Entries to the International Brewing & Cider Awards 2017 are set to exceed that of previous years, say organisers Brewing & Technology Services, who attribute the uplift in the number and diversity of entries to new classes introduced to the competitions this year, as well as growing awareness of the Awards among producers and brand owners worldwide.
Three new classes have been added to the beer competition: for sour beer; zero gluten beer and extra strong beer (ABV of 10% and above), while in the cider competition, classes have been extended to accommodate two classes of flavoured cider/perry or pear cider: one for fruit flavoured cider and one for ciders flavoured with other ingredients, such as herbs, spices, plants and honey. In addition, a new ‘speciality cider’ class caters for cider and perry or pear ciders made using innovative or atypical process, such as ice cider, barrel-aged cider or apple win.
Chair of judges for the competitions Bill Taylor said, “We always review the classes ahead of the launch of our competition and this time, we added new ones for beers and ciders. The aim is to make sure the Awards are always up to date, reflecting current market trends as well as brewing and cider making traditions.
“One of the strengths of the International Brewing & Cider Awards is their ability to accommodate a wide range of beer and cider styles and by introducing these new classes, we are encouraging even more diversity in the entries. Our broad, style-based categories mean there is a place for every beer and cider and the most innovative new drinks have an equal chance of winning a medal or even a trophy next year.”
Entries to the Awards are open until 31 January 2017 and judging by a panel of 49 experts will start on 7 March in Burton-upon-Trent. The judging process for both beer and cider competitions is unique in that only currently working brewers and cider makers are invited to judge, and in its requirement that judges reach consensus on the entrant drinks, rather than simply scoring them.
The last competition, in 2015, attracted close to 1,000 beers and ciders from 50 countries. It is the oldest global brewing competition in the world, dating back to 1886. Cider was part of the competition from the early 20th century, and revived in 2013 before being launched as a standalone competition in 2015, when entries doubled.
BTS director Ruth Evans said, “We are pleased with the level of entries and interest in the competition, which is once again appealing to a wide range of producers and brand owners around the world, from regional microbrewers and artisan cider-makers to multi-nationals.”
“We are looking forward to assembling our panel of experienced judges in Burton next March to assess the wide selection of beers and ciders entered and decide which are worthy of a medal or trophy. Our awards are seen as ‘the ones to win’, thanks to their long heritage and credibility and we’re delighted to be again staging this event which recognises the most talented brewers and cider makers globally.”
Entries to the International Brewing & Cider Awards should be made online at www.brewingawards.org.uk or www.ciderawards.org.uk.
The 2017 competition is supported by headline sponsors Barth-Haas Group and Krones.
Caption to attached image: Judges at the 2015 cider competition (l-r) Helen Thomas of Westons Cider, Hanna TalviOja, R&D manager at Oy Sinebrychoff and David Sipes of Angry Orchard Hard Cider Company