The first Irish gold was awarded to the Donegal brewery at the distinguished global competition that had entrants from almost 60 different countries worldwide.
Kinnegar Brewing, a Donegal-based brewer, has claimed its first-ever gold at the 2022 World Beer Cup following a ceremony in Minneapolis Convention Center in Minnesota, USA.
Kinnegar Brewing’s own Black Bucket beer took the top spot in the American-style Black Ale / American-Style Stout category, one of the 100 such categories in the competition. There were a total of 10,500 beers in the competition in its entirety.
This is the first Irish brewery to claim gold at this competition set up over 25 years ago in 1996, making it the best performance to come from the Emerald Isle.
What is the World Beer Cup? – evaluating the globe’s best pints
The World Beer Cup deems itself to be the “most prestigious beer competition in the world” and the “Olympics of beer competition”. It was held this year on 5 May in Minnesota.
It is held every two years and is judged by over 200 highly-qualified beer professionals. Awards include gold, silver, and bronze, given in over 100 different categories.
As such, for Kinnegar Brewing to be taking home a gold medal from this distinguished competition is no mean feat. Indeed, it may be your call to try a pint of the ale. In total this year, 2,493 breweries from 57 different countries entered.
Kinnegar Beer – Ireland’s first gold medal
Black Bucket forms part of Kinnegar’s “core range” of 12 beers. It is a rye beer that was first made back in 2014. Co-owner of Kinnegar Beer, Libby Carlton, regards the beer as “one of the more challenging beers in our core range”.
Ultimately, however, “it’s actually a remarkably drinkable beer that beautifully balances rye and roasted malts with fresh hop aromas and flavours,” Carlton concluded.
Kinnegar brewery was forced to relocate to a state-of-the-art facility in Letterkenny back in 2017, owing to the commercial growth it was experiencing. It has continued to flourish and shine ever since.
Founder and Head Brewer, Rick LeVert, had this to say; “We’re consistently improving what we do at our base off the beaten track in Donegal. It’s exceptionally rewarding to receive this level of recognition for our effort”.
Who else was in contention? – the world’s best beers
Other winners included the Brother Harker Patersbier, a US-based brewery that claimed gold in the American-Belgo-Style Ale. Three Bridges Brown, another American entry, finished first in the American-Style Brown Ale category.
The Canadian Amsterdam Brewing Co. won the top spot in the Classic Saison section. Harvestmoon Brewery of Japan won the gold for the Dortmunder/Export or German-Style Oktoberfest. Meanwhile, the Fort Point Beer Co. of America won the Fruit Beer section.
In previous years, Irish brewers didn’t claim gold but performed exceptionally well. Galway Bay won a silver award in 2016, Eight Degrees a bronze in 2014, and Porterhouse a bronze in 2010.
You can find out more about the winners of the World Beer Cup here.