Big and small win in World Cup

Miller grabs most medals, but Wisconsin brewpub has 6 of its own

June 12, 2002 - Wisconsin breweries showed that size doesn't always matter in taking home mounds of medals Wednesday when the winners of World Beer Cup 2002 were announced during ceremonies in Aspen, Colo.


These weren't the biggest breweries to win or the smallest -- and they certainly won't the only ones -- but these three provided one of many interesting stories during the biennial awards ceremony, illustrating the diversity of beer and the breweries who make it.

- Milwaukee's Miller Brewing Co., which recently was sold to South African Breweries and will soon be part of the world's second largest brewing company, won seven medals for beers it brews. Miller produced more than 40 million barrels (31 gallons) of beer last year.

- Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing, a Miller subsidiary with headquarters in Chippewa Falls and a large brewery in Milwaukee, won three gold medals. Leinenkugel maintained its status as a regional power last year, brewing 340,000 barrels.

- Angelic Brewing Co., a Madison brewpub that produced 1,000 barrels in 2001 (that's 1/40th of 1/1000th of Miller's production), won six medals, including two golds. Angelic head brewer Dean Coffey won for beers of all styles, including those of German, Belgian, British and American origin.

The winning beers were selected from a record number 1,173 entries. The Association of Brewers first conducted World Cup competition in 1996.

"When the winners hang their awards in their breweries, they are going to be recognized around the world as a symbol of brewing excellence," said World Beer Cup Director Nancy Johnson.

"The World Beer Cup is the Olympics of beer competitions," said World Beer Cup and Association of Brewers founder Charlie Papazian. "The World Beer Cup was founded to make quality beer and brewing knowledge accessible to all. Every two years, breweries from Fiji to China enter the World Beer Cup to increase this craft-beer awareness."

In fact, the Guangzhou Brewery in China won a bronze medal for its wonderfully named Double Happiness Beer.

Adding to the international flavor of the ceremony was the presence of Lithuania's ambassador to the United States. A Lithuanian TV crew taped the awards ceremony for a commercial that will broadcast in Lithuania. Svyturys Baltijos from Svyturys Utenos Alus Brewery won a bronze medal in the German-Style Märzen/Oktoberfest category.

Wisconsin breweries weren't the only multiple winners. Canada's Unibroue won five medals, including two gold, for its Belgian influenced beers. Third Street Ale Works -- a Santa Rosa, Calif., brewpub -- took home four medals, including three golds. Marin Brewing Co. in Larkspur, Calif., also captured four medals. Other double gold winners included Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams beers), Oregon's Rogue Ales, Honolulu Brewing Co., Laurelwood Public House & Brewery of Portland, Ore., and Capital Brewery of Middleton, Wis. Middleton is just outside of Madison.

Complete results: both by brewery and by style.

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