2018 World Beer Cup Awards Marks the Largest Yet

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The 2018 World Beer Cup awards attracted more than 8,000 entries. (Brewers Association)

The World Beer Cup awards only happen every other year, and the 2018 event held in Nashville Thursday, May 3, was the largest since the event began in 1996.


U.S. breweries competed on a world-wide stage. The international beer awards competition attracted more than 8,200 entries from 66 countries. The entries were judged over the the course of six judging sessions by a panel of nearly 300 judges. More than 70 percent of the World Beer Cup judges traveled from outside the U.S. to be part of the competition.

(READ: 50 Fastest Growing U.S. Craft Brewers)

The 2018 World Beer Cup, organized by the Brewers Association (publishers of CraftBeer.com), attracted 25 percent more entries than the 2016 competition. To give you some perspective, the entries were even higher than the 7,900-plus for the competition at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival.

Beers were judged in 101 style categories. The American-Style India Pale Ale was the most-entered category, attracting 377 different entries. The Imperial India Pale Ale Category and Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer Category were the next most-entered, each attracting 196 beers.

Check the winners’ list to see if any of your favorite U.S. craft breweries took home a medal.

(INSTAGRAMMERS: Show Us Your Photos of the Independent Craft Brewer Seal)

The 2018 World Beer Cup served as the finale to the annual Craft Brewers Conference, a craft beer industry convention that attracted more than 14,000 people to Nashville. Earlier in the week, the BA handed out its annual industry awards. Recipients included Tomme Arthur from Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey as well as Georgia Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Nancy Palmer, who became the first woman to win the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry award. The 2019 Craft Brewers Conference heads to Denver next April.

Jess Baker walked into a beer fest in 2010 and realized beer had come a long way from what her dad had been drinking since the 70s. She served as editor-in-chief of CraftBeer.com from spring 2016 to spring 2020, bringing you stories about the people who are the heartbeat behind U.S. craft brewing. She's a runner, a die-hard Springsteen fan, a mom who is always scouting family-friendly breweries, and always in search of a darn good porter.

CraftBeer.com is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on CraftBeer.com do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.