Meiningers International Craft Beer Award 2018: results

Medals for the very best

With 1,090 beers submitted, the fifth Meininger’s International Craft Beer Award set a new record for the number of entries. The 84 experts on the international judging panel closely
scrutinised the beers back in April – and the award ceremony was held yesterday in Neustadt’s Saalbau centre. At the ceremony, 90 breweries from Germany and elsewhere were honoured for the quality of their beers.

This year’s Meininger’s International Craft Beer Award saw breweries from 28 countries enter their beers for a chance to win one of the coveted medals or special awards. Whether Berliner Weisse, Eisbock, Dark Strong Ale or Imperial Stout, the vast array of styles was impressive. The almost 90 judges – many of whom are brewers and beer sommeliers or experts from the fields of research and teaching – tested a total of 70 different beer styles.

In total, 26 Platinum medals, 160 Gold medals and 141 Silver medals were bestowed on the best of the best. Riegele, a brewery based in Augsburg, picked up not only a total of twelve medals (one Platinum, six Golds and five Silvers), but also the title of ‘National Craft Brewer of the Year’. Dutch brewery Hertog Jan was named ‘2018 International Craft Brewer of the Year’, earning two Platinum medals, five Gold medals and three Silver medals for its beers. Clan Scotch Ale from Braufactum was named ‘National Craft Beer of the Year’, whereas the accolade of ‘International Craft Beer of the Year’ went to Delirium Tremens from Belgium’s Brouwerij Huyghe.

‘Over the years, we have put together a top-class, international tasting panel and are proud of the fact that our award attracts the very best beer tasters,’ explains Christian Wolf, Director Degustation and a member of the competition’s Executive Board. The strictly limited nature of the awards
ensures that each prize-winning beer really is among the elite. As the overall standard was very good to excellent, however, many other beers would otherwise have garnered an award.

For the first time this year, awards also went to the best beers in each of the thirteen categories: Weiherer Pils, Kundmüller, Viereth-Trunstadt, Germany (‘Best Pils’), Karlsberg Bock, Karlsberg, Homburg, Germany (‘Best Bock Beer’), Hachenburger Alkoholfrei, Westerwald-Brauerei H. Schneider, Hachenburg, Germany (‘Best Non-Alcoholic Beer’), Prototyp, Kehrwieder Kreativbrauerei, Hamburg, Germany (‘Best Lager’), Barrique Aged Sweet Chocolate Stout, Brau Union Österreich, Kaltenhausen, Austria (‘Best Barrel-Aged Beer’), Unertl organic Weisse with spelt, Unertl, Mühlendorf, Germany (‘Best Alternative-Grain Beer’) and HazelNut Brown Nectar, Rogue Ales & Spirits, Newport, USA (‘Best Freestyle/Experimental-Style Beer’).

With a total of 1,090 beers judged, the fifth Meininger’s International Craft Beer Award set a new record for the number of entries. Some 30 per cent of the beers came from outside Germany: Austria and Switzerland led the way with 56 beers each, followed by the United States (27 beers), Italy (25), the Netherlands (24), France (21) and the Czech Republic (19).

‘The further increase in the number of entries indicates to us that there is considerable interest and demand amongst breweries when it comes to having their speciality beers tasted and rated by an unbiased panel of experts,’ remarks Director Degustation Wolf. Alongside traditional craft beers such as IPA and Pale Ale, he also pointed out that traditional German styles such as Pils, wheat beer, Helles and Kellerbier are also gaining in popularity. These beers, in particular, demonstrated extraordinary quality and were a joy to drink.

All the results of the 2018 Meininger’s International Craft Beer Award are now available at

Images of the competition and the award ceremony can be found at, whereas on request we will gladly send you images of the certificates being presented to the various breweries.

About Meininger’s International Craft Beer Award:
Meininger’s International Craft Beer Award made its debut in 2014, with 250 beers submitted. Four years later, the Award boasts more than 1,000 beers from all over the world. This makes Meininger’s International Craft Beer Award one of the most important and most highly regarded beer competitions in the world today.

With its tasting methodology, the competition sets new standards in terms of beer evaluation. Using the international 100-point scale, the beers are not measured against each other, but are instead judged individually on their appearance, aroma, taste and drinking experience by a six- or seven-strong judging panel. Furthermore, the Award also includes a sensory description of the aromas and attributes typical of each beer style. These descriptions are used to produce an aroma diagram that is not only easy to follow for brewers and consumers alike, but that also provides a first impression of the beer’s taste.

The publishing company MEININGER VERLAG is based in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. One of Germany’s oldest specialist publishing companies, it is now being run by the fourth generation of the same family. The company specialises in publications for the wine and beverages industry. It also launched the first craft beer magazine, Meiningers Craft – das Magazin für Bierkultur, in 2015.

Press contact:
Christian Wolf
Maximilianstrasse 7–17
67433 Neustadt an der Weinstrasse
Tel.: +49 (0)6321 890 813
Fax: +49 (0)6321 8908 954
Email: [email protected]

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winners Craft Beer Award 2018 / credits: © AD LUMINA Ralf Ziegler
jury member Horst Dornbusch, USA / credits: © AD LUMINA Ralf Ziegler
impression 1 / credits: © AD LUMINA Ralf Ziegler
jury 2018 / credits: © AD LUMINA Ralf Ziegler
impression 2 / credits: © AD LUMINA Ralf Ziegler