The People’s Choice 2018
We are proud to have hosted the South African National Beer Trophy (SANBT) awards at Beerhouse on Long last night. It was the who’s who of our great industry with representation from Macro and Microbrewing with some of our countries most talented and passionate brewers and beer lovers.
We are happy to be aligned with SANBT as it shares our philosophy of inclusivity with the only criteria that the beer is produced in South Africa. The beers that were entered were judged by 25 judges which include BJCP qualified beer judges, Somillers, celebrity chefs and a Cicerone.
The competition has grown year on year with over 200 entries this year with a total of 20 gold medals awarded. This year saw a macro brewery enter beers with AB-InBev scooping a gold medal. This nod from macro gives the competition even more traction and authenticity and pits hundreds of years of expertise against a growing agile and innovative microbrewing industry.
Once again Beerhouse ran the People’s Choice Award and gathered 1679 votes an increase of over 30% from its previous inaugural year in 2017. People voted for 169 different beers which highlights the variety of beers and taste preferences in SA with 64% of the vote going to microbreweries*. Votes were gathered via online and in-store at Beerhouse Fourways and Long Street.
Last year when the winner Black Label was announced there was an air of deflation amongst the guest with boos being audible. It stirred up quite some discussion about the awards with myself making reference to the commercial cat being amongst the ‘craft’ pigeons at the awards ceremony. I also reacted to calls for macro-breweries to be excluded with “We live in a beermocracy in which we can’t just remove the populist ticket candidate” and “The value of choice can and should never be curtailed to counter the tyranny of the majority”. If we exclude big beer because it’s not our preference then “craft’ will live in a bubble of self-congratulatory ignorance. The People’s Choice Award 2018 went overwhelmingly to Black Label which reflects actual sales and volumes consumed in SA. Micro has a big challenge which is why are current times are so exciting.
This year I was pleased to say there were no audible boos but rather a resolve to forge on and get on with the hustle. To quote Red Rock’s Alan Melville, ” we have no right to the consumer’s throat”, that micro needs to earn. I believe it will be a few years yet before Black Label is challenged for this award. That is the greatest prize, the people’s choice, as then you have evangelised the greatness of the world oldest and greatest beverage. Let’s get to it.
BEER OF YEAR & BEST HOPPY BEER: AMUNDSEN BREWERY SA -INK AND DAGGER.
BEST LIGHT BEER: CAPE BREWING COMPANY – LAGER
BEST DARK BEER: DARLING BREW – BLACK MIST
BEST AMBER ALE: DARLING BREW – GYPSY MASK
BEST SPECIALITY BEER: FRASERS FOLLY – BRANDY CASK FINISHED ALE
BEST WHEAT BEER: ST. FRANCIS BREWING CO. – KROMME RIVIER WITBIER
ATLANTIC STORM BREWERY – BLACK TEMPEST
BRAUHAUS AM DAMM – DUNKEL
BREWHAHA JBAY – STORMY SEAS
CAPE BREWING COMPANY – DUNKEL
DEVIL’S PEAK BREWING COMPANY – LAGER
DRIFTER BREWING CO. – STORMY BLACK PORTER
HERMANUS BREWERY – OLD HARBOUR LAGER
IMPI BREWING CO. – HOMESTEAD LAGER
KINGS CRAFT BREWING CO. – MADKING PILSNER
LAKESIDE BREWING CO. – SUMMIT RED IPA
MITCHELL’S BREWERY – FORESTER’S
MOUNTAIN BREWING COMPANY – KLIPBOCK
ABinBEV – CASTLE LIGHT
SPILLHAUS BREWERY – MARZEN LAGER
STRIPPED HORSE – PALE ALE
THE ITALIAN JOB – FAMIGLIA PILSNER
Download the full results from People’s Choice below