Drifter Brewing Company's Stormy Smoked Porter has been named the winner of the inaugural African Beer Cup as the best beer in Africa. File picture: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Drifter Brewing Company's Stormy Smoked Porter has been named the winner of the inaugural African Beer Cup as the best beer in Africa.

More than 150 brewers, beer enthusiasts and industry experts gathered to celebrate the inaugural African Beer Cup awards ceremony, held in Cape Town on May 18th.

Run in partnership with the annual Craft Brewers Powwow, the competition attracted 143 entries from 11 different African countries: Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.

56 medals were awarded in 28 different categories, with winners hailing from seven different countries. 

Beers were judged in early May by panels of beer experts, brewers and qualified judges in Cape Town and Johannesburg. All beers were judged to the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) guidelines, which places a strong focus on stylistic accuracy. “In order to get the best results possible, all beers in the competition were judged twice by two different panels,” said competition co-founder and director Shawn Duthie.

The 16 gold medallists went head to head in a best-of-show round to determine the overall winner. Cape Town’s Drifter Brewing Company took the coveted top spot, with their Stormy Smoked Porter. 

The winners took home a one-off piece of art to commemorate their win, designed by Cape Town artist Jessie Pearson. 

Winners of the 2019 African Beer Cup:

Category: Standard American Beer

GOLD: Anheuser-Busch InBev - St Louis Lager (Botswana)

SILVER: Shields Indie Brewing Company - White Falcon (South Africa)

BRONZE: Mad Giant - Super Session (South Africa)

Category: International Lager

GOLD: AB-InBev - Sibebe Lager (Swaziland)

SILVER: AB-InBev - Kilimanjaro Premium Lager (Tanzania)

BRONZE: AB-InBev - Carling Black Label (South Africa)

Category: Czech Lager

SILVER: Spilhaus Brewery - Premium Lager (South Africa)

BRONZE: Hoghouse - Pumba Pilsner (South Africa)

Category: Pale Malty European Lager

SILVER: Cape Brewing Co. - CBC Lager (South Africa)

BRONZE: Darling Brew - Slow Beer (South Africa)

Category: Pale Bitter European Beer

GOLD: Roof of Africa Craft Brewery - Roof Draught (Namibia)

SILVER: Urban Brewing Co. - Judas Peak Blonde Ale (South Africa)

BRONZE: Darling Brew - Blood Serpent (South Africa)

Category: Amber Malty European Lager

SILVER: Brauhaus Am Damm - Brauhaus Märzen (South Africa)

BRONZE: Spilhaus Brewery - Märzen Lager (South Africa)

Category: Amber Bitter European Beer

BRONZE: Hazeldean Brewing Co. - Vienna Lager (South Africa)

Category: Dark European Lager

GOLD: Brauhaus am Damm - Brauhaus Dunkel (South Africa)

BRONZE: Clockwork Brewhouse - Schwarzbier (South Africa)

Category: Strong European Beer

SILVER: Doctrine Brewing - Twisted Talisman (South Africa)

Category: German Wheat Beer

GOLD: Urban Brewing Co. - Talisman Weissbier (South Africa)

SILVER: Jack Black Beer - Atlantic Weiss (South Africa)

BRONZE: Berg River Brewery - Dunkler Doppelbock 2018 (South Africa)

Category: British Bitter

BRONZE: Newlands Spring Brewing Co. - Jacob’s Pale Ale (South Africa)

Category: Pale Commonwealth Beer

GOLD: Darling Brew - Rogue Pony (South Africa)

BRONZE: Hoghouse Brewing Co. - Hogtale African Pale Ale (South Africa)

Category: Brown British Beer

GOLD: Afro Caribbean Brewing Co. - Pirate Porter (South Africa)

SILVER: Darling Brew - Black Mist Orange (South Africa)

BRONZE: Oxenham Craft Brewery - The Thirsty Fox Amber Ale (Mauritius)

Category: Irish Beer

SILVER: Darling Brew - Gypsy Mask (South Africa)

Category: Dark British Beer

GOLD: AB-InBev - Castle Milk Stout (South Africa)

SILVER: The Franschhoek Beer Co - The Stout (South Africa)

BRONZE: Stellenbosch Brewing Co - Eike Stout (South Africa)

Category: Pale American Ale

GOLD: Mad Giant - Killer Hop (South Africa)

SILVER: Stellenbosch Brewing Co - Born Free Pale Ale (South Africa)

BRONZE: Richmond Hill Brewing Co - Car Park John (South Africa)

Category: Amber & Brown American Beer

BRONZE: Shields Indie Brewing Company - Red Special (South Africa)

Category: American Porter & Stout

GOLD: Drifter Brewing Company - The Stormy Smoked Porter (South Africa)

BRONZE: Bature Brewery - Black Gold (Nigeria)

Category: IPA

GOLD: RIOT Beer - Valve IPA (South Africa)

SILVER: Jack Black Beer - Skeleton Coast (South Africa)

BRONZE: Afro Caribbean Brewing Co. - Jungle Paradise (South Africa)

Category: Belgian Ale

SILVER: Hey Joe Brewing Company - Wit (South Africa)

BRONZE: Newlands Spring Brewing Co. - Passionate Blond (South Africa)

Category: Strong Belgian Ale

SILVER: Hey Joe Brewing Company - Blonde (South Africa)

BRONZE: Hoghouse Brewing Co. - Haybale Saison (South Africa)

Category: Historical Beer

GOLD: Stellenbosch Brewing Co. & Little Wolf - Sorghum Gose (South Africa)

Category: American Wild Ale

GOLD: Little Wolf - The Sour Plum (South Africa)

SILVER: Little Wolf - Passiflora (South Africa)

BRONZE: Hoghouse Brewing Co. - Nose to Tail Sour Ale (South Africa)

Category: Fruit Beer

SILVER: Bateleur Brewery - Fruit Fly (Kenya)

Category: Spiced Beer

GOLD: Humanbrew - Loxton Lager (South Africa)

BRONZE: Shields Indie Brewing Company - Back in Black (South Africa)

Category: Alternative Fermentables Beer

GOLD: AB-InBev - Hero Premium Lager (Nigeria)

Category: Wood-aged beer

GOLD: Hazeldean Brewing Co. - Bourbon Barrel Sour Mash Milk Stout (South Africa)

Category: Speciality Beer

BRONZE: Shields Indie Brewing Company - Soul Power (South Africa)