Awards for the best autumn and winter beers go to Hoppebräu, Riedenburger Brauhaus, Bitburger and Colombia Craft Brewing Company //
Freshly brewed green hops beers awarded for the first time
The final of Meininger's International Craft Beer Award 2021. In November, a top-class jury of experts, composed of beer sommeliers, brewers and other experts from research and teaching, gathered for the last time in 2021 to select the best beers of the year. In line with this year's seasonal concept, autumn and winter beers were the focus of the tasting. Among other things, the beer professionals had the opportunity to examine freshly brewed green hops beers for the first time in a competition.
"Currently, more and more breweries are rediscovering the seasonal character of beer," explains Benjamin Brouër, beer expert of the Meininger Verlag. "Especially green hops beers, in which the freshly harvested hop cones are processed, are gaining in popularity, which can also be seen in the number of participants in our award."
From winter bocks to smoked beers to barrel-aged - a total of 136 beers were hoping to win one of the coveted awards in November. At the end of the tasting day, the jury awarded 4 x platinum, 27 x gold and 3 x silver.
Special awards as the highest rated representatives of their style went to the following beers:
The jury chose Bitburger Grünhopfenbier as the green hops beer of the Year. The naturally cloudy bottom-fermented beer with 4.1% alcohol by volume impressed with its tangy, fresh taste and finely integrated hop note, which is provided by freshly harvested Cascade hops. With this naturally very limited beer, Bitburger is currently continuing its series of seasonal special brews, which began with Bitburger Maibock and Bitburger Winterbock.
The smoked beer of the Year comes from faraway Colombia and is brewed by the Colombia Craft Brewing Company in Medellín. The Smoked Porter with 5.7% alcohol by volume scored points with the tasters for its harmoniously integrated smoke character and was awarded a gold medal.
That the brewing world has much more to offer than barley and wheat malt is shown by the broad field of beers with alternative grains as a basis. Riedenburger Brauhaus has been demonstrating particular expertise in this field for years with its Urgetreide beers. No wonder that the jury awarded the Riedenburger Edelbier Einkorn a gold medal and at the same time Best beer with alternative grains in the course of the tasting.
Barrel-aged beers are undoubtedly among the most exclusive and sophisticated brewing specialities. Those who score points here have impressively demonstrated their expertise. Just like Markus Hoppe from Hoppebräu. His Hoppebräu Slyrs Oak Aged Imperial Stout (Edition 2021) earned top marks, won a platinum medal and goes home with the title of Wood-aged beer of the Year. Among other things, this Imperial Stout matures for four months in whisky barrels from the Bavarian Slyrs distillery. A very special beer experience with aromas of whisky, wood, dried fruit and smoke at 11.2% alcohol by volume.
An overview of all medal winners of the November Tasting can be found here:
About Meininger's International Craft Beer Award:
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.