Lonely Planet Writer

Revealed: the world's best beers unveiled at the Brussels Beer Challenge

Finally, one of life’s great pub arguments has been settled: a group of 80 international judges has undergone the enviable task of sipping, swirling and scoring 1250 beers from around the globe in search of that hallowed nectar they can call the world’s best.

Brussels Beer Challenge 2016.
Brussels Beer Challenge 2016. Image by Official fanpage Facebook

The annual Brussels Beer Challenge, now in its fifth year, concluded that the finest brew of 2016 is Lindemans Oude Gueuze Cuvée René Special Blend 2010, a Gueuze-style beer from Vlezenbeek, Belgium. It is available to buy online or directly from the brewery in Vlezenbeek, southwest of Brussels, where they also offer tours.

Other major winners included the Jopen Mooie Nel IPA, an American-style IPA from the Netherlands, which took home the European-wide Micromatic Trophy, and pFriem Super Saison, a tipple from Hood River in Oregon, which was hailed as the best beer from the USA.

Finest brew of 2016: Lindemans Oude Gueuze Cuvée René Special Blend 2010.
Finest brew of 2016: Lindemans Oude Gueuze Cuvée René Special Blend 2010. Image by Brussels Beer Challenge Facebook

All beers were scored on their style, typicity and origin with organisers noting a number of beer trends from around the world. The most obvious was the rise of the Indian pale ale. In a press statement, the event acknowledged their popularity. They said: “Originating in England, the style initially sparked renewed interest in the United States but entries in the Brussels Beer Challenge reveal that it has now gone global. No fewer than 100 IPAs from 14 countries competed this year.”

And the winner is! Dirk Lindemans (right) of Lindemans Brewery in Brussels
And the winner is! Dirk Lindemans (right) of Lindemans Brewery in Brussels. Image by Brussels Beer Challenge Facebook

The team behind the Brussels Beer Challenge also revealed that beer from China was starting to make waves on the brewing scene with the ZinnBach Everest Ale from Jinan taking home a merited Gold Medal.