Winners of the tasting competitions 2016

The Gold Brewer's Seal and Bohemian Golden Spring Awards 2016 were awarded to the most successful producers at the final ceremony of the International Beer Festival Budweis on Saturday, February 6th 2016.

The Gold Brewer's Seal Major Award 2016 continues to stay in South Bohemia. This year Pale Lager from Jilovice Microbrewery has been elected by the professional tasting jury as absolutely the best beer among more than a thousand competitors. The small craft brewery in the Novohradske Mountains started brewing beer only a half a year ago. It specializes in traditional Czech bottom-fermented recipes, and with its victory in a huge international competition it has impressed not only the local public.

Silver Major Award has been won by Krusovice10, while bronze has gone to a beer from another small South Bohemian microbrewery: Lyer Pale Lager.

In addition to these major awards other 33 Golden Brewer's Seals in 30 beer categories have been distributed. 22 categories were open to all breweries, 8 of them were intended for microbreweries. One category was added for cider producers only for the first time this year. Tasting was attended by a record 225 breweries from three continents. 1,110 beers and ciders registered for the tasting competitions for the Gold Brewer's Seal this year. Compared to last year the number of registered breweries for the tasting competition has increased by 20% (225 this year compared to 186 last year) and the number of registered beers by 30% (1,110 this year compared to 849 last year). The number of foreign participants has also gone up by about 30% (from 51 last year to 65 this year).

The Gold Brewer's Seal Awards thus confirmed its great reputation of one of Europe's largest beer-tasting competitions. The only bigger competition on the Old Continent is European Beer Star organized by Bavarian Association of Private Breweries in Munich. Last year 1,957 beers competed in Germany. 1,103 beers participated in Belgian Beer Brussels Challenge 2015. British World Beer Award does not disclose the number of its participants; however, the available data suggest that the number of applications from Europe is somewhere around four hundred beers at the moment.

Both, large multinational corporations (Heineken, Molson-Coors, Carlsberg) as well as the smallest brewery houses, competed for the prestigious brewing awards in Ceske Budejovice. Breweries from nearly twenty countries attended the event: Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Norway, Hungary, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Slovenia, Croatia, USA, Japan and Kazakhstan.

The competition was huge, not only in terms of the number of participants, but also in terms of the quality. Multiple medalists from the US biggest competitions (GABF, World Beer Cup, and US Open) as well as the winners of the largest European competitions (European Beer Star) got together in Ceske Budejovice. Most of the 65 foreign participants belong to the top quality leaders in their countries.

Nevertheless, only nine of the Gold Brewer's Seal Awards have eventually gone abroad. Two of them to Germany thanks to Bamberg brewery Mahrs Bräu, three to Slovakia (two for Golden Pheasant from Hurbanova, one for Cassa Brewery from Kosice), three to Hungary (two for Guri Brewery from Jászapáti, one for Stari Kézműves Sörfőzde from Tapolca) and one to Croatia (for Karlovacko from Karlovac).

The greatest medalist this year is Golden Pheasant (Heineken Slovakia, Hurbanovo): 2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze. The most successful domestic breweries are Roznov Brewery (2 gold, 1 bronze), Albrecht Frydlant Chateau Brewery (2 gold, 1 bronze) and Rakovnik Brewery. Its brands Bakalar, Cernovar and Prazacka have also won two gold and one bronze.

Two gold awards have been won by other domestic brands. Clock of Potstejn succeeded in winning in both of the very prestigious and heavily occupied Ale categories (Ale and India Pale Ale). Likewise, Jilovice microbrewery and The Three Roses (U Tru Ruzi) Restaurant & Brewery in Prague rejoiced at two victories.

The complete list of medalists of the Gold Brewer's Seal Awards 2016 can be found here.

The complete list of participants in the Gold Brewer's Seal 2016 can be found here.

Oirase Brewery from Towada in Japan had to cover the longest distance of all to collect its medal (bronze in the category of semi-dark beer from microbrewery).

The complete list of medalists of Bohemian Golden Spring Awards 2016 can be found here.