The inaugural African Beer Cup crowns the best beers in Africa
More than 150 brewers, beer enthusiasts and industry experts gathered to celebrate the inaugural African Beer Cup awards ceremony, held in Cape Town on May 18th.
Run in partnership with the annual Craft Brewers Powwow, the competition attracted 143 entries from 11 different African countries: Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.
56 medals were awarded in 28 different categories, with winners hailing from seven different countries.
Beers were judged in early May by panels of beer experts, brewers and qualified judges in Cape Town and Johannesburg. All beers were judged to the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) guidelines, which places a strong focus on stylistic accuracy. “In order to get the best results possible, all beers in the competition were judged twice by two different panels,” said competition co-founder and director Shawn Duthie.
The 16 gold medallists went head to head in a best-of-show round to determine the overall winner. Cape Town’s Drifter Brewing Company took the coveted top spot, with their Stormy Smoked Porter. The winners took home a one-off piece of art to commemorate their win, designed by Cape Town artist Jessie Pearson. Drifter’s brewer Zared Rogers said: “The Stormy Smoked Porter is personally one of my favourite beers to brew and the whole team is really humbled by this accolade. Congratulations to all of the winners!”
Competition co-founder Lucy Corne, a Cape Town based beer judge and editor of On Tap Magazine said: “We were thrilled with the response in this first year of the competition. We were amazed to get so many entries from outside South Africa and really excited to see that a lot of the microbreweries around the continent are producing some really innovative beers.”