So, the results are in. Seventeen judges took part, scrutinising 64 beers and ciders from 23 breweries/cideries and judging them to the BJCP style guidelines. This was narrowed down to 10 finalists in the beer category and eight in the cider category. The winners were announced at the World of Beer in an evening awards ceremony and dinner – and here they are:
3rd Place: Windermere, for their Apple Cider
2nd place: Garagista for their Double Barrel Cider
1st place: Everson’s for their Pear Cider
William Everson from Everson’s Cider was thrilled with the award and the fact that craft cider was starting to be recognised in the South African drinks industry. As a pioneer in the burgeoning craft cider scene, I think the award was well-deserved
Prizes for the cider category were sponsored by Consol (bottles) and Appletiser (a weekend away).
2nd place: Bridge Street for their Celtic Cross Pilsner
JC Steyn, Head Brewer at Devil’s Peak wasn’t only thrilled that his brewery won the title but admitted it was also a victory for hops. “We’re honoured to receive this accolade and at the same time are very happy that it was an IPA that won. It’s a style we have a huge passion for”, JC said.
Prizes for the beer category were sponsored by Brew Master (brewing ingredients), Global Beverage Solutions (brewer training), SAB Hop Farms, SAB Maltings, plus generous cash prizes from the World of Beer.
The event was attended by the finalists as well as SAB representatives, media and a fair few beer nerds.
I know there were a lot of abstainers this year and a lot of haters, since SAB were involved in the organisation of the competition, but I hope that next year people can put aside their differences to make this a huge competition. Hats off to Sean Watts for organising the judging – a mammoth task – and to Jessica Yellin, who put together an awesome event for the awards ceremony. I totally forgot to thank her while MCing the event and I know she doesn’t get enough beer love sometimes, so if you see her around, give her a beer hug!!
What do you think of the winning list? Were your favourites awarded? Did the judges get it right?