Industry News: BC: 2014 World Beer Cup award Silver medals to Four Winds Brewing & Steamworks Brewing

"Every two years, a highly qualified professional panel of beer judges honors the top three beers in 91 categories with gold, silver, and bronze awards. The World Beer Cup, often referred to as “The Olympics of Beer Competition,” is the most prestigious beer competition in the world."

Awards Philosophy

The World Beer Cup recognizes brewing excellence in 90 categories but does not automatically award the top three entries in a particular category. When judges determine that a category contains three excellent examples of the style, they present gold, silver, and bronze awards for the first, second, and third place beers, respectively.

Judges may choose not to designate any awards in a category if all beers entered in that category are significantly out of style or have major defects. The Competition Manager will cancel judging in any one category if fewer than three entries are received. Also, judges may grant an award in any one or more of the three award places without granting awards in all three places. For example, judges may recognize a beer as a silver or bronze award winner; yet not grant a gold award.

Minimum Standard for Awards

Gold    A world class beer that accurately exemplifies the specified style, displaying the proper balance of taste, aroma and appearance.

Silver    An excellent beer that may vary slightly from style parameters while maintaining close adherence to the style and displaying excellent taste, aroma, and appearance.

Bronze    A fine example of the style that may vary slightly from style parameters and/or have minor defects in taste, aroma, or appearance.

Denver, Colorado, USA - Those are the words from the Brewers Association, an organization comprised of over two thousand brewers and over forty-three thousand home brewers. The mission of the Brewers Association is simple - to promote local, privately-owned breweries, and inspire tomorrow's craft brewers. And every two years, since 1996, the Brewers Association (along with a panel of judges) invite breweries -  both privately-owned or publicly traded - to submit beers for judging in 91 distinct categories.

Like previous years, breweries in British Columbia submitted beers in various categories, to be judged by their peers. This year (2014) 7 breweries from Canada took home medals in the categories "American-style Brett Beer", "Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer", "German-style Pale Wheat Ale", "Belgian-style Witbier", "Belgian-style Tripel". "Ordinary or Special Bitter", and "Sweet Stout or Cream Stout". From this list only two breweries from British Columbia won medals - Delta's Four Winds Brewing Co. and Burnaby's Steamworks Brewing Co.

Four Winds Brewing's Silver adds another chapter to a story several generations old.

image sourced from Four Winds' Facebook pageSubmitted to Category 19: American-style Brett Beer, Four Winds sent their Juxtapose Brett IPA to be judged amongst the 35 entries. "At the heart of this distinctive West Coast IPA stands the juxtaposition of ripe tropical fruit esters and mild Brett funk. Moderately bitter and gracefully balanced. Fermented with 100% Brett brux troi and brewed with simcoe, Amarillo, and Columbus. Malt includes pale, pilsner and raw oats."

For their efforts, Four Winds Brewing took home a Silver medal, their first ever.

Plus, this award represents family cooperation in the literal sense. What most don't know is that the brewery is comprised of head brewer Brent Mills, his brothers (and engineers) Adam Mills and Sean Mills, and their father Greg Mills (who acts as the accountant). So when the brewery receives recognition like this, the family shares in the celebration. When pressed for a response head brewer Brent Mills responded, "Just amazed about this award! A style and type of beer we love to drink and brew and to be awarded in this category is an absolute honour."

Located in Delta, just North of Vancouver, Four Winds Brewing features a tasting room and at least eight distinct beers on draught. For more information visit their Facebook page.

Almost 20 years old and still teaching people about beer.

Started in 1995, Steamwork Brewing has remained rooted near Vancouver's Gastown neighborhood. Like their beers their address has polarized residence because of it's close proximity to the Burnaby / Vancouver border.

“In 1995, when we first took hold of our historic Gastown brewpub location, we discovered that the building had a rare steam heat system. A remnant from forward thinkers of a century past.”

“Our brewmaster had only read of steam powered brewing, but had never seen a functional steam brewery. These are very rare indeed. We ventured forth, experimented, and created a one-of-a-kind steam generated brewery. The only one in Canada." –“Our Story" via Steamworks' website

This year, like 2004, the brewery was the benefactor of recognition, this time for their Tripel Blitzen.

"Curl up closer to the steam pipes, and warm up to the festive season. This Winter Ale is an ode to Belgian Tripel. It shows apple, and citrus aromas, along with a toasted malt character." Brewery Description

Submitted to Category 61: Belgian-style Tripel, Steamworks Blitzen received a Silver medal out of 59 participants. Including this year's medal for Blitzen, this marks the second award, since the brewery won in 2004. Prior World Beer Cup awards was a Silver for their Grand Espresso Stout (2004).

The next World Beer Cup awards will be in 2016

For those that didn't win, they will have until 2016, when the next World Beer Cup awards will be held.

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