The Award

The year 2020 has faced the entire beer industry with major challenges. In particular, the sales channels that are so important for beer specialities, such as the HORECA, as well as various trade fairs and established festivals, have suffered greatly. It is still difficult to predict how things will develop in the coming months, which makes it extremely difficult to plan major events.
 
In this situation we have decided to break new ground with the Craft Beer Award in 2021. Instead of selecting the best national and international beer
specialities in a single tasting session lasting several days, we are switching to monthly, theme-specific tastings at the beginning of next year. From our
point of view, this procedure offers, in addition to the so important planning security, some further advantages for all participating breweries:
• For the first time, seasonal beer styles (e.g. Maibock, Summer Ale, Green Hops Beer) can be tasted fresh and at the right time of the year. Thus, winning beers can be presented and marketed at the perfect time.
• The monthly awards give the breweries repeated occasions during the year to communicate with their customers and the media.
• The permanent media presence of the Craft Beer Award strengthens the brand and thus increases the value of the award.
 
Hand in hand with this reorientation goes the significantly expanded communication strategy, which guarantees the participants of the Craft Beer Award even more awareness and benefit. The new marketing tools include...
• Monthly, high-reach online award ceremonies (successfully implemented for the first time for the Craft Beer Award 2020)
• Intensive editorial support of the tastings in the various trade magazines of Meininger Verlag, especially Meiningers CRAFT, plus presence in FIZZZ, Getränke Zeitung, Meiningers Sommelier etc.
• Permanent reporting through the new Craft Beer Award website and the strong social media channels.
 
However, despite all the changes, you can rely on important constants: on the highly professional analysis, description and evaluation of your beer by proven experts and - associated with this - detailed sensory feedback that enables benchmarking.
 
An overview of the monthly thematic tastings as well as the existing and additional communication possibilities can be found on the following pages.
 
We look forward to tasting and evaluating your beer specialities and presenting the best beers to beer lovers all over the world in an even broader and more publicityeffective way!
 

Process

The registered beers are allocated to groups of judges, each comprising of five to seven tasters. Under the leadership of the head judge, the group tastes the beers in thematic flights. In contrast to other competitions, each beer is tasted and evaluated individually as opposed to being compared with one another (which is the best beer of the bunch?). This unique approach has proved successful, as it means that each individual beer is given the attention it deserves.

 
As well as being presented in Rastal-Teku tasting glasses, each beer is served to the judges in a special ‘optical glass’, so its appearance and head can also be evaluated. Using a 100-point system, each judge rates the beers on the basis of their appearance, aroma, taste and overall impression. Another special feature of the competition is that the beers are described according to their aroma.
This descriptive analysis is carried out using 21 attributes defined specifically for each beer category.
The descriptions result in a spider chart per beer that gives an overview of its flavour profile at a glance. An added benefit for brewers and onsumers alike.
 

Medals

The participating beers with the highest scores in their respective category are presented with: platinum, gold or silver awards.

Additional awards include:
 
Craft Brewer of the Year National/International
Craft Beer of the Year National/International
Best Beer in its Category

 

Press

Receiving an award, with the accompanying medal and certificate, has a noticeable effect on sales. The winners are published in the trade and food magazines of MEININGER VERLAG (GETRÄNKE ZEITUNG, FIZZZ, MEININGERS SOMMELIER, WEINWIRTSCHAFT), in MEININGERS CRAFTBIER MAGAZIN and in Meininger's consumer magazine MEININGERS WEINWELT, as well as on the internet platforms and social media sites of the publishing house.