A 4.6% abv session NEIPA from Shrewsbury was named the world’s best beer at the International Beer Challenge Awards 2019 in London last night.

Salopian Brewery’s Paper Planes is hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin and it dazzled the judges with its enticing nose, complexity of flavours and balanced, bitter finish.

An expert panel of judges gathered in London on Monday to taste each gold medal winning beer from the IBC 2019 in order to decide trophy winners for best in class brews.

These category champions then went up against one another to determine a Supreme Champion, and Paper Planes scooped the coveted gong.

It is billed as a hazy, floral IPA with mellow bitterness and a light, doughy pepperiness, with a lingering spiral of tropical fruit, pine and sweet orange blossom descending into effervescent finish.

Paper Planes also won the trophy for best ale up to 5% abv, while a kolsch from Buckskin in Taiwan was named best ale above 5%.

Valletta 2008, from Gallery in Malta, was named best lager up to 5%, and Märzen by Buckskin won the award for best lager above 5%.

Hoegaarden was the best wheat beer, and St Austell Black Square was named best stout or porter.

Wäls Dubbel from Brazil won best Flavoured beer trophy, that features raisins and Colorado Baltic WA, a beer aged in port wine barrels also from Brazil, was named best speciality beer.

The panel included brewers, authors, journalists, flavour experts and educators, most of whom were table captains at the initial IBC judging. After much debate, they arrived at a number of winners from across the globe. 

Jeff Evans, chairman of the International Beer Challenge, said: “The judges were hugely impressed, as always, with the quality of the beers that reached the gold standard. Choosing the Supreme Champion beer was not an easy thing to do.

“There was a full and frank discussion, and it was great to see – when the results were revealed – such a variety of beers from different countries claiming the trophies.

“Congratulations to all the trophy winners, and particularly to Salopian Brewery, deserving winners of the Supreme Champion award.”

Brasserie du Mont Blanc in France took home the award for European Brewer of the Year. It was also named Supreme Champion Brewer after scooping the greatest medal haul out of the breweries that entered.

Curious Brewing was named UK Brewer of the Year. Buckskin in Taiwan was named Asian Best Brewer of the Year, completing a fine evening after it scooped two trophies.

Cerveza Loba in Guadalajara, Mexico, won the North American Brewer of the Year award, while Cervejaria Bohemia in Brazil was named South American Brewer of the Year.

Gallery in Malta won the Glenn Payne Rising Star award, and Marks & Spencer was named Retailer of the Year after its own-label offerings scooped a clutch of awards.

There is also a Design & Packaging section of the awards, which celebrates the great bottles and cans that brewers are currently selling.

The Supreme Champion for Design & Packaging was Pioneer by Fourpure, and it also won the trophy for Best New Product Range. Peroni Nastro Azzurro was named Best Repackaged Product, while Vuurzee’s De Goede & De Stoute was named Best New Individual Product.

Paul Paul Foulkes-Arellano, chairman of the Design & Packaging section, said: “Nearly every entry received a medal this year as the standard of design was very high compared to previous years. 

“Pioneer from Fourpure is outstanding. The standout beer in the range is Coastline, a beer which celebrates gooseberries, vanilla pods and Citra hops. The paragliding Citra hops on the can are beautifully illustrated, and strike just the right note of whimsy.

“In fact, this whole range hits all the right notes and is a worthy winner of the Supreme Champion award for Design & Packaging. Everyone wants to pick it up, chill it and drink it. That is testament to a great design.”