The world of craft beer has expanded massively in recent years, with new brews being released seemingly every single day. Even the best craft beers can get lost in the busy marketplace.
So, how do you stand out from the crowd?
Craft beer competitions are becoming bigger and better, with global competitions offering craft breweries an opportunity to gain recognition.
Competitions such as the Best of Craft Beer Awards and the World Beer Cup offer a chance for even small breweries to shine on an international stage.
Whether you’re a potential entrant or just interested in discovering the best beers around, craft beer competitions are an excellent resource. Find the best craft beer competitions in the world with this guide.
The Best Craft Beer Competitions From Around The World
Best Of Craft Beer Awards
A rapidly growing American-based competition that’s open to international entries, the Best of Craft Beer Awards are becoming one of the biggest names in beer.
Celebrating the time and effort that goes into creating craft beer, this competition rewards beers from a set of style guidelines.
Winners receive promotion, feedback, entry into next year’s competition and, of course, the pride of being recognized by your peers.
The Best of Craft Beer Awards use over 120 vetted judges to choose the best beers from around the world in more than 50 categories.
Learn more about the Best of Craft Beer Awards.
European Beer Challenge
The European Beer Challenge is a competition hosted by buyers, for buyers. It provides breweries with a chance to showcase their best products to influential members of the international market.
During the European Beer Challenge, entries are blind taste tested by judges, so newbie brews are judged fairly against leading brands.
Held annually in the UK, the European Beer Challenge is an excellent way for beers to gain recognition in the European market.
And it is open to international entries, allowing American craft beers to gain exposure in a vibrant international marketplace.
Learn more about the European Beer Challenge.
European Beer Star
Looking for tough competition? The European Beer Star offers only three medals in each category, making it one of the most highly competitive craft beer competitions in the world.
European Beer Star is open to international entries, but the categories are focused on European style beers. Celebrating the diversity of beer, there are plenty of categories for craft brews to shine.
These categories are constantly changing and adapting to the growing beer culture, ensuring this is a competition that’s always in line with the times.
The jury of the European Beer Star – also known as their stars – consists of industry experts judging to a set of criteria.
It’s a tough competition, but winning a European Beer Star award can bring a lot of recognition for a craft brew.
Learn more about the European Beer Star.
Great American Beer Festival
America is home to many excellent craft beer competitions, and among the best of the best is the Great American Beer Festival.
A huge festival, attracting beer enthusiasts from across America, it isn’t just the consumer that judges the brews. A panel of experts is also on hand, to reward those beers they deem worthy.
Judges at the Great American Beer Festival judge beers in the style of their specific expertise, looking to find the top three in each category.
Beers honored at the Great American Beer Festival gain international recognition, as this prize is highly sought after. A Gold award from the Great American Beer Festival indicates a beer that exemplifies a certain style.
Learn more about the Great American Beer Festival.
International Beer Challenge
Diversity in brewing is honored at the International Beer Challenge, a global beer competition that awards brews in over 80 categories.
Recognizing the growing diversity of the beer sector, the International Beer Challenge offers global recognition for the winning beers.
The International Beer Challenge has a rigorous judging process. There are more than 70 judges on hand, from retailers to brewers to food writers, each one blind tasting beers to test aroma, appearance, and taste.
The precise judging process is why the IBC has such an excellent reputation, and why recognition from them is so highly coveted. Especially if you can win the overall award: Supreme Champion Beer.
Learn more about the International Beer Challenge.
National Homebrew Competition
For homebrewers after some recognition, the National Homebrew Competition is a prestigious competition for amateurs. Accepting entries from across the globe, winners receive feedback on how to perfect their homebrew, plus respect from beer enthusiasts.
The National Homebrew Competition recognizes that many homebrewers are creating excellent beers, and blurring the line between hobby and profession.
These amateur brews are able to push the envelope, exploring just what’s possible with brewing.
Since the awards were launched in 1979, the National Homebrew Competition has grown massively. Now recognized as one of the biggest homebrew competitions in the world, this is a must for all amateur brewers.
Learn more about the National Homebrew Competition.
World Beer Cup
The World Beer Cup markets itself as “the most prestigious beer competition in the world”, and a win here can gain international acclaim for a craft beer.
The American based competition was first developed in 1996, and has been described as the Olympics of the beer world.
The size of the World Beer Cup is also impressive. There are over 100 style categories, recognizing the vast diversity of beer. There’s also over 200 judges across the competition, providing expert opinion on all entries.
Held every two years, the World Beer Cup sees entries from all over the world, and in all types of styles. A win indicates a beer of serious quality.
Learn about the World Beer Cup.
Craft beer competitions are an excellent way for a brewery to gain recognition, and for consumers to discover beers of real quality.
International competitions can introduce craft beers to new markets, while many provide feedback to help to perfect a style. Entry is a must if a brewer wants to establish themselves in a busy market.