129 judges. Judging at the CBC is a great opportunity to learn and listen to what other people from around the globe think about beer and brewing techniques. It is a rare glimps into how other (sometimes secretive) brewers think. But contrary to what you might imagine beer judging is not that much fun. The judges take their responsibilities very seriously and spending 8 hours a day tasting and writting notes on about 130 beers each day is pretty tough work (esp on the third day).

Unfortunately Archipelago did not win any awards this year (there is alway 2010 WBC) but I am happy to inform that Asia Pacific Breweries did - their Baron's Strong won a bronze medal for "Belgian style Strong Ale" and Anchor Ice (from VBL - Vietnenam) won a Gold medal for "Tropical style Light Lager". I think that's pretty cool. (previous Singapore medal winners are Tiger beer and Brewerkz E-IPA)

Photo caption: Lucky 13: Not only does each of the 6 judges at this table have 12 beers to judge in this final round - look at the color (and one would suspect flavor) differences. It'sa Tough job, but somebody has got to do it.


Post a Comment

<< Home