Brussels Beer Challenge 2020: ‘The COVID Edition’
Brussels, 27 November 2020 – The 9th Brussels Beer Challenge took place in Brussels instead of Hasselt from October 26 to November 6 with all the necessary safety precautions and health measures. The level of judging and tasting conditions were as high as at previous Brussels Beer Challenges, with judges mainly Belgian or Belgium residents.
More than 1,500 beers – 1,546 to be specific – were entered in the Brussels Beer Challenge this year, on a par with last year. Considering the ongoing pandemic, this is a sensational success.
The winners take it all!
- The most successful brewery in the 2020 Brussels Beer Challenge is ‘Brasserie Dupont’ (BE)
- The best beer in the competition is ‘Friend or Foe?’ from ‘Browar Rockmill’ (PL)
- All winners: http://www.brusselsbeerchallenge.com/en
Figures and trends at the 2020 Challenge
- Belgium maintained its leadership with 79 awards, followed by the United States (31), Italy (30), the Netherlands (23), Brazil (16) France (13), Canada (10) and China (9).
- The competition is increasingly international in scope with entries from 36 countries this year, including Australia, South Korea, Bolivia and Ukraine.
- ‘NEIPA’ is the fastest growing category with 43 entries.
- ‘Belgian Tripe’l (71), ‘Belgian Witbier’ (46) and ‘Herb’ and spice (44) are the most popular categories.
- ‘Alcohol Free’ and ‘Low Alcohol’ categories are burgeoning.
Tasting took place at the end of October and the beginning of November at the Becomev tasting facilities in Brussels. The safety of the experts and helpers was top priority. The highest level of protection was ensured by a sophisticated hygiene concept: each member of the panel had their own individual table. The size of each panel was limited to four people. The organisers of the Brussels Beer Challenge set a minimum distance of two metres between tables and masks were mandatory, except of course, at the tasting table.
The panel comprised experienced and well-trained judges. Its quality can also be ascribed to the background of its members: beer sommeliers, specialist journalists, beer distributors, barkeepers and brewers as well as seasoned beer enthusiasts. All of them evaluated the samples in a blind tasting session based on sensory criteria and pleasure. They then decided together which beers would take the top three places in each of the categories.