Take 60 people and shut them in a room with more than 700 of the world’s finest beers. It sounds like a recipe for the greatest party ever but this is serious business – judgement day at the International Beer Challenge.

Our guests – a combination of brewers, retailers, importers and informed journalists
– were invited to London to lend their judging expertise to this year’s deliberations. Co-ordinated into 11 tables, our teams were totally focused on the task in hand, despite the obvious allure of the bright sunshine outside. I won’t 
say we didn’t have fun – the IBC is always that
– but we all knew we had a duty and that was
to discover and draw attention to the very best beers on show.

This year, the IBC celebrates its 20th anniversary and the occasion was marked
by entries from around 30 countries. All
the traditionally great beer nations were represented, but so were emerging territories, with strong contingents from Australia, Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and Spain.

To add to the variety, the sheer diversity of the beers we received was staggering – everything from milds and brown ales to double IPAs, via witbiers, rye beers, bocks, spiced beers, saisons, imperial stouts and wood-aged beers. If you need further evidence that the world of beer is bursting with excitement at the moment, the IBC judging experience delivers in spades.

The IBC rewards entries with medal status, ranging from no medal to bronze, silver and gold, conveying how our judges feel about each beer that passes before their eyes and over their tastebuds.

The procedure is well defined and closely observed. Beers are delivered to the table anonymously and each is evaluated in silence by every judge before a discussion takes place about which medal should be allocated. Faulty beers are ruthlessly exposed but just as much attention is paid to the positive aspects of each sample until a consensus is reached around the table. Unlike other competitions, the IBC doesn’t get hung up on accepted “style guidelines”. Whether a beer is technically correct as a pilsner or an old ale is irrelevant. All that matters is whether it is a good beer – after all that is what most customers will want to know when they are browsing the shelves.

We certainly don’t throw medals around in this competition – more than a third of the beers submitted this year failed to pick up a medal
– so a beer recognised by the IBC is well worth celebrating and the brewers whose beers have collected golds should really take a bow. This year 55 beers achieved gold status, the highest figure we have ever allocated. Among them were entries from big, established concerns such as Samuel Adams, Huyghe and Black Sheep as well as thrusting, vibrant recent start-ups such as Tiny Rebel, Yeastie Boys and Redwell.

We now move on to the final round of judging where we pitch the best against the best. All the gold medallists will be retasted by a reconvened panel of judges to decide which beers will pick up our coveted trophies for the Best Ale, Best Lager, Best Wheat Beer, Best Stout or Porter, Best Flavoured Beer and Best Speciality Beer, and from those trophy winners, the judges will select the overall Supreme Champion. That final round of judging takes place just a couple of hours before the trophy winners are revealed to the world at our grand presentation evening in September. It’s a nail-biting occasion for everyone concerned.

At the IBC, the excitement continues right up to the last minute. 

Here is the full list of winners:

Medal Winners:

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GoldAles6 Vintage Blend 2013
GoldAlesA Over T (Aromas Over Tongham)
GoldAlesAustralian Pale Ale
GoldAlesCapivara Double IPA
GoldAlesCyclops Eyedrops
GoldAlesDelirium Tremens
GoldAlesDowntown Charlie Brown
GoldAlesFull Steam Ahead
GoldAlesGulden Draak
GoldAlesHawkers Beer IPA
GoldAlesMad Goose
GoldAlesPrancing Pony Brewery India Red Ale
GoldAlesSeptem 8th Day
GoldAlesStraffe Hendrik Quadrupel
GoldAlesThomas Hardy’s Ale
GoldAlesWarwickshire Amber Ale
GoldAlesWest Coast Pale Ale
GoldAlesWieze Tripel
GoldFlavoured BeerBarrel Aged Sour Power
GoldFlavoured BeerCocoa Wonderland
GoldFlavoured BeerColorado Berthô
GoldFlavoured BeerGunnamatta
GoldFlavoured BeerKofra Stout
GoldFlavoured BeerSamuel Adams Fat Jack
GoldFlavoured BeerSamuel Adams Nitro Coffee Stout
GoldLagersAsh Brook Red Lager
GoldLagersBamberg Maibaum
GoldLagersCool Hops – Australian Lager
GoldLagersLong Sun Brewing Pale Lager
GoldLagersNew World Pilsner
GoldLagersSamuel Adams Double Bock
GoldSpeciality BeersColorado Giuanabara Wood Aged
GoldSpeciality BeersOkells Aile
GoldSpeciality BeersSamuel Adams Cinder Bock
GoldSpeciality BeersSamuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru
GoldSpeciality BeersSamuel Adams Utopias 2015
GoldSpeciality BeersX
GoldStouts and PortersImperial Extra Double Stout
GoldStouts and PortersBierland Russian Imperial Stout
GoldStouts and PortersColorado Ithaca
GoldStouts and PortersHawkers Beer Imperial Stout 2016
GoldStouts and PortersPolygraph
GoldStouts and PortersPortent of Usher
GoldStouts and PortersWäls Petroleum
GoldWheat BeersLidskoe Light Wheat
SilverAles838 – Pale Ale
SilverAles9 Hop Kent Pale Ale
SilverAlesBlonde Bird
SilverAlesHarvey & Son Christmas Ale
SilverAlesHarvey & Son Old Ale
SilverAlesAll-Star Session IPA
SilverAlesAmerican Pale
SilverAlesArran Sleeping Warrior
SilverAlesArraun Amber Ale
SilverAlesAupa Pale Ale
SilverAlesBamberg Altbier
SilverAlesBe Hoppy
SilverAlesBierland American IPA
SilverAlesBig Swell
SilverAlesBlonde Cougar
SilverAlesBottle Rocket
SilverAlesButcombe Bitter
SilverAlesButcombe Brunel Atlantic IPA
SilverAlesCardinal Syn
SilverAlesCBC Imperial IPA
SilverAlesCoastal Eddie
SilverAlesCornish Pale Ale
SilverAlesCotswold Pale Ale
SilverAlesDannata (Amber)
SilverAlesDark Side of the Moose
SilverAlesDizzy Blonde
SilverAlesFiori Delle Fiandre
SilverAlesFrida Blond Ale
SilverAlesGamma Ray
SilverAlesGB Fin Ale
SilverAlesGrafters IPA
SilverAlesGreenwich Black IPA
SilverAlesGrutte Pier Tripel
SilverAlesHawkers Beer Pale Ale
SilverAlesHawkers Beer Saison
SilverAlesHertog Jan Dubbel
SilverAlesHertog Jan Grand Prestige
SilverAlesHopping Hog IPA
SilverAlesImparable IPA
SilverAlesIn The Dark We Live
SilverAlesLacons Legacy
SilverAlesLondon Glory
SilverAlesLong White Cloud Session Pale Ale
SilverAlesLVB X
SilverAlesMiss Hops
SilverAlesOkells 1907
SilverAlesOld Golden Hen
SilverAlesPot Kettle Black
SilverAlesPrancing Pony Brewery Black Ale
SilverAlesProper Black
SilverAlesRivière d’Ain Rousse
SilverAlesRust Ale
SilverAlesSaddle Black
SilverAlesSamuel Adams Boston Ale
SilverAlesSamuel Adams Crystal Pale Ale
SilverAlesSamuel Adams Rebel Raw
SilverAlesSea Fury
SilverAlesSingle Brew Reserve 2013
SilverAlesSouthwold Bitter
SilverAlesSt. Peter’s Brewery Black IPA
SilverAlesStoke Amber
SilverAlesStraffe Hendrik Tripel
SilverAlesSuffolk Bitter
SilverAlesSummer Lightning
SilverAlesThe Rev. James Gold
SilverAlesThe Rev. James Original
SilverAlesTidal Wave
SilverAlesTwelve Days
SilverAlesViolent Femme
SilverAlesWäls Walkeriana
SilverAlesWee Heavy
SilverAlesWolf Rock
SilverAlesZatte Bie
SilverFlavoured BeerAlvin
SilverFlavoured BeerCaá-Yari
SilverFlavoured BeerCarata
SilverFlavoured BeerCocoa IPA
SilverFlavoured BeerColorado Cauim 016
SilverFlavoured BeerEstaminet
SilverFlavoured BeerQuiet Deeds Lamington Ale
SilverFlavoured BeerSamuel Adams American Kriek
SilverFlavoured BeerSpill The Beans Coffee Porter
SilverFlavoured BeerSultano
SilverFlavoured BeerTamar Creek
SilverFlavoured BeerVanilla Porter
SilverLagersBamberg Camila Camila
SilverLagersBelhaven Inter-Galactic Dry Hop Lager
SilverLagersBirra Antoniana Altinate
SilverLagersEisenbahn 5 Anos
SilverLagersFreedom Authentic
SilverLagersFreedom Brewery East India Pale
SilverLagersHawkers Beer Pilsner
SilverLagersKirin Ichiban
SilverLagersLidskoe Legend
SilverLagersMarks and Spencer Italian Lager
SilverLagersMeantime Brewing Company Pilsner
SilverLagersSamuel Adams Double Black Lager
SilverLagersSamuel Adams Ella Blanc IPL
SilverLagersViru Premium
SilverLagersZhiguli Barnoe
SilverLagers’na Birretta Rossa
SilverSpeciality BeersBamberg Franconian Rhapsody
SilverSpeciality BeersBamberg Rauchbier
SilverSpeciality BeersDoppio Malto Brewing Company Old India Pale Ale
SilverSpeciality BeersLong Sun Brewing Buckwheat Lager
SilverSpeciality BeersMaiden 2015
SilverSpeciality BeersMasquerade
SilverSpeciality BeersOutlook Dark
SilverSpeciality BeersOutlook Gluten Free Amber Ale
SilverSpeciality BeersRed Rye IPA
SilverSpeciality BeersSamuel Adams Tetravis
SilverSpeciality BeersStoke Aromatic Session Ale
SilverSpeciality BeersToro
SilverSpeciality BeersVerezzi
SilverSpeciality BeersWarsteiner Premium Fresh
SilverSpeciality BeersZhiguli Barnoe No Alcohol
SilverStouts and PortersPrince of Denmark
SilverStouts and PortersMaldita Russian Imperial Stout
SilverStouts and PortersSamuel Adams Holiday Porter
SilverStouts and PortersSt. Peter’s Brewery Cream Stout
SilverStouts and PortersStagger Lee
SilverStouts and Porters Wolfs Brewery Port-Artur
SilverWheat BeersARK Hug Me
SilverWheat BeersBaden Baden Weiss
SilverWheat BeersCBC Krystal Weiss
SilverWheat BeersHertog Jan Weizener
SilverWheat BeersLidskoe Dark Wheat
SilverWheat BeersSelezione 19
SilverWheat BeersWäls Witte
SilverWheat BeersWarthog Wheat
SilverWheat BeersWeihenstephaner Vitus
BronzeAlesTom Paine
BronzeAlesAdam Henson’s Rare Breed
BronzeAlesAdmiral’s Ale
BronzeAlesAmarillo Golden Ale
BronzeAlesAmerican Laid Back IPA
BronzeAlesARK Cosmic Dancer
BronzeAlesARK Some & Some
BronzeAlesArran Guid Ale
BronzeAlesAustralian IPA
BronzeAlesBamberg Caos
BronzeAlesBelgian Trip
BronzeAlesBig Job
BronzeAlesBirra Antoniana Portello
BronzeAlesBlack Alligator
BronzeAlesBlack Sheep Ale
BronzeAlesBohemia Reserva
BronzeAlesBrave New World IPA
BronzeAlesBrú Rí
BronzeAlesBrú Rua
BronzeAlesBrugse Zot Blond
BronzeAlesBrugse Zot Dubbel
BronzeAlesBuster IPA
BronzeAlesButcombe Blond
BronzeAlesCapivara Little IPA
BronzeAlesCapt. Norb Kölsch
BronzeAlesCastelain Grand Cru
BronzeAlesCBC Mandarina Bavaria IPA
BronzeAlesCellar Series 1.2
BronzeAlesCh’Ti Triple
BronzeAlesCitra IPA
BronzeAlesClassic Collection India Pale Ale
BronzeAlesCollesi Bionda
BronzeAlesColorado Frangó
BronzeAlesColorado Vixnu
BronzeAlesDarwin’s Origin
BronzeAlesDe Poes
BronzeAlesDigital IPA
BronzeAlesDouble Hopped Citra IPA
BronzeAlesEase Up IPA
BronzeAlesGolden Ale
BronzeAlesGolden Sheep Ale
BronzeAlesGuardsman Best Bitter
BronzeAlesHamovniki Cabinet
BronzeAlesHarviestoun IPA
BronzeAlesHertog Jan Karakter
BronzeAlesHooky Gold
BronzeAlesIron Maiden Trooper Ale
BronzeAlesKing Country Brewing Pale Ale
BronzeAlesKing Koln
BronzeAlesKoronet Red Ale
BronzeAlesKsiazece Golden Ale
BronzeAlesLa Guillotine
BronzeAlesLand Of Liberty
BronzeAlesLiquid Mistress
BronzeAlesLong Man Brewery Best Bitter
BronzeAlesLong Man Brewery Long Blonde
BronzeAlesLong White Cloud Extra Pale Ale
BronzeAlesLong White Cloud Saison
BronzeAlesLonghorn IPA
BronzeAlesLowland Glen Amber
BronzeAlesMaldita American Barleywine
BronzeAlesMarks and Spencer American Pale Ale
BronzeAlesMcGargles Cousin Rosie’s Pale Ale
BronzeAlesMcGargles Granny Mary’s Red Ale
BronzeAlesMonty Python’s Holy Grail
BronzeAlesMosaic Pale Ale
BronzeAlesMosaic Pale Ale
BronzeAlesOld Man
BronzeAlesOld Prickly
BronzeAlesOld Tom
BronzeAlesOlfabrikken Pale Ale
BronzeAlesOliver’s Island
BronzeAlesOrganic Ale
BronzeAlesPaddo Pale
BronzeAlesPure Gold
BronzeAlesPython IPA
BronzeAlesRenegade West Coast Pale Ale
BronzeAlesRivière d’Ain Ambree
BronzeAlesRivière d’Ain Brune
BronzeAlesSA Gold
BronzeAlesSaison 15
BronzeAlesSaison D’Hérétique
BronzeAlesSaltaire XS Imperial IPA
BronzeAlesSamuel Adams Belgian Session
BronzeAlesSamuel Adams Brewlywed
BronzeAlesSamuel Adams Escape Route
BronzeAlesSamuel Adams Irish Red
BronzeAlesSamuel Adams New World Tripel
BronzeAlesSamuel Adams Rebel Rouser
BronzeAlesSamuel Adams Scotch Ale
BronzeAlesSan Blas
BronzeAlesScarborough Fair IPA
BronzeAlesScotney Bitter
BronzeAlesShropshire Gold
BronzeAlesSocietà Agricola Mastri Birrai Umbri IPA
BronzeAlesSorachi Saison
BronzeAlesSouthwold Christmas Ale
BronzeAlesSouthwold Summer IPA
BronzeAlesSouthwold Winter IPA
BronzeAlesSpelt Saison
BronzeAlesStaffordshire IPA
BronzeAlesStoke Aromatic Session Ale
BronzeAlesStoke Gold
BronzeAlesThe Durham Brewery White Stout
BronzeAlesTiger Best Bitter
BronzeAlesWainwright Golden Ale
BronzeAlesWäls Niobium
BronzeAlesYer Ben
BronzeAlesYorkshire Gold
BronzeBirrificio Indipendente Elav Dark ChocolateDark Chocolate
BronzeFlavoured BeerAmazon Forest Bacuri Fruit
BronzeFlavoured BeerBaden Baden Chocolate
BronzeFlavoured BeerBelgian Cherry Wheat Beer
BronzeFlavoured BeerBourbon Milk Stout
BronzeFlavoured BeerBroken Dream
BronzeFlavoured BeerChalky’s Bite
BronzeFlavoured BeerChoccywoccy Brew-ha
BronzeFlavoured BeerCoconut Hiwa
BronzeFlavoured BeerColorado Cauim
BronzeFlavoured BeerElderflower Ale/ Cwrw Ysgawen
BronzeFlavoured BeerGinger Tom Ale
BronzeFlavoured BeerHog Star
BronzeFlavoured BeerHoney Spice IPA
BronzeFlavoured BeerLemon Dream
BronzeFlavoured BeerLowlander I.P.A
BronzeFlavoured BeerRaspy Engine
BronzeFlavoured BeerSamuel Adams Cherry Wheat
BronzeFlavoured BeerSamuel Adams Chocolate Bock
BronzeFlavoured BeerSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale
BronzeFlavoured BeerSamuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit
BronzeFlavoured BeerSamuel Adams Winter Lager
BronzeFlavoured BeerScottish Heather Honey Beer
BronzeFlavoured BeerSeptem Sunday’s Honey Golden Ale
BronzeFlavoured BeerSr. Lobo
BronzeFlavoured BeerTriple Chocoholic
BronzeFlavoured BeerValscura
BronzeFlavoured BeerWäls Madlab Strawberry Sour
BronzeLagersAmazon Forest Pilsen
BronzeLagersAndwell Brewing Company Pilsner
BronzeLagersAura Lager
BronzeLagersBaden Baden Bock
BronzeLagersBierland Vienna
BronzeLagersBikini Blonde
BronzeLagersBohemian Rhapsody
BronzeLagersBrú Lager
BronzeLagersCalifornia Sun
BronzeLagersCarling Black Label
BronzeLagersCBC Lager
BronzeLagersCharlie Wells Triple Hopped IPA
BronzeLagersDarlo Dark
BronzeLagersEisenbahn Dunkel
BronzeLagersEstrella Damm
BronzeLagersFürstenberg Premium Lager
BronzeLagersHamovniki Bock-Bier
BronzeLagersHertog Jan Bockbier
BronzeLagersHopped Up On Goofballs – IPL
BronzeLagersKeler 18
BronzeLagersKronenbourg 1664
BronzeLagersLong Sun Brewing Dark Lager
BronzeLagersOrganic Helles
BronzeLagersRaimundos Helles
BronzeLagersRenegade Craft Lager
BronzeLagersRepublika Lager
BronzeLagersSamuel Adams Boston Lager
BronzeLagersSamuel Adams Downtime Pilsner
BronzeLagersSamuel Adams Heaven or Helles
BronzeLagersSharp’s Pilsner
BronzeLagersStoke Pilsner
BronzeLagersSuper Bock
BronzeLagersVia Emilia
BronzeLagersWäls Bohemia Pilsen
BronzeLagersWhitstable Bay Blonde
BronzeLagers’na Biretta Chiara
BronzeSpeciality BeersBamberg ExQuadrilha da Fumaça
BronzeSpeciality BeersBear Beer Mix Grapefruit
BronzeSpeciality BeersColorado Ithaca Wood Aged
BronzeSpeciality BeersDark G-Free
BronzeSpeciality BeersDark Secret
BronzeSpeciality BeersDaura Märzen
BronzeSpeciality BeersFree Damm
BronzeSpeciality BeersGluten Free Belgium Premium Pilsner
BronzeSpeciality BeersHalf Mast
BronzeSpeciality BeersInnis & Gunn Bourbon Cask Dark Ale
BronzeSpeciality BeersMaplemoon
BronzeSpeciality BeersMaritime Salted Caramel Porter
BronzeSpeciality BeersNight Cat
BronzeSpeciality BeersPort O’Call
BronzeSpeciality BeersPyrmont Rye IPA
BronzeSpeciality BeersRed Rye
BronzeSpeciality BeersSamuel Adams Stony Brook Red
BronzeSpeciality BeersShipyard Rye Pale Ale
BronzeSpeciality BeersSpruce Ale
BronzeSpeciality BeersThe Rev. James Rye
BronzeSpeciality BeersTrentalegni
BronzeSpeciality BeersUprising’s Scumbag Maggot
BronzeSpeciality BeersWäls EAP Wild Ale
BronzeSpeciality BeersWäls Impetus
BronzeSpeciality BeersWedding Rauch
BronzeSpeciality BeersYorkshire Red
BronzeStouts and PortersBrú Dubh
BronzeStouts and PortersClassic Collection Double Stout
BronzeStouts and PortersDirty Stop Out
BronzeStouts and PortersEntire Stout
BronzeStouts and PortersFunnel Blower
BronzeStouts and PortersMcGargles Uncle Jim’s Stout
BronzeStouts and PortersMena Dhu
BronzeStouts and PortersSamuel Adams Cream Stout
BronzeStouts and PortersSayers Stout
BronzeStouts and PortersScottish Oat Stout
BronzeStouts and PortersTamesis Extra Stout
BronzeStouts and PortersUnicorn Black
BronzeWheat Beers14-Weiss
BronzeWheat Bee
Baden Baden Witbier
BronzeWheat BeersBear Beer Dark Wheat
BronzeWheat BeersBear Beer Wheat
BronzeWheat BeersBela Rosa
BronzeWheat BeersEisenbahn Weizenbier
BronzeWheat BeersGrainú Ale
BronzeWheat BeersInedit Damm
BronzeWheat BeersKersplat!
BronzeWheat BeersLong White Cloud Hefeweizen
BronzeWheat BeersLowlander White Ale
BronzeWheat BeersMaison Blanche
BronzeWheat BeersMaldita Wheatwine
BronzeWheat BeersMarks and Spencer White IPA
BronzeWheat BeersNeighbourhood Red Wheat Lager
BronzeWheat BeersRivière d’Ain Blanche
BronzeWheat BeersSamuel Adams Cold Snap
BronzeWheat BeersSamuel Adams Summer Ale
BronzeWheat BeersSeptem W Day Wheat IPA
BronzeWheat BeersWeihenstephaner Dunkel
BronzeWheat BeersWeihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier
BronzeWheat BeersWhite Light

Design and Package Medal Winners

GoldIndividual EstablishedA Over T (Aromas Over Tongham)
GoldIndividual NewHog Star
GoldIndividual NewToast Ale – Pale Ale
GoldIndividual RepackagedGreene King IPA
GoldNew RangeLowlander I.P.A, Lowlander White Ale & Lowlander Poorter
Gold in RangeEstablished RangeLiquid Mistress and Broken Dream
SilverEstablished RangePonte Molino & Borgo della Pagila
SilverIndividual EstablishedCBC Imperial IPA
SilverIndividual EstablishedCBC Mandarina Bavaria IPA
SilverIndividual EstablishedSaltaire XS Imperial IPA
SilverIndividual EstablishedSamuel Adams 13th Hour Stout
SilverIndividual EstablishedSamuel Adams Brewlywed
SilverIndividual NewBirra Roma Bionda
SilverIndividual NewCubic
SilverIndividual NewLVB X
SilverIndividual NewNa Biretta Chiara
SilverIndividual NewSamuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru
SilverIndividual NewSamuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit
SilverIndividual NewSamuel Adams Rebel Raw
SilverRange EstablishedKofra Stout, West Coast Pale Ale, Steam Lager
SilverRange NewARK
SilverRange RepackagedKsiążęce Golden Ale, Książęce Złote Pszeniczne, Książęce Ciemne Łagodne, Książęce Czerwony Lager
BronzeWheat BeersWicklow Weiss
BronzeIndividual EstablishedCWTCH
BronzeIndividual EstablishedViru Premium
BronzeIndividual NewCharles Wells Triple Hopped IPA
BronzeIndividual NewColorado Cauim 016
BronzeIndividual NewKing Star Crafted Lager
BronzeIndividual NewLong Sun Brewing Pale Ale
BronzeIndividual NewRaaf
BronzeIndividual NewSamuel Adams Rebel Cascade IPA
BronzeIndividual NewSt Peter’s Brewery Black IPA
BronzeIndividual RepackagedBanks’s Amber Bitter
BronzeIndividual RepackagedBikini Blonde
BronzeIndividual RepackagedLa Perouse
BronzeIndividual RepackagedStoke Aromatic Ale
BronzeRange EstablishedAltinate, Ai Taoi, Pasubio, Pontemound and Portello
BronzeRange NewBeyond the Pale, Chelsea Blonde, Poaxton IPA, London Bohemia Lager, Sayers Stout
BronzeRange NewRegular Line Up (Bottle Rocket, Warthog Wheat, Blond Cougar and Be Hoppy)
BronzeRange NewRenegade Brewery
Bronze in RangeEstablished RangeColorado Cauim, Colorado Appia, Colorado Indica and Colorado Demoiselle
Bronze in RangeEstablished RangeColorado Ithaca and Colorado Ithaca Wood Aged
Bronze in RangeEstablished RangeColorado Vixnu and Colorado Ber