With 53 medals under their belt (13 gold, 17 silver, 18 bronze and 5 distinctions), American brewers have outperformed their Belgian counterparts, who nevertheless took home 43 medals (11 gold, 12 silver, 9 bronze and 11 distinctions) during the “Brussels Beer Challenge” in Leuven this weekend. The English beer Triple C, produced by the Thwaites of Blackburn brewery, was also awarded the “Comac” prize for best beer. Triple C is a ‘bière blonde’, i.e. a lager or “Golden Ale”, and received a unanimous vote, beating the 729 other beers in the contest.
The Belgian Moortgat brewery was awarded the title of “Best Belgian beer in the competition” for its “Liefmans Goudenband”, a classic dark ‘bières de garde’ (one that tends to be aged).
The results were announced on Sunday during a lunch held in the premises of the former Stella Artois brewery in Leuven, a city which hosts the HQ of the world’s largest brewer, AB Inbev.
Nearly 200 Belgian beers and more than 500 foreign ales participated in this third edition, the first contest having been held in Brussels in 2012, and the second in Liege.
On Friday and Saturday mornings, the international jury composed of 60 expert-tasters were able to sample 730 beers, divided into 8 types and 50 subcategories. Among the major participants, in addition to Belgium, the United States entered 174 beers, Italy 110, France 48, the Netherlands 39, Germany 35 and the UK 26. Some countries lesser known for their brewing tradition, like Malta, Monaco, Cambodia or Bosnia, also took part in the contest.
The organizers congratulated themselves both on the increase in the number of beers presented this year (up from the 593 in 2013), as well as on the increase in the number of participating countries: 25 nations compared to last year’s 15.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)