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Brussels Beer Challenge: raising the bar for brewers

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Video: Brussels Beer Challenge director Luc De Raedemaeker talked with the Beer Idiots during the judging about the competition and the state of brewing today.

With 80 medals, Belgium’s beer makers came out on top of the Brussels Beer Challenge for the 75 experts judging the 1,800 beers submitted to the competition from 49 countries.

The awards are a signpost for drinkers for which beers to search out on their next hunting for the best, the up-and-coming and the brewers to note from the vast range of offerings we’re getting these days. The results were announced on 22 November.

Luc De Raedemaeker

Italian brewers took home 33 medals followed by the United States with 32 medals. China is on its way to becoming a brewing power with 18 medals. Dangge Brewing, Beijing was awarded to the best beer in the competition for an imperial stout.

Norway’s Lindheim Ølkompani, a farm brewery, won the 2021 Brewery of the Year title, previously held by Dupont in Belgium. Lindheim Ølkompani specialises in fruit beers.

This is the 10th edition of the competition, which was founded in 2012 by Becomev, managed by Luc De Raedemaeker and Thomas Costenoble. We caught up with  De Raedemaeker during the tastings, which took place this year at the Bedford Hotel in Brussels from 30 October to 1 November (see video).

“We have three goals,” Raedemaeker told the Beer Idiots. “First we want a professional and fair competition. Secondly, its marketing. For the consumer, it’s like a label that when you see Brussels Beer Challenge, the beer will be high quality. If you like the beer depends on your taste, but the quality will be good…the third, and for me the most important, is to defend beer culture in general and Belgian beer culture in particular.”

Belgium brewers in the mix

A total of 53 Belgian brewers won awards for 80 beers picked by the experts. Malheur 10 by the De Landtsheer brewery in Buggenhout won a gold medal and title of best Belgian beer in the competition. Dupont, Palm and Alken-Maes, Huygue and 3F also came away with medals.

Brussels Beer Challenge was founded in 2012 by the company Becomev, managed by Luc De Raedemaeker and Thomas Costenoble. This international beer competition was created in response to the growing interest in the culture of beer and rising numbers of brewing facilities at international level. The first Brussels Beer Challenge took place in 2012 at the Brussels stock exchange. It is held at various Belgian towns every year. 

Brussels Beer Challenge 2021: Full results 

Photos: Brussels Beer Challenge 2021

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