A total of 2168 beers from 40 countries competed in 73 categories for the coveted awards. These included internationally known beer types such as Pilsner, wheat beer or India Pale Ale, but also specialties such as wood and barrel-aged strong beers, Belgian Dubbel or sour beers were tasted and judged. Only the best three beers in each category are awarded gold, silver and bronze.
Stefan Stang, General Manager of the Association Private Brauereien Bayern e.V., is extremely satisfied with this year's edition of the beer competition: "Despite the difficult environment in which the international brewing industry currently finds itself, we are proud to have cracked the mark of over 2,000 beers submitted again this year. We thank everyone who contributed to the success of the 19th edition of our European Beer Star and congratulate all the successful breweries who were able to bring home one or even more awards."
International field of participants
Although the name suggests it, the European Beer Star is not an "European championship" of the best beers. The focus rather lies on beer styles of European origin. At the same time, almost two-thirds of all beers entered come from abroad. "We are delighted with the outstanding response from a total of 40 countries. The participating breweries spared no effort to send in their beers for tasting on time, despite the currently disrupted supply chains," says a delighted project manager Kilian Kittl. Particularly from Italy and Austria, the organizers were able to record new all-time high registrations.
The 219 awards of this year's European Beer Star go to a total of 21 countries around the globe. With a total of 82 awards, including 32 gold, 27 silver, and 23 bronze, German breweries lead the medal table of the European Beer Star 2022. Italy came in second with a total of 35 medals (10 gold, 9 silver, 16 bronze), followed by the U.S. breweries, which brought a total of 25 of the coveted awards (8 gold, 8 silver, 9 bronze) across the "big pond." The Austrian breweries convinced the expert jury a total of 18 times (6 gold, 6 silver, 6 bronze), with Belgium only just behind with 15 awards (4 gold, 6 silver, 5 bronze). For the first time in the history of the European Beer Star, Ireland brought a gold medal to the "Emerald Isle".
Medal shower for breweries from Germany, Austria, and Italy
With three gold, two silver, and one bronze award, Birra Perugia from the Italian province of Umbria was the most successful brewery in this year's European Beer Star competition. But medals also rained down for the Upper Bavarian brewery Camba Bavaria (2 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze) and the Stiegl brewery from Salzburg in Austria (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze). In addition, a complete set of medals went to Batzen-Bräu in Bolzano, to Ottakringer Brewery in Vienna, and to Birrificio Vetra in Milan.
Schneider Weisse and Schlossbrauerei Unterbaar once again demonstrated their expertise in wheat beers - three awards each went to Kelheim and Baar for wheat beer specialties of various kinds. Of a total of 27 awards in the wheat beer categories, 21 went to Germany. However, the gold medal in the category "South- German Style Hefeweizen Hell" went to the Chinese brewery "Urbrew" from Handan, causing quite a surprise.
Bamberg-based Hellerbräu, better known as "Schlenkerla," secured double gold in the "Smoke Beer" and "Strong Smoke Beer" categories. Löwenbrauerei Passau was not only successful in winning the best "German-Style Helles," but also took home a bronze award in the "German-Style Dunkel" category. Gold for the best "German- Style Pilsner" went to the family-owned brewery M. Ketterer from Hornberg in the Black Forest.
New categories pick up on trends in the brewing industry
Just as the international beer market is constantly changing, the European Beer Star is also continually evolving. This year, for example, two new categories were introduced. In the "Italian Grape Ale" category - a beer style invented in Italy that also uses grapes or grape juice - all three awards went to the home country of this style. In addition, "Flavoured or Pastry Stouts", which are enjoying increasing popularity worldwide, were judged for the first time at the European Beer Star 2022. Hardly surprising then, that gold and bronze went to the USA and silver to China in this category.
The European Beer Star 2022 took also account of the growing trend toward non- alcoholic beers with four independent categories for non-alcoholic beers for the first time. The awards in these categories go to Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the USA and Spain.
After the extremely successful premiere of the "Free-Style Beer" category last year, this category again enjoyed great interest from the participating breweries. In addition to outstanding beer quality, storytelling about the respective beer plays a central role in this special category. With a creative idea, perfectly implemented in terms of technology and taste, coupled with refreshing storytelling, a tea beer from SokchoBeer in South Korea convinced final jury the most.
Further information: www.european-beer-star.com