The second edition of CICA concludes with a success of participation and quality of beers
After the tasting sessions held by the Jury on 14 and 15 June at the Escuela Española de Cata in Madrid, the rise of the International Craft Beer Contest is confirmed. CICA is a pioneering competition in Spain, which aims to value and recognize the good work and diversity of the different craft beers available in the market, generating awareness in the consumer about a product in full popularity and with high quality demanding criteria.
The judges of CICA 2017 have tasted more than 120 beers from 3 countries over 2 days. A total of 50 samples of craft beer have reached the final, covering practically all categories and brewing styles that are commercially available today, and representing breweries from all corners of Spain. In addition, in a clear commitment to internationalization, a large group of foreign breweries have taken part in the competition, presenting some beers with a very careful elaboration and surprising characteristics.
The craft beer sector is growing by leaps and bounds, both in terms of number of agents involved and in terms of its professionalization, resulting in products carefully elaborated and with very interesting characteristics. The work of the Jury, composed by BJCP judges, brew masters, representatives of specialized media and professionals of the sector, has been very complex. It has not been easy to choose the winners among a large number of top-quality beers, who have demonstrated the effort and dedication of their producers to offer a well-brewed beer focused on satisfying the necessities of a demanding audience.
The great winner of this second edition of CICA has been the ‘Triple’ beer from the French brewery Terenez – La Brasserie du Bout du Monde. A specialty beer made in the picturesque region of Bretagne, copper colored and with sweet, fruity and spicy aromas and flavors that has captivated the expert palates of the Jury. In fact, it has received an overall rating of 48 points over 50, obtaining a Grand Gold medal and rising as the best beer of the Contest. Without a doubt, this distinction will suppose a definitive impulse for this brewery in its path to the excellence and the international recognition.
As for the Spanish breweries, it is worth mentioning the good role played by the Guipuzcoa-based brewery Pagoa, whose Red Ale ‘Gorria’ has obtained a valuation over 47 points, obtaining with it a Grand Gold medal and being chosen winner in the category of English, Scottish and Irish Ales. The Jury has highlighted its intense flavor, freshness and excellent balance, making it a beer almost perfect, easy and pleasant to drink. Moreover, another of their participating beers, the ‘Horia’ has reaped a Gold medal in the Lager category, resulting in a very successful representative of the Pilsner style.
The representatives of the Murcian brewery Yakka, who has managed to include four of their references in the CICA medal chart, have also played a major role. Both ‘Lunatica 1’ and ‘Brown’ have reached Grand Gold medals, winning the Acid Beers and Special Beers categories respectively. From the first of them, the Jury has appreciated the good integration of the malt with the fruit acidity that brings the Garnacha grape, while the second has drawn much attention to its originality and innumerable nuances that complement and improve a very good Brown Ale. In addition, the so-called ‘Las uvas de la IPA’, produced by Yakka in collaboration with Freaks, has won a Gold medal and has been named winner of the Pale Ale category in the popular IPA subcategory. Similarly, their ‘Humo Saison Smoke’ has shown a very correct integration of the Saison style with the smoky notes, and has also harvested a Gold medal.
The Canarian representatives from Cervecería Isla Verde, located in the island of La Palma, have demonstrated the good brewing level present in the archipelago. Thus, their ‘Indiana’ beer has been awarded a Gold medal and has been the winner of the disputed Wheat Beers category. Another of their original proposals, the ‘Julieta Negra Sin Gluten’, has also attracted the attention of the Jury, being awarded the best Belgian Ale and awarded with a Gold medal, emphasizing the interesting bet to produce high quality beers suitable for coeliac. Finally, in the category of Soft and Hybrid Ales, ‘Pícara’ has reaped a Silver medal thanks to its refreshing and citrus feeling, being a faithful representative of the Summer Ale style.
CICA 2017 medal chart is complemented by other renowned breweries in the national scene, such as Califa, who has won a medal with their two participant samples. His rotund and complex ‘Sultana’ has won a Gold medal and has been named as the best Dark Ale of the Contest. Their ‘IPA’ has also highlighted in the competitive and popular IPA subcategory, winning a Gold medal. Very striking has resulted the emergent Tian Beer project, which with its peculiar and delicate ‘Tiannana’, ‘Tea Beer’ and ‘Idílica’ has won a Silver and two Gold medals in the categories of Wheat, Special Beers and Soft Ales respectively, winning the latter. The participation of Palacios Vinoteca is also meritorious, being awarded with a Gold medal and a Lager award for their ‘Palax’ and another Gold medal with their amazing ‘Ceriux Tempranillo Blanco’, in the Fruit Beers sub-category.
Finally, other beers with presence in the medal chart are ‘Serena’ from the brewery La Bicha, a Blond Ale that has demonstrated its virtues in the category of Soft Ales and has received a well deserving Gold medal, the forceful ‘Imperial Stout’ from Olbea Pilsner, which has been awarded with a Silver medal in Dark Ales category, and the Grana ‘Oud Bruin Tostada’ beer, whose original combination of Belgian Oud Bruin and American Brown Ale has achieved a Silver medal.
In summary, CICA 2017 has been able to faithfully reflect the innovative, creative and meticulous spirit of the current craft beer panorama, as it is shown by the great number of distinctions that have been granted to beers from very different styles. These recognitions will be made visible to the consumer immediately, once the winning beers begin to show the badges that prove them as deserved winners of the Contest. This will mean not only an injection of morale for the producers, who will be valued and duly rewarded for their efforts by professionals from their sector, but also in a growth of prestige and recognition of their brand, which will obtain in the short term an increase in media presence and market share. Finally, in addition to congratulating all the winners, we are grateful for the dedication and confidence from all the participants in CICA, which contribute to keeping this Contest as one of the benchmarks in the craft beer sector.