In the beer world, the World Beer Cup is sort of like the Oscars. Brewery owners are like producers, marketing people are the directors, and brewers are the actors, the camera operators, editors, and even grip and electric. And the beer? Beer is always film that gets all the glory…as it should be.
At the 2022 World Beer Cup, which normally happens every other year, skipped 2020 due to Covid and is back after a four-year hiatus in Minneapolis (see my 2018 write-up here). Over 10,000 beers from 2,493 breweries coming from 57 countries entered this year’s competition, and with only 103 categories, the odds of winning anything are extremely slim.
- Hoppy Lager, Gluten-Free, and Non-Alcoholic beers made a huge jump in entries since the last competition. Lagers and lower ABV beers, in general, seemed to double in entries and excitement.
- American Style (West Coast) IPA, the beer style with the most entries overall at 384, went to all SoCal breweries: (Bronze) Karl Straus (which has two locations in Orange County), (Silver) Brewery X in Anaheim, and (Gold) Northpark Brewing for the always magical Hop Fu IPA.
- Orange County continues its coffee beer dominance thanks to Portola Coffee Lab, which builds custom roasts for its long list of award-winning beer collaborations.
- Ryan Fields, who brewed at Pizza Port San Clemente and Beachwood Blendery, started his own brewery called Wild Fields in Central California with his wife Jacquelyn, won four gold awards. Stop into their brewery up in Atascadero next time you’re headed up north to see what that Pizza Port brewing pedigree is all about.
- Lastly, don’t snooze on a beer trip down to San Clemente to do some beer tasting…the city is having a moment with three World Beer Cup awards this year (noted below).
- Pizza Port San Clemente: Dusk Til Dawn; Coffee Beer
- Lost Winds Brewing: Beach Hoppin’ Pale; Australian Pale Ale
- 1886 Brewing: Record Beer; Brown Porter
- Green Cheek (Orange): All Your Friends; Intl. IPA
- Beachwood Brewing (HB): Full Malted Jacket; Scotch Ale
- Brewery X: Super Slap: IPA
- Beachwood Brewing: Mocha Machine; Coffee Beer
- Delahunt Brewing: De La Sol; Cream Ale