Sunday, April 20, 2008

Clipper City wins Gold Medal for International Pale Ale

Winter Storm is world's best International Pale Ale, 2008Clipper City Brewing Company of Baltimore, Maryland has been awarded a Gold Medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup for its Winter Storm Category 5 Ale in the International Pale Ale category:

International Pale Ale
Category 90, 20 Entries)

Winter Storm
Clipper City Brewing Co.
Baltimore, Maryland

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA
Saint Arnold Brewing Co
Houston, Texas

Punk IPA
Fraserburgh, United Kingdom

In a prescient blog entry just this past Friday, David at Musings Over A Pint mused that "It's always bittersweet when we finish off a seasonal beer" as he enjoyed his last bottle of 2007 Winter Storm.

Other winners from Virginia and Maryland were:
  • Wild Goose, a gold medal in the English-style IPA category, for its Wild Goose IPA.
  • Rock Bottom Bethesda, a silver medal in the Special Bitter category, for its 1065 Raccoon Red.
  • Rock Bottom Bethesda, a bronze medal in the German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier category, for its 1065 Fire Chief Alt.
  • Sweetwater Tavern Centreville, a silver medal in the British-Style Imperial Stout category, for its High Desert Imperial Stout.
  • Starr Hill Brewery, a silver medal in the Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout category, for its Dark Starr Stout.
  • Flying Dog Brewery, a silver medal in the American-Style Amber Lager category, for its Old Scratch Amber Lager.
  • Flying Dog Brewery, a gold medal in the American-Style Imperial Stout category, for its Gonzo Imperial Porter.
[UPDATE: I initially missed the last two because Flying Dog, while brewing its beers exclusively in its Frederick Maryland facility, lists its headquarters as being in Denver, Colorado.]

List of all winners.

What exactly is an International Style Pale Ale? Here's what the style guidelines for the competition state:
A. Subcategory: International Pale Ale
Recognizing the creativity, uniqueness and variety of pale ales produced by innovative brewers throughout the world, entries in this subcategory may represent variations on classic English pale ale or American pale ale beer styles. These beers will bear the most resemblance to English or American pale ale categories with respect to color, general flavor profile and alcohol levels, and will be judged accordingly. Typically specific hop characters define the signature qualities of many traditional styles of pale ales. Many brewers choose to maintain the overall beer character of a particular style, but use new hop types, resulting in new interpretations of “traditional” styles of beer which have unique or non-traditional hop flavor or aroma characters. While many brewers strive to maintain the traditions of certain brewing styles, other brewers seek to reflect the uniqueness of their own beer culture and locally produced ingredients. Beers entered in this subcategory could include, for example, beers inspired by classic English or American pale ale, but brewed with New Zealand or other hops. The brewer must list the classic style on which the entry is based, and may also explain the special ingredient(s) use, and the resulting achieved character or nature of the beer, to allow for accurate judging. Beer entries not accompanied by this information may be at a disadvantage during judging.

[UPDATE: More on beer styles in general.]

Caveat: I am employed by the Clipper City Brewing Company.

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