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Home | News | International | WBC 2014 opens for entries

WBC 2014 opens for entries

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Two-stage process to allow more brewers to enter

Here’s a puzzler: in the ever-expanding world of brewing competitions, is there a maximum number of entries that can be judged? How big can big be?

The answer comes courtesy of America’s Brewers Association, which is envisioning a ceiling of 5,000 entries for the next edition of the World Beer Cup in 2014. And to encourage as many entrants as possible, initially there will be a restriction on the number of beers that can be entered.

“Demand for participation in the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup has always been high,” said Brewers Association sales and marketing director Barbara Fusco. “But this year seemed to be a critical mass where interest was very high and there was a rush to enter all at once.”

As such there’s a new two-stage entry process in place. Beginning 17th October and for the following two weeks there’s an opportunity for brewers around the world to register their interest in entering beers in the upcoming WBC. 

In this initial stage breweries submit a $160 registration fee – which will cover the cost of the first beer entered – and affirm that they are an operational brewer producing commercially available fermented malt beverages. 

Following the close of this period, the Brewers Association will calculate how many beers can be entered per brewer to reach the 5,000 entrant ceiling. To take a straightforward example, if 1,000 brewers register, each would be invited to enter a maximum of five beers. 

At the completion of this second stage, the entering of beers into the WBC’s myriad of competitions, there may be a gap between the total number of beers entered and the entry ceiling. If this should be the case, noted Fusco, then brewers will be invited to submit additional beers beyond their initial five entries. 

The two stage process, she added, will allow for a level playing field, that brewers from around the world will have an equal opportunity to participate in the World Beer Cup. As the name suggests it is intended to be a global stage for brewing in contrast to the BA’s Great American Beer Festival. 

The last edition of the WBC saw 799 brewers participate, with them entering 3,921 beers in the 2012 competition. There were entries from 54 countries, with the beers’ merits assessed by a panel of 211 judges drawn from 27 countries. 

To reach the 5,000 entry ceiling there would have to be a 27% increase in entries, a not unthinkable outcome given the hundreds and hundreds of microbrewers that have begun production over the past 24 months. It transpires that there’s also a ceiling on the number of breweries that can enter, with the ceiling at 1,800. The BA notes that this is a “very unlikely” outcome – but in the current climate, who’s to say for certain?

WBC 2014 is set for Denver, Colorado in April 2014. Judging is to take place over two days, on the 7th and 8th, with the medal winners to be announced at the close of the subsequent Craft Brewers Conference, on the 11th.

Photo credit: Jason E Kaplan




The Beer World Cup

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