Ponderosa Brewing Co. takes top honors at the 2022 World Beer Cup - Albuquerque Journal

Ponderosa Brewing Co. takes top honors at the 2022 World Beer Cup

Ponderosa Brewing Co. head brewer Antonio Fernandez is honored to have won a gold medal at the 2022 World Beer Cup for his Italian Pilsner. (Courtesy of Ponderosa Brewing Co.)

bright spotChalk another one up for New Mexico breweries.

Five of them recently medaled at the 2022 World Beer Cup competition held on May 5 in Minneapolis. Ponderosa Brewing Co. brought home the gold for its Italian Pilsner. It was one of 134 entries in the Hoppy Lager category. The Italian Pilsner also won a gold medal at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival.

“Winning a gold medal at the World Beer Cup for my Italian Pilsner is an honor as well as a humbling experience,” said Antonio Fernandez, head brewer at Ponderosa Brewing Co. “The WBC is like the Olympics of beer for brewers, only held every two years and open to the whole world. To bring home the only gold to New Mexico, a state full of world-class breweries and brewers is something I never expected to happen, especially just a few months after winning a gold medal for the same beer at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival.”

Fernandez said it was his favorite recipe prior to receiving any awards and remains his favorite beer to drink.

“To me the thing that makes it even more special is that it is a lager, what most brewers I know, including myself, to be the most difficult style to brew to a high standard, and I believe it to be the pinnacle of our art and craft.”

Nexus Brewery received the silver medal for its Beam Me Up (Higher), Scotty in the Old Ale or Strong Ale category, which had 33 entries. It is an Imperial-style Scotch Ale that features a rich caramel flavor with a hint of smoke that balances out its sweet backbone.

“I had briefly stepped out of the awards ceremony when Nexus was announced as the silver medal winner and I did not hear the announcement,” Nexus head brewer Randy King said. “Friends from Marble, Canteen and Thirsty Eye had to convince me that Nexus had won. I worked in two Minneapolis breweries six or seven years ago, so it was even sweeter to be able to share the celebration with Albuquerque and Minneapolis friends. World Beer Cup awards are difficult to win and we are thrilled to have our work honored.”

Beam Me Up (Higher), Scotty is scheduled to have a limited release at Nexus’ 11th Anniversary Party on May 27-29.

Another silver medal went to Ex Novo Brewing Co. in Corrales for its V for Vienna in the Vienna-Style Lager category. There were 113 entries in that category. V for Vienna is described as a traditional malt-forward lager with notes of toasted bread, caramel and a hint of honey.

Marble Brewery took the bronze for its IPA-X in the Experimental IPA category, which had 96 entries. The bold beer features Cashmere, Citra and Simcoe hops with a German Pale Ale malt.

Santa Fe’s Second Street Brewery took bronze for its Brown Ale in the American-Style Brown Ale category, which had 70 entries. The classic-style ale features a balanced malt-hop profile with a slight chocolate and caramel character, according to a Second Street press release.

“It’s great to see the hard work this team puts on a daily basis being rewarded on the national stage consistently,” according to head brewer Tom Ludzia.

This year’s World Beer Cup competition drew 10,542 beer entries from 2,493 breweries located in 57 countries. There were 103 beer style categories judged by 226 judges from 28 countries. The Brewers Association developed the competition in 1996.

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