Smuttynose’s Second Trip to Europe This Year is Twice as Nice
Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale and Smuttynose Robust Porter each won a gold medals at 2010’s European edition of Mondial de la Biere, held in Strasbourg, France. An international panel of experienced judges awarded two of only fourteen gold medals to the Portsmouth, NH brewer, which was the only American brewery to claim hardware.
Both beers are previous gold medal winners at the Great American Beer Festival, with Wheat Wine Ale taking a gold in 2005 and Robust Porter taking a gold in 2001.
In a world of style-shredding beers, the Mondial de la Biere is one of the few competitions that takes a post-style approach to judging. Instead of each brewery choosing the categories in which to enter its beers, judges nominate each beer into a style category. The winners are then chosen through a numerical scoring system. Beers can be entered into multiple style categories but each beer can only win one medal and awarded medals aren’t tied to a specific style. “This unique judging format really opens the door for a lot brewers who, like us, don’t brew exactly to style,” says David Yarrington, Smuttynose’s Director of Brewing Operations, “Obviously, we’re really grateful that the folks at the Mondial have taken such a unique approach to beer judging.”
This year was the second edition of the Strasbourg Mondial de la Biere. The original Mondial began in Montreal in 1994 and has become one of the world’s premier beer festivals, offering not only a wide range of beers to sample but a successful educational program as well. The festival is the premier international beer event in North American and is world renowned, expecting around 100,00 visitors next year. This year’s French edition hosted 16,000 attendees (up 5% from last year), showing how rapidly craft beer culture is spreading, even in areas that are traditionally considered wine country.
The wins continue a great run for Smuttynose in European competition. The brewery’s Big A IPA won the Michael Jackson Award, given to the Best American Beer at the Great British Beer Festival in August of this year. European interest in craft beer, and American craft beer in particular, is booming, and Smuttynose is exploring options by which it can join this European beer renaissance. The medals, which would have simply been a nice surprise in days past, may now open a door to new markets.
Smuttynose Brewing Company is New Hampshire’s leading craft brewery. Founded in 1994, Smuttynose brews more than 20 different styles of beer, which are distributed in 19 different states, including the entire East Coast. Its beers have won many awards both domestically and abroad and have been featured in publications as diverse as “Wine Enthusiast,” “Men’s Journal,” and “The New York Times.”