Dublin Craft Beer Cup – and the winner is…

Hilden Brewing Company, Ireland’s oldest independent brewery, beat out more than 100 breweries from around the world to win the 2013 Dublin Craft Beer Cup for its Twisted Hop pale ale.

The cup was awarded during the International Brewing and Distilling Convention, hosted by Alltech in Dublin, last week.  The competition also awarded 69 medals to breweries worldwide.

This unique event, the first of its kind, allowed craft brewers to showcase their beers and have them rated by world renowned beer judges. Winners were chosen by an expert panel of 12 judges based on appearance, aroma, flavor, body, style and quality. The 2013 competition saw entries from more than 100 breweries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Award-winning craft brewers, including US brewers like Sierra Nevada, Left Hand Brewing Company and Dogfish Head, received gold, silver and bronze medals in eight different beer categories.

At the same time, the International Craft Brewing and Distilling Convention was being staged, enlightened minds and taste buds with an impressive craft brewing and distilling educational programme.

The convention kicked off with the fusion of Kentucky bluegrass and Irish traditional music for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, a concert attended by almost 2,000 people, who enjoyed artists such as Mary Black, Paul Brady and We Banjo 3. It was the first internationally held event for the radio show, which regularly broadcasts on US public television, as well as more than 500 radio stations globally.

On Friday, more than 800 people passed through the doors of the Expo — a forum covering all aspects of brewing and distilling from equipment and yeast selection, to pairing the final product. Attendees entered through an oversized wooden barrel where they watched an LED sphere playing the history of craft brewing and savored the smells of hops and malts.

They sampled international craft beers and chatted with the brewers at the Craft Beer Market that showcased beers from European breweries including O’Hara’s, Früh, Hardknott, Jever, Great Heck, Metalman, Thornbridge and Beavertown. Plenty of food was on hand for pairing with the craft brews, including cheeses, breads, fish and Lyons Farm beef.

In the center of the Expo was the Pavilion Bar, dispensing Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company’s beers and spirits to thirsty guests. Brews included the newly released Kentucky IPA, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout and the flagship Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. A sensory lounge allowed experienced brewers, home brewers and beer and spirit enthusiasts to taste whiskey, bourbon and beers to learn more about proper tasting and the impact of different ingredients on flavor profiles.

For those interested in starting a brewery, Alltech president and founder Dr Pearse Lyons shared his own story about how he had come full circle from an early beginning in brewing and distilling, to animal health and nutrition, and back to his passion of brewing and distilling. He encouraged people to lead, noting the strong potential for job creation in the brewing and distilling industries and also encouraged action over analysis. “Don’t get it right, get it going,” he said.

Mark Lyons, vice-president of corporate affairs at Alltech, also gave an eye-opening presentation on the potential markets in China. “Twenty years ago beer in China was a foreign experience,” he explained. “Now, China has grown to become the largest beer market in the world, with the Chinese consuming one in four beers produced globally.” This is why, he said, “the future is here and it’s called China”.

On the final day, Alltech announced the recipients of the awards for: outstanding service in brewing and distilling, which went to Graham Stewart; and lifetime achievement in craft distilling, awarded to Bill Owens. Both men have spent many years honing their craft in the industry while inspiring younger brewers to do the same.

Gold Medal Winners

  • Hilden Brewing Co: Twisted Hop
  • Left Hand Brewing Co: Milk Stout
  • Carlow Brewing Co: O’Hara’s Leann Folláin
  • Carlow Brewing Co: O’Hara’s Irish Red
  • Ben Middlemiss Brewing: Nota Bene
  • Jopenkerk Bierbrouwerij: Jopen Adriaan
  • Brasserie Castelain: Ch’ti Triple
  • Toit Brewpub: Toit Weiss
  • Boulder Beer Co: Sweaty Betty Blonde
  • Moa Brewing Co: Moa Pale Ale
  • Sierra Nevada: American Pale Ale

Silver Medal Winners

  • Anchor Brewing Co: Anchor Porter
  • Ben Middlemiss Brewing: Hodgson
  • Molta Birras: L’Arrossa
  • Brasserie Castelain: Ch’ti Ambrée
  • Brasserie Castelain: Ch’ti Blonde
  • Niagara College Teaching Brewery: Butler’s Bitter
  • Carlow Brewing Com, O’Hara’s Barrel Series: Leann Folláin
  • Clada Group Ltd: Kloster Scheyern Doppelbock Dunkel
  • Deep Creek Brewing Co: Dweller on the Threshold
  • Dingle Brewing Co: Tom Crean’s Lager
  • Dogfish Head: 60 minute IPA
  • Dogfish Head: Indian Brown Ale
  • Flying Dog Brewery: Snake Dog IPA
  • Founders Brewing Co: Founders Porter
  • Green Flash Brewing Co: Double Stout
  • Jack Black Brewing Co: Lumberjack Amber Ale
  • Left Hand Brewing Co: Sawtooth Ale
  • Mill Street Brewery: Mill Street Belgian Wit
  • Mill Street Brewery: Mill Street Porter
  • Natural Selection Brewing: Origin
  • Niagara Teaching College: Brew Master Wheat
  • Schipper’s Craft Beer: Schipper’s Chinook IPA
  • Sierra Nevada: Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen
  • Spearhead Brewing Co: Belgian Stout
  • Stone Brewing Co: Stone IPA
  • Thornbridge Brewery: Wild Raven
  • Thornbridge Brewery: Halcyon
  • Toit Brewpub: Tintin Toit

Bronze Medal Winners

  • Abita Brewing Co: Purple Haze
  • Abita Brewing Co: Turbodog
  • Anchor Brewing Co: Liberty Ale
  • Breckenridge Brewery: Avalanche Ale
  • Breckenridge Brewery: Vanilla Porter
  • Birra & Blues: Doble Malta
  • Blacks Kinsale Craft Brewer: Kinsale Pale Ale
  • Boulder Beer: Hazed and Infused
  • Carlow Brewing Co: O’Hara’s Irish Stout
  • Carlow Brewing Co: O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale
  • Cerveceria Bayernbrau de Mexico: Ambar
  • Deep Creek Brewing Co: Dusty Gringo
  • Flying Dog Brewery: Doggy Style Classic Pale Ale
  • Flying Dog Brewery: Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout
  • Founders Brewing Co: Founders Dirty Bastard
  • Great Lakes Brewing Co: Dortmunder Gold
  • Hardknott Brewing Co: Azimuth
  • Hardknott Brewing Co: Continuum
  • Hilden Brewing Company: Barney’s Brew
  • Jack Black Brewing Co: Butcher Block Pale Ale
  • Mighty Hop Brewery: Happy Daze
  • Mill Street Brewery: Cobblestone Stout
  • North Coast Brewing Co: PranQster
  • North Coast Brewing Co: Scrimshaw Pilsner
  • Rodenburg Brewery: Royal RHA IPA
  • Sixpoint Brewery: Sweet Action
  • Spearhead Brewing Co: Hawaiian Style Pale Ale
  • Thornbridge: Jaipur IPA
  • Three Floyds Brewing Co: Blackheart
  • Three Floyds Brewing Co: Zombie Dust