The Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) is upon us once again, and with it the World Beer Cup (WBC), the most prestigious beer competition on the planet. Created by the Brewers Association, the trade organization that represents the majority of the small and independent craft brewers in the United States, the WBC is held every two years and highlights styles that have been around for centuries as well as new styles like those juicy and hazy IPAs you keep hearing about. And once again, area San Antonio breweries will represent the Alamo City on an international scale.
Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery, the current occupants of the historic Pearl brewhouse, as well as perennials Freetail Brewing Co and Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling seek to show the world just what San Antonio and Texas breweries can accomplish. With Texas fresh off an impressive third place finish in overall medals in the 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), San Antonio brewers may do just that.
Known for beer names loved but rarely understood, Southerleigh has entered four beers into the competition: “Warlock Quinceañera,” a black lager; “Imperial Hunt For Red Hoptober,” an Imperial red ale; ‘One Hop, Two Hop, Wet Hop, New Hop,” an American pale ale with fresh hops the brewery flew in from New Zealand; and “99 Red Balloons,” an English pale ale that pays homage to that classic ’80s hit. When asked about their chances, head brewer Les Lock said, “All of these were categories that were very sparsely entered two years ago, giving us a fighting chance this year.”
Often credited for the recent San Antonio beer revival, Freetail also has four entries this year: ‘Bat Outta Helles’, a Munich Helles-style lager; “Local Coffee Stout,” an Imperial stout brewed with coffee from Merit Roasters of San Antonio; “Old Bat Rastard,” an aged version of their popular Winter Warmer; and “Guided By Abstraction,” a wood and barrel-aged fruited sour beer. Considering Freetail already has a gold medal for their 2014 La Muerta in the aged beer category from the GABF competition last year, we like their chances.
Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling, Texas and San Antonio’s first combined brewery and distillery, has three offerings for the WBC: “San Antonio Lager,” also a Munich Helles-style lager brewed in honor of San Antonio’s Tricentennial; “Mission Trail,” an American extra pale ale; and “Texas Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy,” a barrel aged take on a traditional Wee Heavy. With Ranger Creek having snatched a medal for San Antonio Lager as the best Munich Helles last year in the World Beer Championships in Chicago, we think they have a decent shot as well.
Not attending CBC? Stay tuned May 3 at 7:45pm for a live stream of the awards ceremony on thebrewingnetwork.com
and see how San Antonio fared.
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