Richmond Hill Brewing Company, affectionately known as RHBC, has won the title of “Best Beer in Africa” at the 2023 African Beer Cup – the biggest beer competition on the continent.

The winning beer, a Barrel Aged Sours, is a dark ale aged in Shiraz barrels with raspberries and peaches, grabbed a gold medal and then wowed the best of show judges, beating 231 other beers in the competition.

“The African Beer Cup has quickly become the most prestigious beer competition in Africa. To have a beer collect an award in the competition is an amazing achievement, however to further walk away with the Best Beer in Africa Award for 2023 is on another level,” says RHBC’s founder and brewer Niall Cook.

Niall is a passionate brewer and will not hesitate to experiment.  Last year, when he presented his first Sours to the public he was concerned that his customers may not appreciate Barrel Aged Sours and now, just six months later, they have won the most prestigious brewing award in Africa.

In addition to the top award RHBC also received a Gold Medal for their hoppy lager, Lemon Yellow Sun, as well as Bronze Medal for their Keller Pilsner, Twin Fin.

Niall adds, “Everyone at RHBC is on an all-time high. We are extremely proud as a company and are thankful for all our supporters that have driven us to reach these new heights.”

This is the fourth edition of the competition, which is held annually in Cape Town. This year, 52 judges from 16 different countries joined forces to evaluate 232 beers from 20 different African countries.  A total of 60 medals were awarded at an awards night held on 22 April at Woodstock Brewery in Cape Town.

The African Beer Cup is unique in that every beer in the competition is judged twice. All judging is blind, with judges knowing the beer style but not the manufacturer or beer name. Beers are judged to the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) guidelines, which focus on stylistic accuracy rather than personal preference. Beers must reach a certain score threshold in order to be considered for a medal, with a maximum of one gold, one silver and one bronze per category.

The 13 gold medallists went head-to-head in a Best of Show round to determine the Best Beer in Africa. Rather than a trophy, the winner receives a custom painting to celebrate their win. This year’s painting was created by Eastern Cape artist Chanel Louise Gardner, whose work focuses on using upcycled materials – very apt since the painting was unveiled on Earth Day.


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