2021 European Beer Competitions Recognize American Craft Beer

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Demand for full-flavored beer like American IPA, barrel-aged beer, or just well-made classic styles expands beyond our own nation’s borders, and American craft brewers once again displayed their expertise in brewing through a strong showing at two major international beer competitions in Europe.

The Brewers Association (BA) Export Development Program (EDP) facilitated member brewery participation in both the Brussels Beer Challenge and European Beer Star competitions in 2021. Success at international beer competitions helps raise awareness for American craft beer abroad and assists EDP member breweries with generating publicity for their brands in overseas markets. As part of its programming, the EDP helps facilitate U.S. brewery participation and performance in select competitions by covering entry fees and consolidated airfreight shipment to judging sites.

Lotte Peplow, BA American craft beer ambassador for Europe, comments, “The strong performance of American craft beer at international beer competitions is testimony to its world class quality and the skill, expertise, and creativity of American craft brewers. The standard was extremely high in both competitions. American craft brewers have an enviable reputation around the globe for producing innovative and high quality beers. Winning medals at international competitions such as Brussels Beer Challenge and European Beer Star underpins that reputation and provides a valuable point of difference in today’s competitive marketplace.”

EDP brewery members performed strongly in the following competitions:

Brussels Beer Challenge

The Brussels Beer Challenge is an annual international beer competition that aims to promote the beer industry in a market that is not only a benchmark for beer but also home to connoisseurs.

This year was the tenth edition of the competition with nearly 1,800 beers from 35 different countries judged by an international jury of 75 independent beer experts, including the BA’s American Craft Beer Ambassador for Europe, Lotte Peplow. The competition took place in Brussels, Belgium over a three-day period from October 30 to November 1. Participating beers were subdivided into categories based on origin, typology, and style, and then tasted.

Congratulations to the EDP members who were awarded 32 medals in total: eight gold, 13 silver, and 11 bronze including Cigar City Brewing’s Maduro Brown Ale which was voted ‘Best American Beer of the Competition.’

European Beer Star

One of the most recognized beer competitions in the world, the European Beer Star Awards, took place for the 18th occasion in November 2021 and is committed to the traditional European art of brewing. It recognizes high quality, authentic beers that are genuine and distinctive, and is limited to beer categories that originate in Europe.

This year’s competition attracted 2,395 beers from 44 different countries judged by more than 120 beer experts, including Steve Parr, BA Export Development Program Manager. It took place at the Doemens Brewing Academy, in Gräfelfing, near Munich, and judges awarded 213 beers with gold, silver, or bronze in 70+1 categories. Congratulations to the EDP member breweries who won 18 medals in total including five gold, four silver, and nine bronze.

The award-winning breweries are listed below—congratulations to all the winners!

European Beer Star

Alaskan Brewing CompanyAlaskan Smoked PorterSmoke BeerBronze
Anderson Valley Brewing Black Rice AleSession BeerBronze
Anderson Valley Brewing Barney Flats Oatmeal stout StoutBronze
Bell's BreweryBell's Expedition StoutImperial StoutBronze
Faubourg Brewing Co.Beignet Au LaitFree-Style BeerSilver
Indeed Brewing CompanyCherry DustWood Barrel-Aged Sour BeerBronze
Lakefront BreweryMy Turn MOSESFruit BeerBronze
Migration Brewing CompanyMo Haze IcNew-Style Pale AleGold
No-Li BrewhouseRed, White & HazyNew-Style India Pale AleBronze
North Coast Brewing CoLe merleNew-Style SaisonGold
Port City Brewing CompanyOptimal WitBelgian-Style WitbierBronze
Port City Brewing CompanyPorterEnglish-Style PorterGold
Reuben's BrewsRobust PorterEnglish-Style PorterSilver
Revision Brewing CompanyEl RepasoInternational-Style LagerGold
Revolution BrewingHazy-HeroSpecialty India Pale AleBronze
Saranac Brewery / FX Matt Brewing Co. Saranac Pale AleTraditional Style Pale AleGold
Taxman Brewing CompanyDeductionBelgian-Style DubbelSilver

Brussels Beer Challenge

Alaskan Brewing CompanyAlaskan Amber AleRed Ale : Irish Red AleBronze
Alaskan Brewing CompanyMidnight Haze IPADark Ale : Dark/Black IPASilver
Bell's BreweryBell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Expedition StoutFlavoured beer : Russian Imperial Stout barrel or oaked agedBronze
Cedar Springs Brewing CompanyKüsterer DunkelweizenWheat : Dunkel WeizenBronze
Cigar City Brewing Co.Guayabera Citra Pale AlePaleAmber Ale : American Pale AleGold
Cigar City Brewing Co.Maduro Brown AleDark Ale : Brown AleGold
Deschutes BreweryObsidian StoutStout/ Porter : American StoutSilver
Deschutes BreweryBlack Butte XXXIIIFlavoured beer : Wood/Barrel AgedSilver
East Brother Beer CompanyFestbierLager : German-Style MärzenSilver
Fremont BrewingLush IPAPaleAmber Ale : American IPA (Higher than 6.5 ABV)Gold
Fremont BrewingCinnamon Coconut B-BombSpeciality Beer : Winter AlesBronze
Fremont BrewingDark StarStout/ Porter : Stout exportSilver
Fremont BrewingCoffee Cacao Vanilla Barrel-Aged Dark StarFlavoured beer : CoffeeSilver
Healdsburg Beer CoHBC PorterStout/ Porter : PorterBronze
Jack's Abby Brewing LLCHoponius UnionLager : Hoppy LagerSilver
Jack's Abby Brewing LLCPost Shift PilsnerLager : German-Style PilsnerSilver
Migration Brewing CompanyMo Haze IcPaleAmber Ale : New England IPABronze
New Holland BrewingDragon's Milk SoleraSpeciality Beer : Barley WineGold
No-Li BrewhouseBig JuicyPaleAmber Ale : Pacific IPABronze
Port City Brewing CompanyMonumental IPAPaleAmber Ale : English IPASilver
Rahr Sons Brewing Co.BarrelfestFlavoured beer : Wood/Barrel AgedGold
Reuben's BrewsCrikey IPAPaleAmber Ale : American IPA (Higher than 6.5 ABV)Silver
River North BreweryMr. Sandman - Milk ChocolateFlavoured beer : Russian Imperial Stout barrel or oaked agedBronze
Saranac Brewery / FX Matt Brewing Co.Utica Club PilsenerLager : American-Style PilsnerBronze
Societe Brewing CompanyThe PupilPaleAmber Ale : Pacific IPASilver
The Virginia Beer CompanyElbow PatchesStout/ Porter : Stout exportBronze
The Virginia Beer CompanyPurley's ESBPaleAmber Ale : Strong/Extra Special BitterGold
Warped Wing Brewing Co.Whiskey RebellionFlavoured beer : Russian Imperial Stout barrel or oaked agedSilver
Wormtown BreweryFresh PatchFlavoured beer : Pumpkin aleBronze
Wormtown BreweryBe HoppyPaleAmber Ale : Pacific IPAGold
Wren House BrewingSpellbinderPaleAmber Ale : New England IPAGold
Wren House BrewingValley BeerLager : Light LagerSilver

The Brewers Association Export Development Program (EDP) works to inform member breweries about opportunities to sell and promote their beers in targeted global markets, and educate international trade and media about proper storage and care for craft beer, as well as the collective quality and diversity of styles created by small and independent American craft brewers.