CBA April Tasting: Non-alcoholic beers and Bock beers

Focus on the trend type "non-alcoholic beer" / Best beers come from the brewery Gebr. Maisel and the family brewery M. Ketterer

Special: The best Bock beers

Non-alcoholic beer is one of the big winners of the last few years (see "Know-how"), the number of available beers on the market is increasing rapidly, and the quality of non-alcoholic beers is climbing to new heights. What used to be an embarrassment has long since become a means of enjoyment.

The jury of Meininger's International Craft Beer Award in April could also see this for themselves when non-alcoholic beers were on the tables. "The range of beer styles within the non-alcoholic category was particularly remarkable," sums up Benjamin Brouër, beer expert at Meininger Verlag and board member of the Craft Beer Award. "From non-alcoholic pale to pilsner, wheat and IPA to Stout, everything was there. It was also remarkable how smaller, creative breweries mastered the technological challenge of a non-alcoholic beer," says Brouër.

The expert jury of beer sommeliers, brewers and other experts from research also set out to find the best bock beers of the spring.

Around 120 beers were put to the critical vote of the experts, and 30 beers ultimately succeeded in winning a medal in the blind tasting. The following beers received special awards as the highest rated representatives of their style:

 The title of "Best non-alcoholic beer (bottom-fermented)" goes to the Black Forest, to Hornberg, to the family-owned brewery M. Ketterer, which has been brewing beer since 1877. Their gold medal-winning Ketterer Pils non-alcoholic is characterised by its distinct harmony. A pleasant malt sweetness meets finely tart hop aromas. The tangy freshness ensures a lively, refreshing taste.

The jury awarded a platinum medal and with it the distinction of "Best non-alcoholic beer (top-fermented)" to Maisel's Weisse Alkoholfrei from the brewery Gebr. Maisel, Bayreuth. Once again, the amber-coloured beer was able to convince the professional jury with its spicy-fruity, amazingly aroma-intensive taste. Maisel's Weisse Alkoholfrei had already won a platinum medal in 2019.


Special: The best Bock beers in Spring

“Strong Bock" from the Karlsberg brewery in Homburg, Saarland, also repeated its success. As in 2018 and 2020, the dark bock beer was once again awarded a platinum medal and thus the title of "Bock Beer of the Year". The expert jury particularly liked the harmonious body of caramel and roasted malts, in which fine notes of dried fruits are integrated.

The Privat-Brauerei Zötler from the Allgäu region was awarded the title "Doppelbock of the Year" and a gold medal. Their soft and full-bodied St. Stephansbock convinces with a particularly harmonious combination of dark malt aromas full of coffee and chocolate notes, paired with fine hints of wild berries.


The next seasonal themed tasting in mid-May will focus on wheat beer, Altbier and Kölsch. The jury will also be looking for the best summer beers (Summer Ales & Lager).

An overview of all the medal winners of the April tasting can be found here:


“Non-alcoholic beer" know-how
Non-alcoholic beers are becoming more and more popular in Germany - and the variety of brands has also been growing steadily for years. As the German Brewers Association (DBB) announced on the occasion of German Beer Day on 23 April, no other type of beer has grown as strongly over the past ten years as non-alcoholic beer and non-alcoholic mixed beer drinks. According to industry figures, while around 430 million litres of non-alcoholic were produced in 2010, Germany's breweries already sold more than 660 million litres of non-alcoholic beer and malt beverages in 2020, despite the Corona crisis and a four-month lockdown of the gastronomy sector.

This corresponds to an increase in market share of 53 percent within this decade. Looking at the German beer market, the market share of non-alcoholic in the food trade was almost seven percent in 2020, according to market research. According to DBB forecasts, the dynamic growth will continue in the next few years and the ten percent mark will be exceeded earlier than expected. (Source: German Brewers Association)


About Meininger's International Craft Beer Award:
Meininger's International Craft Beer Award was launched in 2014 by Meininger Verlag. Until 2020, the competition took place once a year, with up to 1,200 beer specialities from all over the world being tasted blind by almost 100 national and international beer experts. With the reorientation to a monthly, theme-specific tasting format, the competition guarantees an even more detailed and now also seasonal beer specialities open tasting and assessment of the submitted beers by a proven expert jury.

Eight years after its premiere, Meininger's International Craft Beer Award is one of the most important beer competitions. With its tasting methodology, the competition sets new standards in the field of beer evaluation. Based on the international 100-point scheme, the beers are not evaluated comparatively, but individually according to appearance, smell and taste by a jury of experts without knowledge of the producer. In addition, the competition describes each beer tasted sensorially in terms of the aromas and attributes typical of the respective beer style. From this, an aroma diagram is created that is comprehensible and understandable for brewers and consumers and gives a first impression of the taste of the beer.

Meininger Verlag is the publisher of numerous beverage publications such as the magazine for beer culture "Meininger's Craft". The media company has demonstrated its tasting expertise for more than 20 years with numerous internationally recognised wine and spirits competitions.


Press contact:
Nicole Zeisset
Meininger Verlag GmbH
Maximilianstr. 7-15
67433 Neustadt/Germany
Phone: +49 6321 89 08 94
E-Mail: [email protected]


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jury member Antonio Link
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