Cape Town based Afro Caribbean Brewing Company’s Space Llama double IPA was named best beer in Africa at the at the Africa Beer Cup held recently.
The African Beer Cup is the continent’s largest beer competition and the only contest accepting entries from across Africa. Any commercial brewery is eligible to enter, regardless of size.
This year’s competition attracted 210 entries from 12 different African countries: Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Sixty-seven medals were awarded in 31 different categories, with winners hailing from eight different countries.
Beers were judged in May by panels of beer experts, brewers and qualified judges in Cape Town and Johannesburg. All beers were judged to the Beer Judge Certification Programme guidelines, which place a strong focus on stylistic accuracy.
“Every entry gets judged twice by two different panels,” said competition co-founder and director Lucy Corne. “This really gives the most accurate results possible.”
The 16 finalists went head to head in a best-of-show round to determine the overall winner, with Cape Town’s Afro Caribbean Brewing Company taking the coveted top spot with their boldly titled, limited-edition Space Llama double IPA.
“Being a relatively new brewer in the industry, it feels amazing to have won this prestigious award and I’m proud of us as a team,” comments Afro Caribbean’s head brewer, Rochelle Dunlop.
“I’d also like to send big congratulations to all of the other winners.”
Honourable mention went to Hazeldean Brewing Company and Frontier Beer for their collaboration brew, The Haymaker Round 4.
Winners of the Best Beer in Africa receive a once-off piece of art to commemorate their win. This year’s piece was designed by Thembisa artist Pappas Khoza.
A special award was also added to the 2021 competition – the African Celebration Award, sponsored by the Beer Association of South Africa (Basa) to celebrate the outstanding use of African ingredients in beer.
The award went to Nigeria’s Bature Brewery for their Black Gold Stout. The beer, which also won a gold medal, showcases sorghum and Nigerian coffee.
“We created the African Celebration Award because we wanted to showcase the versatility and abundance of African ingredients that can be used in beer,” said Basa spokesperson Troye May.
“We believe that our continent has so much to offer the wider beer culture.”