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After the first major VLB Africa Brewing Conference in Ethiopia in 2019, the continuation of this series of events was on the agenda mid August. Due to the pandemic though, the conference took place as an online event.

The Brewers Association awarded 290 medals to 265 breweries across the country during the 2021 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) awards ceremony in the largest competition to date.

Simultaneous brew | Brewers from around the world faced the challenge to brew a light wheat beer with an alcohol content of less than 3.5 % vol. (5.0-5.5 % vol. Is typical for this beer type) simultaneously – with similar grain bills in different countries and time zones, using at least 20 % BEST Heidelberg Wheat malt. Wheat beers must have a total of at least 50 % wheat malt. A light wheat beer should have an alcohol content < 3.5 %.

Large buyer participation | The third Korea International Beer Expo (Kibex) 2021 closed on 19 May 2021 after achieving great business results by setting the record for the largest-ever buyers’ attendance. Kibex is the only exhibition specializing in the beer industry in Korea and covers the whole spectrum of the brewing industry, from ingredients to brewing facilities, distribution, education, and service. It was held as a hybrid exhibition in response to Covid-19 restrictions.

Europe | In an ideal world, a marketer knows what her customers want even before they do. Beer marketers think they have got closer to this, thanks to the clever use of data. As they see it, the world contains an unimaginably vast amount of digital information. This makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: provide fresh insights, spot business trends, unlock sources of economic value.

Brewery research | “How to succeed in times of change”, this was the theme of this year’s virtual annual meeting of the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC). From June 7 to 9, 2021, the latest findings in brewery research were presented and discussed in numerous technical sessions, workshops and e-posters.

Wide range of topics | The Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei in Berlin (VLB) organized the first ever “International Craft Brewing Conference Online”, which took place from April 27th to 29th 2021. Summaries of selected presentations from the sessions on raw materials, brewing technology, filling and packaging operations and logistics as well as perspectives on the international craft beer business are presented below.

Jubilee | Seventy-five years ago on January 31, 1946, BRAUWELT was published for the first time since the Second World War. Under this new name it was successor to the Allgemeine Bayerische Hopfenzeitschrift (General Bavarian Hop Journal) that had been published regularly since its establishment in 1861. Communication in and networking of the global brewing and beverage industries would have been – and still is – inconceivable without BRAUWELT. Its content and design have always adapted to suit the demands of the day and age.

First winner | Out of many applications from all over the world, the Scientific Committee of the Beer and Health Initiative elected Vïctor Micó, a Spanish Postdoc at IMDEA Food Institute, as the winner of the Beer and Health Publication Award 2020.

Comprehensive programme | BevialeMexico, a beverage industry fair for Central America that covers the entire supply chain, made its successful debut as an eSpecial in March 2021. The comprehensive programme in English and Spanish attracted more than 1,900 participations from 30 countries.

Virtual get-together | Normally, the biennial IBD Asia Pacific Convention 2021 should have taken place in Perth, Australia, this year. “But everything’s just a little bit different at the moment,” joked Andrew Klein, the MC who took delegates through the events of February 23 and 24 – all of them exclusively online for the very first time – with plenty of wit and humour. The webinar format nevertheless made the convention seem extremely realistic and with its 40 keynote talks, additional on-demand lectures, digital poster sessions, virtual exhibit hall and various contact opportunities it boasted practically all the aspects of a real live event – minus the communal glasses of beer, of course.