Carling Black Label has sealed its reputation as a champion beer by scooping its 18th international award, a Gold medal at the 2010 Monde Selection and Quality Awards in Brussels. This significant accolade makes Carling Black Label the most awarded beer brand in South Africa.

Founded in 1961, the Monde Awards adjudicate products on 20 different parameters that measure the sensory quality of the entry. To be awarded a Gold medal, the average score given by a jury of eight international experts must be between 80% and 89%.

The beer jury comprises experts in brewing and fermentation technology; professors; lecturers; professional tasters; and chemical engineers and partners with the Institut Meurice in Belgium, which has been renowned for its expertise in brewing and fermentation science since 1897. The assessment sessions last for four months before the results are published, and the medals awarded.

What makes this new award even sweeter, according to South African Breweries Chief Brewer, Martin Brooks, is that international beer awards have in recent years been dominated by ‘craft beers’. Craft beers are typically brewed on a smaller scale, with an emphasis on traditional ingredients and brewing processes, to deliver beers of distinctive flavour and character. At Monde in 2010, Carling Black Label’s distinctive flavour prevailed, winning the brand and SAB’s Prospecton Brewery Gold.

Beyond awards, the taste of Carling Black Label has been praised by leading international flavour and fragrance house, Givaudan, where experts described Carling Black Label as the most differentiated beer in the SAB portfolio, saying: “Carling Black Label disqualified a lot of our beer vocabulary. This brand is so special that it eluded a more precise identification… the beer has achieved what the flavourists call a ‘balance of opposites’. All great blended products have this balance. Carling Black Label shares their distinction and a place of honour and respect for its art and science.”

“18 international awards over the past 20 years is testament to what South African men already know: that Carling Black Label is a great-tasting beer,” says Shawn Katz, Marketing Manager of Carling Black Label. “The brand has been the market leader since 2003 and occupies a highly differentiated positioning in the beer category. It’s an iconic South African brand that never fails to deliver on its promise of ‘More refreshment. More reward.’ We are really proud of this achievement and are already working towards winning our 19th award for the brand.”