New styles throughout the taste categories
What are the World Beer Awards?
The World Beer Awards are the global awards selecting the very best internationally recognised beer styles. This annual tasting selects, awards and promotes the 'World's Best Beers' to consumers and the trade throughout the world. Beers must be generally available and for sale in bottles or cans
Who should enter the World Beer Awards?
Brewers, agents, importers, wholesalers and retailers for any beer or brewery anywhere in the world.
Every entrant receives…
- A personalized World Beer Awards tasting note
- Invitation to the World Beer Awards final round tasting in London
- Extensive coverage on WorldBeerAwards.com
- High resolution logos
- International, regional and national coverage targeting beer consumers and trade buyers
- Boxed set: inclusion in the World Beer Awards boxed set, featuring the winners
- Point of sale materials including: stickers and collarets with your award in corporate collars
- All country, style and world winners are featured in the annual World’s Best Beers publication
Medals, Certificates and Trophies receive…
- Medal, certificate and logo pack
- Country certificate and logo pack
- World Style certificate and logo pack
- World’s Best Trophies, certificate and logo pack
Amber to copper coloured. Medium-low to medium malt aroma; fruitiness and hopping are low. Rich malt character, peppery, spicy hop character. Clean, crisp and flavourful with a dry finish. 4.6-5.6%. SRM 11-17
American Style Brown Ale
Amber to dark brown. Medium to low roast, caramel and chocolate-like aromas; hop flavour may deliver a citrusy character while bitterness is medium low to medium high. Body is medium to medium full. ABV 4.2-6.3%. SRM 10-35.
Tawny copper to dark brown. Suggestive blast of vinous fruit on aroma and palate with biscuity malt and spicy hops throughout. Bittersweet in finish but with good bitter hop balance; fatness of mouth feel from alcoholic strength, plus spirituous fieriness/booziness in young examples. American-style barley wines have a higher sense of bitterness and New World hop character than British-style. Generally, 8-12% ABV. SRM 11-22.
Belgian Style Dubbel
Amber to dark copper. Rich sweet maltiness on the nose suggestive of chocolate, toasted brioche or caramel; the nose can also feature dried fruit such as raisins as well as a hint of pepperiness from the hop; sometimes banana-like esters are also present. Rich on the palate with chocolate, toastiness or caramel, along with dried fruit — bitterness is medium and no spices. Medium to high carbonation. Generally, 6-7.5% ABV. SRM 10-36.
Belgian Style Strong
Amber to deep copper-brown. Expect dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, peppery hop and warming alcohol notes on the nose; palate also features chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, expressions of malt complexity and a long characterful finish. Covers beers that come under the Trappist and Abbey appellations, as well as Quadrupels. Generally 8-12% ABV. SRM 9-35.
English Style Brown Ale
Warm fermented, malty aroma and palate, often with chocolate, caramel, nutty, coffee or liquorice notes. Light hops throughout but not dominating. Bittersweet finish with biscuity, malt and chocolate/coffee notes. Generally, 3-5.5% ABV. SRM 12-22.
Amber to dark copper; must be below 2.5%.
Dark in colour though there is also a British tradition of light-coloured milds as well. Aroma is delicate and malt-accented with elements of caramel, grain, chocolate, mocha or light roastiness. Low bitterness on the palate with the emphasis on malt character, which can suggest chocolate, weak coffee, dark fruits or caramel, while the finish can be dry or sweet. Generally, 3.2-4.1% ABV, though there are stronger versions going up to 6%. SRM 12-40.
Amber to deep copper-brown. Vinous fruit and roasted grain on the nose with peppery hop. Fruit and grain dominate the palate but bitter hops balance fruit and malt in the finish. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 9-35.
Chocolate & Coffee
Any cold or warm fermented beer made with the addition of chocolate or coffee. Aroma and palate determined by the ingredient used. The ABV ranges can vary. NB does not include coffee and chocolate stouts and porters. SRM 5-40.
Fruit & Vegetable
Any beer made with addition of fruits or vegetables - aromas and palate determined by type of fruit/vegetable added. NB: not made by spontaneous fermentation. SRM 5-50.
Herb & Spice
Any cold or warm fermented beer made with addition of ingredients such as heather or ginger; can also include herbs and vegetables — aromas and palate determined by type of adjunct used. ABV ranges can vary. SRM 5-40.
Honey & Maple
Any cold or warm fermented beer made with addition of honey or maple — aromas and palate determined by type of honey/maple used. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 5-40.
Can include any flavours and must be below 2%; can be warm or top fermented. ABV ranges can vary. SRM can vary.
Any cold or warm fermented beer. Rauchbier is associated with the Franconian city of Bamburg, using malt kilned over beech wood fires, though many other breweries throughout the world have attempted this style; other variations on smoke flavoured beer can include the use of peat smoked barley. This means that the aroma and palate can range from intense char to delicate peat smokiness. ABVs can vary. SRM 5-40.
Beers made with an addition of spirits, integrating the spirit taste into the beer. ABV ranges can vary. SRMs can vary.
Beer that has been aged for a period of time in a wooden barrel or has been in contact with wood. Aromas and palate determined by type of wood, such as new oak, used sherry, Bourbon, Scotch, port, wine etc. ABV ranges can vary. SRM can vary.
Powerful hop resins and juicy citrus/tropical fruit on the nose with light malt. Juicy malt in the mouth but main character comes from hop resins and citrus/tropical fruit. Pale or light bronze. Can include West Coast and Vermont/New England versions. Generally, 5-7% ABV. SRM 6-14.
Colour ranging from dark chestnut to moonless night black. Manages to combine the rich tropical fruit/ripe peach skin/grapefruit notes of an American IPA with a hint of dark malts, though roastiness should be light. Palate is light and shade with big hop character (grapefruit/lychee/orange perhaps) contrasted with a tarry (but not roast) dark maltiness. Big lasting finish. Generally 4.7-7.5% ABV, though there are imperial versions. Also called India Dark Ale, Cascadian Dark and Hoppy Black Beer/Ale. SRM 35+.
Golden to deep amber in colour. Aromas are floral, spicy-peppery or citrus-orange; low to moderate fruitiness. Hop character on palate is similar to aroma with a light biscuity, toffee-like maltiness in the background. Finish is dry with a lingering bitterness. ABV 5-7.5%. SRM 6-14.
Golden to light orange. Assertive and bolshy; hint of allium savouriness on the nose along deep booming citrus notes; plenty of citrus and tropical fruit on the palate, all balanced by a firm spine of malt. Long dry finish with plenty of bitterness showing through. Generally, 7-8.5% ABV though some can move above this. SRM 6-14
Gold to light orange. Hop character to the fore on the aromatics (citrus, tropical fruit, pine), citrus/tropical fruit on the palate, medium bodied, dry bitter finish, can be 3.5%-4.5%. SRM 5-10
SpecialtyIncludes fruit, milkshake, rye, red, Belgian, white, honey, smoothie etc.
This is a catch-all style that recognises the boundary-pushing activities of brewers with IPA. The beer should be recognisable as an IPA by balance — a hop-forward, bitter, dryish beer — but with something else present to distinguish it from the standard categories. Brewers should notify what makes their IPA a specialty. ABVs and colours may vary but here is a basic guide: 5-7.5% ABV. SRM 5-19.
Traditional bocks are copper to dark. Toasty flavours and caramel notes are present, while hop bitterness is only there as a complement to the malt, clean. No burnt character. These are not Doppelbocks. Helles Bock are lighter in colour and grouped in with Maibocks (see Seasonal category). 6.3-7.6% ABV. SRM 14-30.
Straw to light gold in colour; light graininess on the nose alongside delicate flowery/citrusy notes. Crisp on the mouth feel, with notes of mellow toasted grain and juicy citrus, followed by a dry finish that has a lingering bitterness. 4.4-5.3% ABV. SRM 2-5.
Influenced by Czech Pilsners. Ranges from pale to yellow gold in colour; toasted grain and floral, herbal, grassy hop aromas. Ripe, juicy malt and tangy hops with light citrus fruit in the mouth. Long, lingering finish, balanced between malt dryness and tart hop bitterness. Medium body. 4-5.5% ABV. SRM 3-7.
Deep copper to dark brown. Malt-accented with dark grain, chocolate and coffee notes. Hops are light but give good solid underpinning to the malt. Includes Dunkel, Schwarzbier and tmavy ležák. Generally, 4.4-5.6% ABV. SRM 14-28.
Light gold to deep gold. Cold fermented, rich and mellow toasted malt on aroma and palate, with spicy hops and some light citrus fruit in the mouth and the palate. Generally, 5-6% ABV. SRM 4-7.
Light to heavy gold in colour with malt sweetness and a light dusting of floral and spicy hops on aroma and palate. Clean tasting with a long gentle finish of malt and light hop bitterness. Generally, 4.8-5.6% ABV. SRM 3-5.
Pale gold to light amber, this covers lagers that have been dry-hopped (usually with New World varieties); clean hop aroma, citrusy, floral, piney and/or fruity. Rich complex maltiness with a soft to high bitterness. Can include India Pale Lager. 4.4%-12%. SRM 3-9.
A highly attenuated pale lager without strong flavours, typically well-balanced and highly carbonated. Served cold, it is refreshing and thirst-quenching. A light amount of DMS or corn aroma is not a fault. 4.6-6% ABV. SRM 2-6.
Often hazy or slightly cloudy; unfiltered version of classic Pilsener, with more body and a creamy texture due to presence of yeast in suspension. Carbonation is low. Sometimes described as Naturtrüb (naturally cloudy). Also often called Zwickelbier 4.7-5.4% ABV. SRM 3-7.
Lagers that either have no alcohol or are less than 2% ABV and also might have been specifically brewed to have a low carbohydrate content. Colours can vary.
This includes Oktoberfestbier, Marzen, Maibock and Helles Bock, or any cold fermented beer that is released seasonally. Amber to red in colour; aromas are biscuity malt with a balance of floral hop. Spicy hops build in the mouth with juicy malt. Hop bitterness and juicy malt combine in finish. ABV can vary but can go up to 8%. SRM 4-11.
Deep gold to dark brown. This includes Doppelbock, Imperial Pils and Eisbock. Heady alcoholic nose with a grainy maltiness; medium bodied, spirituous, some grainy malt and delicate hop, can have a medium sweetness and a medium carbonation. Generally, 7.5-12% ABV, though the odd example has been known to reach 14%. SRM 6-30.
Rich malt aroma with a slightly toasted element; more malt on the palate balanced by light fruit and aromatic hops. Bittersweet finish with malt to the fore but with a hop bitterness in the finish, though not overwhelming. Amber in colour. Generally, 4.8-6% ABV. SRM 10-26.
AmberIncluding: Irish Reds
Reddish-brown in colour. Definite malt character on the palate with caramel-influenced earthiness, toffee and milky coffee hints and a restrained roastiness; hop bitterness is medium while the fruitiness can range from a delicate citrus character to American style assertiveness. Medium body. 4-7% ABV. SRM: 10-17
American-style Pale Ale
Deep gold to copper or light brown; moderate to strong fruit on nose with hop aromas showing off fruity, floral and US hops. Fruity and hoppy on palate, medium bodied, bitterness in finish alongside dryness. 4.4-5.5% ABV. SRM 6-14
Vinous fruit and malt sweetness on aroma and palate alongside biscuity malt and spicy hops throughout. Bittersweet in finish but with good bitter hop balance; American-style barley wines have a bigger hop character working in conjunction with the malt. Full-bodied. Colour ranges from dark gold to light amber. Generally, 8-12% ABV. SRM 8-11
Belgian Style Ale
Amber in colour, though can veer towards golden shades; nose can feature mild notes of caramel, gently toasted Demerara and delicate fruitiness (possibly orange). Palate can feature caramel, some roasted malt, fruit (orange or even banana), a very slight undercurrent of yeast spiciness, while finish is crisp, dry and restrained in its bitterness. Light to medium body. 4-6.5% ABV. SRM 8-14
Belgian Style Blonde
Light to deep gold. Honeyed sweetish nose with citrus notes and a hint of candy sugar sweetness, sometimes banana esters make an appearance; palate is a balance of moderate-to-high carbonation, creamy maltiness, light honey, bitterness is low, citrus, hints of phenolic-like spiciness and dry finish. Generally, 6-7.5% ABV. SRM 4-7
Belgian Style Strong
Ripe banana and pear notes on the nose with spicy hoppiness and a wanton booziness; rich fruity palate with orchard fruits to the fore, grainy, cereal notes mid palate, warming alcohol, spicy hop and a fruity, dry finish. Colour ranges from pale gold to copper. Medium to high carbonation and some can have a light body for a beer of its strength. Generally, 7-11% ABV. SRM 3.5-10
Belgian Style TripelPale to medium-amber
. Complex honeyed nose with delicate orange notes (though also some banana-like esters), a restrained sweetness and even a hint of pineapple and ripe peach skin; can also have a perfumed hoppiness. The mouth feel on the palate is full with rich citrusy and tropical fruit notes, a creamy maltiness and a bittersweet and often warming finish. Moderate to high carbonation. Generally, 7.5-9.5% ABV. SRM 4-9
Biére De Garde / Saison
This also includes Farmhouse ales.
Warm fermented but may use lager yeast. Saison has a flinty, spicy, peppery nose with spice, hops, herbal notes, a restrained sweetness and a dry finish; bière de garde is a very close cousin, though it classically has a deeper malt character. May be pale, copper, or russet. There may be also Brettanomyces characters giving a slightly acidic, horsey or leather-like note. Generally, 6.5-8% ABV but some very traditional saisons (ie pre WW2 style) can be lower. SRM 4–14
Bitter 4.5 to 5.5%
Grainy, bittersweet nose as with the other bitters, with a slightly greater ABV, and even more pronounced tropical fruit and citrus notes; the palate is bittersweet, biscuity, full, citrusy leading to a dry bittersweet finish. Fuller mouthfeel. Low carbonation. SRM 5-14
Bitter over 5.5%
Estery nose, suggestive of soft fruit, banana perhaps, along with Seville orange style citrusiness plus an undercurrent of rich biscuity malt (bitters with US or Aus/NZ hops will show different aromatic and fruity characteristics); palate is thicker, fatter than before, fruity, has a firm malty backbone, and an assertive bittersweet finish that swells with time. Low carbonation. Can include ESBs. SRM 5-12
Bitter up to 4.5%
Grainy, bittersweet nose with a dash of citrus or tropical fruit hoppiness; the palate is bittersweet, biscuity, light, citrusy leading to a dry bittersweet finish. Medium to moderately high bitterness. Low carbonation. Pale amber to medium copper. SRM 8-16
Light floral, spicy or herbal nose with sweet corn notes and even DMS at low levels; palate is well-attenuated and crisp with low-to-moderate malty sweetness and low hop bitterness with neither dominating, and a low-to-medium corny flavour common. Traditionally a sparkling ale version of American light lager. Generally, 4.2-7.5% ABV. SRM: 2-5
English-style Pale Ale
Gold to copper in colour. Light maltiness and delicate earthy, herbal English hops on the nose; medium bodied with biscuity maltiness, fruity citrus and a bitter finish. 4.4-5.8%. SRM 5-12
Light maltiness features, citrus fruit, well-defined hop aroma (UK or New World varieties) and bitterness. Light yellow to deep gold in colour, clear to brilliant. Juicy malt on palate and the finish has continuing hop bitterness and fruit. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 2-7
Soft hint of fruit on nose (possibly strawberry, pear, apple, Riesling-style grape); palate is soft, creamy with light fruit and perfume-like hops; body is light to medium-light; slightly dry but also crisp. Generally, 4.5-5% ABV. SRM 3-6.
Under 2.5% ABV or can be no alcohol. Moderate malt with light hop aroma and moderate bitterness on palate. Some citrus hints. 0-2.5% ABV. SRM 4-12.
Includes summer ales, which have a golden hue and lightness in their malt and hop footprint; ruddier harvest and autumnal beers that make use of the new season’s malt and hops; also includes green hop beers. ABV varies. SRM 2-14
Tart and refreshing; low in bitterness; light in colour; low in alcohol. Can include flavoured versions. 2.8-4% ABV. SRM 2-4.
Flanders Red Ale
Blend of old and young beers that have been aged in wood, sometimes called West Flanders Red. Deep red in colour with a good clarity. Nose is sour fruity and vinous; on the palate acidity is balance by fruitiness (could be plum, cherry, orange), red wine tannic-like dryness in the finish. Generally, 4.6-6.5%, though Grand Crus can be stronger. SRM 10-16.
Lambic into which raspberries have even added; the result is tart, fruity, sour and dry. 5-7% ABV. SRM 3-14.
Beer with Oud Bruin/lambic base flavored with various fruits (excluding cherries or raspberries), featuring tart, slightly acidic notes plus earthy ‘horse-blanket’ character; some will be sweeter than others. The colour will represent the choice of fruit. Generally, 4-7% ABV. SRM 3-14.
Pale gold to amber gold; can be hazy; tart, light lemon, fresh ozone on the nose; tart and refreshing on the palate; finish can be dry and lemony; generally, 4-5% (flavoured Gose goes into the flavoured category). SRM 3-4.
Gold to light amber. Blend of Lambics of several ages producing a champagne style spritziness, grapefruit tanginess and a long dry finish. Generally, 5.3-8% ABV. SRM 3-14.
Lambic into which cherries (usually the Schaarbeekse variety) have been added; the result is tart, sour and dry. Some breweries have started adding sugar and/or cherry juice, which results in a much sweeter Kriek. Generally, 4-8%. SRM 6-28.
Gold to medium amber. Tart acidic beers fermented with wild yeast, have been aged and often blended — sharp grapefruit/lemon nose with earthy ‘horse-blanket’ notes and an acidic, quenching and refreshing palate and a dry finish. Generally, 5-7.5% ABV. SRM 3-12.
Blend of old and young beer aged in stainless steel, sometimes called East Flanders Brown. Red-brown in colour with sweet-sour aromas on the nose, sometimes reminiscent of vinegar. The palate is fruity, quenching, gently tart, with hints of dark malts, vanilla, caramel sweetness and sometimes sour cherry. Generally, 4.8-6% ABV, though some can be stronger. SRM 12-25.
Modern contemporary beer that makes use of either wild yeast strains, lactobacillus and/or pediococcus without being influenced by historical styles; can be kettle-soured or aged in wood. Can be quenching, refreshing, tart and complex, show earthy, ‘barnyard’ notes influenced by Brettanomyces or lactic-style acidity. Also known as Wild Ale. ABVs and colours can vary.
Warm fermented. Colour ranges from pale to a hefty dark brown verging on black. The nose can be fresh and sparkling, with the aromatics including a delicate burst of citrus alongside medicinal, yeasty herbal notes; the palate is brisk with a high carbonation, soft and moussec-like mouth feel and include herbal and lemony notes, while the finish has a dryness. As well as being imbued with the spritziness of sparkling wine, it can often remind the drinker of a dry dessert wine such as Montbazziliac. Most are strong in alcohol, up to 12%, though there are examples of much weaker ones at around 5%. SRM 4-20.
Anything that will not fit any other style and is something completely new and special. If an experimental beer has been submitted, please tell us why it is experimental. ABV and colour can vary.
Can be ales, lagers or wheat beers, a variety of colours and ABVs, but must have less than 20 parts per million gluten (20ppm).
This can include Grodziskie, Lichtenhainer, pre-Prohibition lager and any other historical beer being brought back to life in small-scale production.
lightly sour and smoked, low bitterness, refreshing, high carbonation. Light in colour. Low in alcohol. 3.5-4.7%. SRM 3-6
light in colour; high carbonation; crisp mouth feel; low in bitterness; lightly smoky, refreshing; low in alcohol. 2.5-3.3% ABV. SRM 2-6.
Pre-Prohibition lager —
clean, refreshing, but bitter pale lager, often showcasing a grainy-sweet corn flavor. All malt or rice-based versions have a crisper, more neutral character. 4.5-6%. SRM 2-6.
Cold fermented and brewed with high proportion of rice (but not enough to be classified as Happoshu). The ABV ranges and colours can vary.
Beer made with a high proportion (15%) of rye. Warm fermented, big dark and spicy malt aroma with dark fruit and peppery hops. Bready, biscuity, grainy palate with dark fruit and hops. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 10-20.
Medium amber to light copper colour. A hybrid beer with elements of both lager and ale in its character, usually achieved by brewing lager yeasts at ale fermentation temperatures. Highly effervescent. Also known as California Common. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 10-14.
Any stout or porter made with the addition of one of the many flavours used in brewing. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 25+
A potent stout. Roasted grain to the fore, with dark, burnt fruit and powerful bitterness. A light caramel sweetness can also be evident. 6.5% ABV and upwards. SRM 30+.
A very dark, sweet, full-bodied, slightly roasty ale. Often tastes like sweetened espresso. Has a creamy mouth feel usually due to the addition of lactose. Generally, 3.2-4.8% ABV. SRM 25-40.
Beers made with the addition of oatmeal to the grist or residual/added sugars. Full bodied mouthfeel with sweet caramel flavours, low bitterness. Generally, 3.8-7% ABV. SRM 20-40
Rich dark grain, coffee and chocolate aroma and palate with solid hop bitterness. Long and quenching finish, becoming dry and hoppy but with rich dark grain character. Creamy mouth feel. Generally, 4-6.5% ABV. SRM 20-30.
StoutIncluding: Dry & Irish
Roasted grain to the fore, with dark, burnt fruit, a crisp, crunchy dryness and hop bitterness that can be assertive in some (hints of ground espresso coffee beans can also be discerned). In some British stouts a light caramel sweetness can also be evident with hints of dark chocolate; oyster stouts can have an edge of palate acidity/brininess. Generally, 4-5% ABV. SRM 25-50.
Strong PorterIncluding Baltic Porter and imperial porter
Dark reddish copper to opaque dark brown with rich malty sweetness containing caramel, toffee, nutty to deep toast, and liquorice notes. Generally, 5.5-9.5% ABV, though some can touch 12%. SRM 17-30.
Dark brown to black; light coffee and chocolate notes on the nose, low hop aroma. Dark roasted grains and malt on the palate giving a chocolate/coffee note; creamy mouth feel with high residual sweetness. Generally, 3.2-4.8% ABV. SRM 25-40.
No/very low alcohol wheat beer, less than 0.5% ABV; can be Bavarian or Belgian and can also include flavoured wheat beers. SRM 2-12.
American Style Wheat Beer
Straw to amber; hints of cloves and banana with fruitiness of New World hops. Subtle banana and cloves continues on the palate alongside bread notes of wheat; hop character can be low to medium-high. Can include wheat wine. ABV 4.1-12%. SRM 3-6.
Bavarian Style Hefeweiss
Straw to amber. Hazy. Banana, custard and cloves on the nose with a champagne-like spritziness in some; palate is continuation of the bananas and cloves with a medium to high carbonation, can also have an oily texture, finishes cleanly with a sweep of bananas and cloves once more. Generally, 4.8%-5.9% ABV. SRM 2-9.
Belgian Style Witbier
Pale straw to light gold; hazy. Spicy, herby nose that is reminiscent of cloves and crushed coriander seed, though banana-like esters and rich orange notes can also be noted. On palate tends to be spicy and almost peppery, with the use of spices such as coriander seeds and curaçao, orange peel. Dry finish with lingering spice. Generally, 4%-7% ABV. SRM 2-4.
Colour is dark amber to dark brown, and the body should be light to medium in character. Aromatic toffee-like, caramel, or biscuit-like characters may be part of the overall flavour and aroma profile. Generally, 4.3-5.6% ABV. SRM 12-23.
Straw to amber and clear. Has a cleaner nose than its Hefeweiss cousin, still the banana and cloves but much more restrained. Palate is prickly with carbonation on the tongue, restrained banana and cloves notes and a dry finish. Generally, 4.8%-5.6% ABV. SRM 2-9
Spices, raisin fruit, baked bananas and cloves; chocolate notes if dark malts used; brisk carbonation. High ABV. SRM 5-30.
All design elements will be considered including functionality, can shape, texture, printing/labelling.
The overall design of the glass or PET bottle: shape, colour, functionality and any embossing, decorative finishes, coatings or direct printed elements as well as visual appeal.
Considering the best graphic design and the quality of its application.
A brand design carried across a range, consisting of a minimum of 4 bottles of different expressions.
The shelf-ready outer packaging containing a multi-buy of, for example, 3, 6, 8 or 12 bottles or cans.
The judging processTASTE
Each beer is tasted in its relevant style to identify and select the style winner in each country. With specialist tasting panels, consisting of international beer experts, the following countries will be judged in country: