Brewers Association Announces 2016 World Beer Cup Award Winners


Boulder, CO — The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers—announced the results of one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2016 World Beer Cup. The awards were presented at the conclusion of Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This edition of the World Beer Cup saw 6,596 beers from 1,907 breweries representing 55 countries—a 38.5 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2014 World Beer Cup, which had 4,754 entries.

Entries were judged by an elite international panel of 253 judges from 31 countries. Judges awarded 287 out of 288 total possible awards, reflecting the chance for one gold, one silver and one bronze award in each of 96 beer style categories. A gold award was not presented in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category.

A detailed analysis of the entries and awards can be found in the 2016 World Beer Cup Fact Sheet.

“Brewing has no boundaries or borders,” said Charlie Papazian, founder, Brewers Association. “The World Beer Cup recognizes the very best in the global community of brewers—their innovation, creativity and the craft of beer and brewing.”

Category Trends

  • The average number of beers entered per category was 69, up from 50 in 2014—a marker of the 2016 World Beer Cup’s high level of competitiveness.
  • The category with the most entries was American-Style India Pale Ale with 275 entries.
  • The second most-entered category was Imperial India Pale Ale with 181 entries.
  • The third most-entered category was American-Style Pale Ale with 167 entries.

Award Highlights

The 287 awards were won by 253 breweries, with few breweries earning more than one award.

  • 225 breweries won one award.
  • 22 breweries won two awards.
  • 6 breweries won three awards.

“This year’s judge panel was our most international ever, with three-quarters of judges travelling to Philadelphia from outside the U.S.,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, World Beer Cup. “Judges commented throughout the week that overall beer quality continues to improve across the spectrum of world beer styles. While breweries may hold the awards, beer drinkers around the world are the true winners.”

Champion Brewery/Champion Brewmaster Awards

The competition also bestows Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster awards in each of six brewery categories based on the awards won by each brewery.

Very Small Brewing Company Category

  • Arch Rock Brewing Co.
  • James Smith

Small Brewing Company Category

  • Noble Ale Works
  • Evan and The Giants

Mid-Size Brewing Company Category

  • Brewery Ommegang

Large Brewing Company Category

  • Miller Brewing Co.
  • Miller Brewing Co. Brewing Team

Small Brewpub Category

  • 12Degree Brewing
  • Jon Howland and Tor O’Brien

Large Brewpub Category

  • Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
  • Julian Shrago, Ian McCall and Gene Wagoner

The complete list of award winners is available for download.

The Brewers Association introduced the World Beer Cup competition in 1996 to celebrate the art and science of brewing by recognizing outstanding achievement. The 2016 World Beer Cup is made possible by the generous support of sponsors including Presenting Sponsor Krones, and Partner Sponsors Ball Corporation, Barth-Haas Group, First Key Consulting Inc., MicroStar Logistics, SAHM GmbH + Co. KG, and Siemens.

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer CupSM, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.