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Manchester Hosts Historic International Beer and Cider Awards: Global Brewers and Cidermakers Celebrate Victory

Discover the triumphs of global brewers and cidermakers at the historic International Brewing & Cider Awards 2024 in Manchester. Uncover the winning brews and ciders from 21 countries, celebrated by an esteemed panel of international judges.

Manchester Hosts Historic International Beer and Cider Awards: Global Brewers and Cidermakers Celebrate Victory

The brewing and cider world congregated in Manchester, England this week for the prestigious International Brewing & Cider Awards 2024, dubbed the industry's equivalent of the Oscars. With a rich history dating back to 1886, this year marked a significant milestone as the event took place for the first time ever in Manchester, welcoming 67 brewers and cidermakers from 21 countries.

Amidst intense competition, 30 beers clinched the coveted Gold, with British brewers and Far East contenders securing a lion's share. Meanwhile, 13 cider Golds were distributed, with the USA and Nordic nations making a notable mark.

Ruth Evans MBE, Director of the International Brewing & Cider Awards, said: “It’s been an honour to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary beers and ciders across the world at our new home here in Manchester. We support the brewing and cidermaking industry on a not-for-profit basis, and the Awards has a long and rich history championing the best beers and ciders going into market. This week, we’ve had some of the best brewers and cidermakers in the world judge our prestigious competition and I’d like to personally thank all of them, as well as all the brewers and cidermakers who entered their products to make this year’s Awards one to remember. We’re thrilled to be able to continue to provide a platform to reward the best beers and ciders with the recognition they so truly deserve. And for the first time ever expand to launch our Festival, providing the public a chance to sample these award-winning drinks from the most extensive collection of international beers and cider in Europe.” 

The accolades, determined by a panel of 38 international judges, highlighted exceptional craftsmanship from diverse corners of the globe. Among the winners were breweries and cideries from Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, and the UK.

In a groundbreaking move, the Awards relocated to Manchester's Depot Mayfield, setting the stage for an unprecedented public festival alongside the competition. This two-day extravaganza allowed enthusiasts to savor the entries, including the award-winning brews and ciders.

The judging process, spanning three days, featured blind tastings led by renowned industry figures like Chair of Beer Judging, Rob McCaig, and Chair of Cider Judging, Gabe Cook. This meticulous approach ensured fairness and rigor in evaluating each product's quality and commercial appeal.

Rob McCaig, Chair of Beer Judging, said: “We’ve had such an outstanding line up of judges from all corners of the world, and they’ve all done a remarkable job tasting and evaluating some of the finest beers from around the globe. This year proved to be one of the toughest yet to determine which of the beers were deserving of a medal. We had an exceptional amount of great quality beers enter this year, making the job of our judging panel extremely difficult. It’s a shame we couldn’t award more medals, as there were so many beers that were deserving of the accolade – some of which narrowly missed out. We saw a significant increase in entries in the Non & Low Alcohol category, which reflects the growing demand in the industry, and also saw an influx of international brewers enter the Smallpack Ale category, which is very promising. Historically, this category has often been dominated by the UK, but this year saw the inclusion of breweries from Japan, North America and South America.”    

Gabe Cook, Chair of Cider Judging, said: “It has been a great pleasure once again to chair the world’s premier cider competition. This year has been the best calibre of judges we’ve ever had, coming from all over the world including Japan, Latvia, Norway, USA, Spain and the UK. The incredible global range has also been reflected in the cider entries, with entries arriving from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America. This has undoubtably been the most difficult competition to judge – the quality of ciders has been truly, so high. It’s great to see that cidermakers have been upping their game on the quality, and those that were awarded a medal in their category is a recognition truly deserved. We have seen a lot of fun and playful ciders being entered into the Open Class, which provides cidermakers with a bit of freedom to do something a little different, which is always nice to see.”  

The Awards ceremony on May 1, 2024, at The Guildhall in London promises to be a grand affair, where gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be honored alongside 12 trophy winners.

For a comprehensive list of winners, visit the official International Brewing & Cider Awards website. The success of the 2024 edition was made possible by the support of headline sponsors Barth-Haas Group, Krones, and Fermentis, along with a lineup of esteemed trophy sponsors.

As the brewing and cider community eagerly anticipates the grand ceremony, the International Brewing & Cider Awards reaffirm their status as the premier recognition platform for excellence in the industry.