The winners of the European Beer Star 2021, in which a total of 2,395 beers from 44 countries around the globe competed for the coveted awards, have been announced. More than 120 international beer experts consisting of brewmasters, trade journalists, beer sommeliers and other beer experts awarded 213 beers with gold, silver and bronze in 70+1 categories during a two-day blind tasting on November 4 and 5 at the Doemens Academy in Gräfelfing near Munich.
Due to the short-term cancellation of the Beviale Summit (inside.beer, 3.11.2021) which was supposed to feature also the award ceremony of the European Beer Star 2021, the announcement of the winning beers took place today only digitally and the award ceremony was broadcasted on the Youtube channel of the Association Private Brauereien.
Stefan Stang, General Manager of Private Brauereien Bayern, is proud of this year's edition of the beer competition: "After a difficult year and a half for the entire international brewing industry, we are very pleased to see such a great response to the European Beer Star 2021. After a dip in the number of entries last year, we are now almost back to the record level of 2019."
With almost 2400 beers submitted this year, entries were 17 % higher than last year. "In terms of registration numbers the European Beer Star 2021 is the second best in its now 18-year history," adds Stang.
With a total of 78 awards (29 gold, 28 silver, 21 bronze), the most awards at the European Beer Star 2021 went to Germany. 32 awards made the journey across the Alps to Italy (4 gold, 15 silver, 13 bronze). Breweries from the USA (21 awards) and Belgium (20 awards) were also very successful.
The wheat beer experts from Schneider Weisse in Kelheim won three gold medals, as well as Familienbrauerei Bauhöfer from Renchen-Ulm that convinced the judges with its bottom-fermented beers. In addition, Schlossbrauerei Unterbaar near Augsburg and Brauerei Gebrüder Maisel from Bayreuth were busy collecting awards with four medals each.
When asked about the best Pilsner, Schlossbrauerei Autenried provided the right answer and was awarded the gold medal in this category. The best "German-Style Helles" this year came from Pfaffenhofen from Müllerbräu.
But Germany is not the only country with successful breweries at the European Beer Star 2021. Most successful brewery from outside Germany with four awards was the brewery Ritual Lab near Rome, which was only founded in 2015 and was particularly successful with its interpretations in the "Session Beer," "New Style Pale Ale," "New Style India Pale Ale," and "Ultra Strong Beer" categories. Last year, Ritual Lab was already awarded the Italian award "Birraio dell'Anno 2020" (Brewer of the Year 2020) after being placed second in the two years before.
With three awards in the categories "Belgian-Style Blond Ale," "BelgianStyle Dubbel," and "Belgian-Style Tripel," Bierbrouwerij de Koningshoeven proved once again that no one is so quick to outdo them in these beer styles.
But even in the 18th year of its existence, there are still surprises at the European Beer Star. For the first time in the history of the beer competition, the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark each won a Gold Award at the same time. Gold in category "German Style Dunkler Bock" went to E.C. Dahls Brygerri from Norway, while the prize for the best "English-Style Strong Ale" went to Panimo Honkavuori Oy from Finland. Remmarlöv Gårdsbryggeri from Sweden won gold in the “Sweet Stout” category and Krenkerup Bryggeri from Denmark brewed the best “Smoke Beer”.
For the first time, a category was created at the European Beer Star in which beer quality was not the sole deciding factor in the judging. In the new special category "Free-Style Beer," storytelling – the story and idea behind the beer – played a special role. The final jury was most impressed by Kehrwieder Kreativbrauerei with its El Duderino. Inspired by the favorite drink of the main character in the movie "The Big Lebowski" – the "White Russian" cocktail – the winning beer not only impressed with its terrific storytelling, but also with its creative recipe and outstanding beer quality.
The full list of winners of the European Beer Star 2021 can be found here.