Trendy Helles and classic export beer in focus // Titles for the best beers go to Brauhaus Faust, Lillebräu and Schwarzbräu
A market share of 8.8 per cent in Germany, making it the strongest beer style after Pils, a steadily growing variety of products, even far beyond Munich's home - with (Münchner) Hell, the current shooting star of the beer scene was the focus of Meininger's International Craft Beer Award in July. "From north to south, from east to west and even from abroad, as far as Taiwan, came the beers that entered the race for the awards this month," Christian Wolf, Director Degustation at the organising Meininger publishing house, gives an insight into the composition of the about 120 beers that were hoping for one of the coveted medals.
In addition to Helles in traditional and modern styles, i.e. unfiltered and/or cold-hopped, the beer professionals on the jury also had to deal with export beers. Until the 1970s the most popular beer style in Germany, almost forgotten in the meantime, export has been flourishing again for a few years, driven also by smaller breweries.
18 x gold and 11 x silver were the results at the end of the day, which once again showed how colourful, lively and high-quality the beer scene is, regardless of whether it is a medium-sized traditional brewery or a craft brewer hungry for innovation.
The following beers received special awards as the highest rated representatives of their style:
Brauhaus Faust from Miltenberg in Lower Franconia can claim the title "Helles of the Year 2021". The "Faust Bayrisch Hell" (4.8% alcohol by volume) from the oldest brewery in the Rhine-Main region with over 360 years of tradition was convincing all along the line and received a gold medal from the jury.
The "Helles New Style of the Year 2021" award, in turn, goes to the far north, to Kiel, to Lillebräu. The "lille Helles" with 5.1% alcohol by volume, flowery, mild bouquet and harmoniously integrated honey notes was also awarded a gold medal by the beer experts.
The "Export Beer of the Year 2021" is brewed in Zusmarshausen in the district of Augsburg at Schwarzbräu. The "Schwarzbräu Urtyp", a strong, full-bodied beer with 5.5% alcohol by volume, perfectly met the sensory requirements of an export beer and was awarded a gold medal.
At the next themed tasting in mid-August, freestyle and experimental style beers will be on the agenda, i.e. all those creative brewing experiments that deliberately leave style boundaries behind.
An overview of all the medal winners of the July tasting can be found here:
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.