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Smelled, tasted, voted

The BrauBeviale: yes, we’re talking beer (among other things). No, we’re not just here for the drinks.

This needs emphasising right from the start, since otherwise a reader or two might get hold of the wrong impression.


Yes, indeed, I myself occasionally tried a beer while I was strolling through the halls of the exhibition centre. Well, who could say no when the tasting glasses so persuasively extolled looked so tempting?! And they made a particularly alluring sight on Tuesday, 10 November, under a huge banner inscribed with the words “European Beer Star” Award. My colleague and I just managed to find a seat at one of the tables, where we found ourselves in the company of two Brau visitors from Czechia. And hardly had we had something to eat when five tasting glasses were placed before each of us, served on a round wooden platter. They were filled with five different beers, in a range of disparate colours, with fragrances of multifaceted diversity, and tastes as divergent as smoky and caramelised. So we were right in the middle of the selection process for the “Consumers’ Favourite”.

While the winners of the European Beer Star Awards had been chosen for what was now the 12th time by a jury of experts, in the additional ratings for the “Consumers’ Favourite” it was the visitors to BrauBeviale who decided. In a blind tasting, then, we tested five of the beers, which had already been chosen by the jury of experts as winners of gold in their respective categories. Our impressions then ended up in one of the ballot boxes, neatly recorded on voting slips. We also learned quite a bit about the beers participating: you shouldn’t be misled by the word “European” in the title, for instance: the prize is in actuality one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for beers. It’s open to international breweries, no matter whether they’re from Rosenheim or Beijing, Portland or St Petersburg. Assigned to one of 55 categories, regional and international breweries then “do battle” to secure an accolade for their beer.

Who won? That interested us as well, of course, after we had tasted at least five of the winners, So the official award ceremony on Wednesday evening was more or less a must: each of the three winners from the 55 categories was presented, honoured and then celebrated at the “Winners‘ Night” – as is only meet and fitting. The award ceremony itself was just as diverse as the bandwidth of the beers participating: congratulatory ambience, but nonetheless an informal atmosphere, Finnish tongue-twisters, well-known faces, new protagonists and breaks for drinking toasts – and the winners? The Consumers’ Favourite was Ayinger Bräuweisse – which was unfortunately not one of the beers we tasted. So that’s an urgent item on our agenda. When the Brau is over. After all, we’re not there to drink.

You can also find the list of prize-winners here.


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