Colosseum in Rome (Photo by Mathew Schwartz, Unsplash)

Best Italian craft beers | Birra dell'Anno has awarded the best Italian craft beers for 2021. The sixteenth edition of the competition organized by Unionbirrai, an Italian association of small independent breweries, had taken take place on 31st August 2021, the awards ceremony took place on the first day of Cibus 2021, and featured master brewers from all over Italy on the stage of the Barilla hall at Fiere di Parma.

Plastic cup with beer with the imprint Brewers Association

Largest annual event | More than 7000 brewing industry professionals convened on September 9–12 in Denver for the 38th Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America® (CBC) presented by the Brewers Association® (BA).

Roberto Biurrun, Coordinator of the 11th Ibero-American VLB Symposium, Carlos Ruiz and Johann Bertazzoni (Photo by VLB Berlin)

Digital format | After the cancelation of the Symposium last year, which was originally scheduled to be held in Barcelona, Spain, clouds of storm loomed over this important event again. Although in Europe this year the mobility situation derived from the pandemic has improved considerably, in other regions, particularly in Latin America, there are still restrictions that would make it impossible for Latin American brewers to participate in a “face-to-face” conference. This is how VLB Berlin decided, before canceling the Ibero-American Symposium again, to carry it out in digital format.

Banner African Brewing Conference 2021

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.

Woman with medal at the Great American Beer Festival 2021

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.

Malt grains on the palm of a hand

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 %.

Red Kibex sign above an escalator: The 2021 edition was held at the new exhibition center in Seoul

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.

Person using a macbook (Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash)

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.

To close, a virtual panel discussion

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.

Dr. Josef Fontaine opens the 1st International VLB Craft Brewing Conference Online

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.

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