beer tour

Courtesy of Oskar Blues

The big local news in beer this week is that Denver — OMG that’s like totally in Colorado! AAAAAAH! — is playing host to the biannual International Beer Cup, which has been going down this week as part of the Craft Brewer’s Conference at the Colorado Convention Center featuring tap takeovers, workshops and a keynote speech from the Van Halen of food writing, Michael Pollan.

Reflecting craft brewing in general, the event has exploded this year. Just over a thousand breweries from North America alone are participating in this year’s competition, an exponential increase from 2012 when a worldwide total of 799 breweries competed. Wowsers, that’s a lotta hooch. Even more so when you factor in the official “butt-ton” of categories, 94 total for this year’s competition, including everything from broad interpretations like Best Fruit Beer or Best Experimental Beer to the hyper-specific like Best Münchner-Style Helles or Best European- Style Low-Alcohol Lager. And we know what you’re thinking, but no, there isn’t a category for Best Cheap Off-Label Six-Pack That Got Left in Your Fridge After a Party — though there totally should be.

Nearly 4,000 beers were judged in the 2012 competition, and though numbers have yet to be released, expect this year’s total to be much higher due to increased overall entry.

Judging for the World Beer Cup went down on April 9-10, but unlike the Cannabis Cup — which will be held in Denver on Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20 — The World Beer Cup is not an event open to the public and winners were not announced until after press time. So you’re just going to have to wait until next week to find out who emerged victorious, or watch a live stream of the results and ceremony at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11 via http://new.livestream. com/thebrewingnetwork.

If you do, expect a strong showing from the home team, even with the increased entry. Colorado breweries, in addition to playing host, have won no shortage of awards in past years of the global competition, bringing home 27 awards from 274 entries in 2012.

Breweries responsible for Colorado’s 27 winning entries included Rocky Mountain Brewery, Rock Bottom Denver, Bull & Bush, Crabtree Brewing, Odell, Ska, Dry Dock Brewing, Steamworks Brewing, AC Golden Brewing, Miller, Coors, Dillon Dam Brewery, The SandLot, Telluride and Oskar Blues. That’s right: Miller.

Eager to play host, brew-schenanigan-perpetratrors-in-chief, Oskar Blues, made a special beer for the event, The 2014 CBC Collaboration, which involved 145 brewer members of the Colorado Brewers Guild.

A press release sent to BW says that OB’s CBC was made 100 percent with Colorado ingredients, which we assume means it was made by filtering snowmelt through second-hand ski equipment and green chili. YUM.

The giant 19.5 ounce cans will be available at the Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Taproom, Falling Rock Taphouse, Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House and the Hyatt Regency as part of the conference.