The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Brewers and cider-makers from around the world crowned at industry ‘Oscars’

A total of 138 medal and trophy winners have been announced at the world’s most historic international beer and cider competition, the International Brewing & Cider Awards.

Brewers and cider-makers from 24 countries received accolades with 126 medals and 12 trophies awarded to beers and ciders from all over the world, including entrants from Australia, China, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and the UK.

Nine beer trophy winners were announced, including winners from Japan and Malta. Tokyo-based Spring Valley Brewery’s Juicy Hop won Speciality Beer, while Ise Kadoya Beer, also from Japan, won the Strong Beer award for its Nou ga Trokeru Ultra Heaven 3xIPA.

Malta-based Simonds Farsons Cisk won the Non & Low Alcohol category for its Cisk 0.0, whilst other trophy winners included Yorkshire’s Elvington Brewery (Keg Lager) and Jersey’s Liberation Brewing Company (Cask Conditioned Ale).

In the cider awards, Sheppy’s Vintage Cloudy Cider from Taunton-based Sheppy’s Cider, won The International Classic Cider Trophy, while overseas entries triumphed in the other two trophy categories.

Sidewood Estate from South Australia picked up The International Flavoured Cider Trophy for its Strawberry Apple Cider while Ramborn Cider from Luxembourg won The International Innovative Cider Award for its Ramborn Ice Perry.

The competition, which dates back to 1886, has a long history of championing the world’s best brewers and cider-makers, and the competition’s unique approach to the judging process sets it apart from other awards, earning it the reputation as the ‘Oscars of the brewing and cider world’.

Judging took place between 16th-18th November at the National Brewery Centre in Burton-upon-Trent, UK, and comprised working professionals in the brewing and cider-making industries from across the globe, led by Chair of Beer Judging, Rob McCaig and Chair of Cider Judging, Gabe Cook.

The stellar panel was chosen to reflect the current expertise in the tasting and commercial evaluation of beers and ciders going into the market and judges blind-tasted many hundreds of beers and ciders submitted by brewers and cider-makers from around the world.

“It’s been an honour to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary beers and ciders that both brewers and cider-makers have worked so hard to produce during what has been such a difficult 18 months for the industry,” said Ruth Evans MBE, Director of the International Brewing & Cider Awards.

“Despite being forced to postpone the Awards due to the pandemic, our brewing and cider community across the globe rallied together and continued to produce outstanding and innovative produce and it’s this determination and success that’s worth celebrating.”

This year, new categories were announced to reflect key trends that have emerged in the beer and cider markets since the last event in 2019.

In the beer competition, a new  Zero Alcohol category was added to reflect the growth and interest in this market segment and in the cider competition a Rosé category has been added to reflect the growing trend for ‘pink’ ciders. 

New Zealand’s Orchard Thieves Rosé cider was awarded a Gold Medal winner in the new Cider Innovation Rosé category.

Made in DB Breweries’ Nelson-based Redwood Cidery, Orchard Thieves Rosé cider was the only medal winner of any colour from New Zealand this year (beer or cider).

David Sax, Chief Cidermaker at Redwood Cidery, says he is thrilled with the global recognition of Orchard Thieves’ latest innovation.

“We are elated to receive the gold award for our Orchard Thieves Rosé cider, a cider that the team here in Nelson are particularly proud of.

“It is a new release for Orchard Thieves, that is drier in style. It is fresh, fruit-driven and is beautifully pink thanks to the blending of both white and red fleshed apples.

“This cider uses the unusual red fleshed apple varieties ‘Geneva’ and ‘Red Love’. These red fleshed apples are used for their fantastic colour and their tartness (which is rhubarb-like) so perfectly balance the cider.

“This combination gives the cider a Rosé wine character that matches the stunning blush colour. This cider will definitely appeal to wine drinkers and plays to the growing consumer trend for pink beverages.”

A full list of all 2021 medal and trophy winners can be found here.

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