Beer quality has a name

2356 beers from 47 countries compete for the European Beer Star 2023 award


In the preliminary, intermediate, and final rounds of the European Beer Star system, everything is at stake for the submitting breweries: a prestigious award that ends with gold, silver, or bronze for the three best beers in each category and a place on the winner's podium. In the current round in 2023, there are 2356 beers from 553 breweries from a total of 47 participating countries. The tasting marathon will take place at the exhibition center in Nuremberg - site of BrauBeviale (November 28-30, 2023) - and the awards ceremony will be held later at BrauBeviale.

Private Brauereien / Volker Martin

The term "European" is used to express that predominantly beers originating in Europe will be competing against each other. It is therefore not a European championship, but rather a world championship. A total of 74 different beer styles - for example, classics that everyone knows, such as "German-Style Pils" or "South-German Style Hefeweizen hell," but also exotic styles that are household names for beer lovers, such as "Herb and Spice Beer" or "Wood and Barrel Aged Sour Beer" - are tasted in an anonymized procedure. The increasingly popular non-alcoholic beers are also represented with four categories. New this year: the Grodziskie beer style from Poland, long forgotten, is now being brewed again by some breweries in Poland - and of course presented to the European Beer Star judges for tasting.

Kilian Kittl, competition manager of the European Beer Star at the organizer Private Brauereien Bayern e.V., uses the example of an evaluation sheet to explain exactly what standards the jurors apply during the tasting: "The jurors evaluate the submitted beers purely according to sensory criteria. That is, they judge exclusively characteristics that they perceive with their senses - appearance, smell, and taste. In this way, each beer receives a score in the preliminary rounds that decides whether it advances to the next round. From the intermediate rounds to the finals, the judges collectively discuss and decide on advancement or, in the end, on gold, silver and bronze in each of the 74 categories."

To ensure the highest neutrality of the 150-member jury, the samples are coded so that really no one can identify the beers and submitting breweries. The two-day tasting marathon in mid-September 2023 in Nuremberg is a good opportunity to look over the shoulders of the tasters and capture a mood in the industry. Beer quality is not a question of brewery size: "The competition is open to everyone: we have entries from well-known, national large breweries, but also from specialty breweries that only brew for their own pubs. Everything is there. That is also the strength of the competition, that the breweries are all competing on one level," says Stefan Stang, General Manager of the Bavarian Private Breweries Association.

The atmosphere in the tasting room is highly concentrated, the beers are analyzed in detail by the judges and the corresponding ratings are entered in the evaluation sheet. At each table, 7 to 9 tasters taste a "flight" - usually 8 to 10 beers per round. The quality judgment is thus always made on the basis of several individual tasting results.

"In the past, there have been breweries that have already been able to confirm their award win several times as well as absolute newcomers that caused surprises at the awards ceremony," says Kilian Kittl. The winners of the European Beer Star 2023 also remain a well-kept secret for a few weeks after the tasting. Only at BrauBeviale 2023, the renowned trade show for the production and marketing of beverages from November 28 to 30 in Nuremberg, will the beer community find out which breweries will be able to take home the gold, silver, and bronze awards. The awards ceremony in the BrauBeviale Forum on November 29, 2023 in Hall 1 will - that much is already certain - once again show which beers are among the best in the world.

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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