Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland (ICBI) has announced its best beers of 2021, as voted by the brewers who made them.

The beer of the year competition highlights many of Ireland’s best producers, with a focus on stouts for 2021.

The ICBI had planned to run a festival and the competition would have accompanied the event, however these plans have been postponed for the timebeing. Instead, the competition took place virtually.

For the competition, each participating craft brewer put forward the beer they felt best represents them. Each entry was then judged blind by their peers. In all, 20 breweries took part and each were sent a case of cans and bottles, unmarked except for being numbered.

The competition was for a straight-up single winning beer, however the entrants put forward show a clear preference by Irish breweries for producing world class stouts and indeed the overall winner was the Porterhouse Brew Co. for its Round the Clock Imperial stout (12%). The runners up were Lineman for its Astral Grains Stout, followed by Kinnegar for its Thumper Double IPA.

In total, seven of the 20 entrants were stouts of the higher strength variety, such as foreign extras and imperials. There was also a sour beer, a bock, and various pale ale styles.

An independent trade body for Ireland’s craft breweries, he ICBI counts over 30 of Ireland’s best breweries among its ranks, including Trouble Brewing, Wicklow Wolf, and White Gypsy.

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