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About the awards

The 2020 World Beer Awards will open on 1 February for Entries!

Don't miss out to register now.

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

Winners receive…
  • Extensive coverage on
  • 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

Taste categories

Dark Beer

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.

Barley Wine

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.


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. Can also include Alt Stikke and Doppelstikke. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 9-35.

Low Strength

Amber to dark copper; must be below 2.5%.


Amber to copper coloured. Medium-low to medium malt aroma alongside a recognisable but unobtrusive hop spiciness and subtle fruity esters — mild roast notes can sometimes be present. Rich malt character that can contrast well with a subtle peppery, spicy hop character, alongside light fruity esters; medium-bodied mouth feel. Clean, crisp and flavourful with a dry bittersweet finish. 4.6-5.6%. SRM 11-17.

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. Aroma and palate determined by type of fruit/vegetable added. NB: not made by spontaneous fermentation. ABVs can vary. SRM 5-40.

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.


Any cold or warm fermented beer. Rauchbier is associated with the Franconian city of Bamburg, using malt kilned over beech wood fires (though other woods including oak and cherry can be used), meaning that the smoke integrates deeply into the grain; though many other breweries throughout the world also attempt this style (information for judges: the method can be different from that of Bamburg with the normal kilned malt later put into a smoking chamber. That means that the smoke aroma is mostly attached to the outside of the grain, giving much less intensity and in general a different aroma); other variations on smoke flavoured beer can include the use of peat smoked barley. 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.

Wood Aged

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.

Flavoured Stout/Porter

Any stout or porter made with the addition of one or more of the many flavours used in brewing (can include ‘pastry’ stouts as well as ones flavoured with coffee and/or chocolate). Spiced stout porter remains in this category. The ABV ranges can vary. SRM 25+

Low Alcohol

Can include any flavours and must be below 2%; can be warm or top fermented. ABV ranges can vary. SRM can vary.

Flavoured Wild/Sour

Beers flavoured with added ingredients that can include fruit, spices and/or herbs that also make use of wild yeast strains, lactobacillus and/or pediococcus; can be either historical or modern. Quenching, refreshing and tart with added flavour well integrated without overwhelming the rest of the beer. Can include flavoured Berliner Weiss and Gose, though not Framboise, Kriek or other Fruit Lambics. ABVs and colours can vary.


Rich malt aroma with a slightly toasted element but not caramel or roasty notes; malt elegance on the palate with a rich toasty note, medium body, no significant caramel or roast flavours. Bittersweet finish with malt to the fore but with a light bitterness and dryness; crisp and clean. Amber in colour. Generally, 4.8-6% ABV. SRM 10-26.


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). 6.3-7.2% ABV. SRM 14-30.

Czech-style Pale

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; a light amount of diacetyl is acceptable. Long, lingering finish, balanced between malt dryness and tart hop bitterness. Medium body. Can include Spezial. 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 (with the latter low to moderate diacetyl is acceptable). 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. A low level of sulphur is ok. Can include Austrian Marzen. Generally, 4.8-5.6% ABV. SRM 3-5.

Seasonal: Oktoberfestbier/Maerzen

Deep gold to amber in colour, clean, toasty, bready and rich; soft sweetness; hop character restrained; medium body; dry finish. Please see note about Austrian Marzen in Helles/Münchener. 5.8-6.3% ABV. SRM 4-17.


Deep gold to dark brown. This includes Dunkler Doppelbock, Doppelbock and Eisbock. Heady alcoholic nose with a grainy maltiness (alcohol should be integrated and not too ‘hot’); medium- to full-bodied; can have a medium sweetness and a medium carbonation; possibility of roasty malt notes like chocolate, dry fruits and coffee. Generally, 7.5-12% ABV, though the odd example has been known to reach 14%. SRM 6-35.


Lagers that either have no alcohol or are less than 3% ABV and also might have been specifically brewed to have a low carbohydrate content. Colours can vary.

International Lager

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.

Classic Pilsener

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. Dry hopped Pilseners should go into the Hoppy Pilsener category. 4.4-5.3% ABV. SRM 2-5.

Hoppy Pilsener

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.

Zwickl / Pale Kellerbier

Pale to light amber in colour, cloudy (unfiltered), more on the hoppy side (more or less an unfiltered Pilsener), may have some malty sweetness, quite bitter finish. Rather high carbonation, no dry-hopping, very low level of diacetyl allowed. 4.5-5.5% ABV. SRM 2-15.

Kellerbier Amber/Dark

Amber to dark brown in colour, cloudy (unfiltered), well balanced or even more malty aroma, only very low level of roasted malt. Caramel/crystal malt is typical also some malt sweetness. Rather low carbonation, no dry-hopping, low level of diacetyl allowed. 4.8-5-8% ABV. SRM 10-25.

Seasonal: Maibock/Helles Bock

Deep gold to light amber in colour; grainy-sweet malt with a light toastiness and often a delicate floral/spicy note on nose; grainy sweet malt and some toasty notes on the palate, may have light DMS, moderate hop bitterness, clean and well-attenuated, moderately dry finish. ABV can vary but can go up to 8%. SRM 6-11.
Pale Beer


(including: 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

Barley Wine

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. Can also include wheat wine. Generally, 8-12% ABV. SRM 8-11

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. 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. 7-11% ABV. SRM 3.5-10

Belgian Style Tripel

Pale 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 citrus and tropical fruit notes, a creamy maltiness and a bittersweet and often warming finish. Moderate to high carbonation. 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 a Brettanomyces character 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 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

Cream Ales

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 sweetcorn flavour common. Traditionally a sparkling ale version of American light lager. Generally, 4.2-7.5% ABV. SRM: 2-5

Golden Ales

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. Modern Kolsch can show more bitterness while the ester fruitiness is dialed down. Generally, 4.5-5% ABV. SRM 3-6.


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

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. 4-7% ABV. SRM 8-14

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

Low Alcohol

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.

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

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
Sour & Wild Beer

Flavoured Lambic

Beer with Oud Bruin/lamic base flavoured with various fruits, featuring tart, slightly acidic notes plus earthy ‘horse-blanket’ character; some will be sweeter than others. Generally 4-7% ABV.


Pale gold to amber gold (though there can be darker versions, where there is a possibility of a roasty or even smoky aroma); can be hazy; tart, light lemon, sightly spicy from the use of coriander, fresh ozone on the nose due to salt being added; tart and refreshing on the palate; finish can be dry and lemony; generally, 4-5% (flavoured Gose goes into the flavoured category SEE NEW FLAVOURED CATEGORIES). SRM 3-20.


Blend of Lambics of several ages producing a champagne style spritziness, grapefruit tanginess and a long dry finish. Generally 5-7.5% ABV.


Lambic into which cherries 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.


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% ABV.

Sour/Wild Ale

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 included dry-hopped variants though hop character should be well-integrated into the beer and now over dominate. Also known as Wild Ale. ABVs and colours can vary.

Berliner Weisse

Tart and refreshing; low in bitterness; light in colour; low in alcohol. Normally fermented with multiple yeasts/wild yeasts/bacteria (incl. Brettanomyces), the commercial versions are often done only kettle sour (with lactobacillus). Can be hazy, has a high carbonation. Flavoured versions go into the Flavoured category. 2.8-5% ABV. SRM 2-4.

Oud Bruin

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.

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.


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.


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.


Lambic into which raspberries have even added; the result is tart, fruity, sour and dry. 5-7% ABV. SRM 3-14.

Fruit Lambic

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.
Speciality Beer

Brut Beers

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 champagne-like dryness. As well as being imbued with the spritziness of champagne, 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%. Brut IPA should go into the speciality IPA section. 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).


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. For Rye IPA see Speciality IPA. 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.

Heritage beers

This can include Grodziskie, Lichtenhainer, pre-Prohibition lager and any other historical beer being brought back to life in small-scale production. Lichtenhainer — lightly sour and smoked, low bitterness, refreshing, high carbonation. Light in colour. Low in alcohol. 3.5-4.7%. SRM 3-6.
Grodziskie — 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.
Grisette — light and refreshing beers with their origins in the Hainaut region in Belgium and initially brewed for miners; low in alcohol, 3.5-4% (though there are double grisettes); medium bodied mouth feel; light gold in colour, quenching; dry finish; noticeable hop character. 3.5-4.5%. SRM 2-6.
Stout & Porter

Imperial Stout

A potent stout. Roasted grain to the fore, with dark, burnt fruit and powerful bitterness; chocolate and coffee notes also apparent. A light caramel sweetness can also be evident. 6.5% ABV and upwards. SRM 30+.


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.


(including: 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 Porter

(including 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.

Milk Stout

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.

Sweet Stout

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.

Oatmeal Stout

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
Wheat Beer


Colour is dark amber to dark brown, and the body should be light to medium in character. Aromatic toffee-like, caramel, chocolate, coffee or biscuit-like characters may be part of the overall flavour and aroma profile. Generally, 4.3-5.6% ABV. SRM 12-25.


(inc. Weizenbock and Eisbock)
Spices, raisin fruit, baked bananas and cloves; chocolate notes if dark malts used; brisk carbonation. High ABV. SRM 5-30.

Alcohol Free

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; crisp and refreshing, despite name no cloves and banana notes from Weizen should be present; bready and lemony notes on palate and aroma; hop character can veer from low to high, but bitterness is moderate; darker versions might have some caramel and light roast notes; clean tasting; can be made with lager yeast and also have less than 50% of wheat malt. ABV 4-8%. SRM 3-15.

Bavarian Style Hefeweiss

Straw to amber. Hazy. Banana and cloves on the nose with a champagne-like spritziness evident 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; some caramel notes can be allowed but no roast. Generally, 4.8%-5.9% ABV. SRM 2-20.


Straw to amber; 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.

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 traditional spices such as coriander seeds and curaçao orange peel alongside others such as lemon zest, bergamot, cardamom and ginger. Dry finish with lingering spice. Generally, 4%-7% ABV. SRM 2-4.

Hoppy Wheat Beer

Weizen and Witbier that have been dry hopped, with their usual characteristics still present but integrated with a higher hop profile. ABVs and colours can differ.


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

American Style

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.

English Style

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.


(includes fruit, milkshake, rye, red, Belgian, white, honey, Brut, New England IPA, 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.

Definition of main IPAs

Belgian IPA — demonstrating the fruitiness and spiciness that Belgian yeast gives

Fruit — use of fruits that can accentuate either the citrus or tropical fruit character of the hops

Rye — hoppy and bitter, American hops with the rye contributing to a dry finish

Red — hoppy, bitter and moderately strong with caramel, toffee and/or rich fruit malt character

White — fruity, spicy and refreshing version of an American IPA, featuring either distinctive yeast or spice additions typical of a witbier.

Brut — pale, dry, slightly effervescent, light grape-like fruitiness alongside the hop character.

New England — hazy, fruity, juicy, creamy, low or negligible in bitterness.


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+.

Design categories

Redesign / relaunch
This category refers to a new or refreshed packaging design created for an existing product and introduced to the market after February 1, 2019. A picture or sample of the previous packaging must be supplied along with a description of what changes have been made and why
Bottle Design
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.
Can Design
All design elements will be considered including functionality, can shape, texture, printing/labelling.
Label Design
Considering the best graphic design and the quality of its application.
Best Bottle Range
A brand design carried across a range of bottles, consisting of a minimum of 4 bottles of different expressions.
Multipack Design
The shelf-ready outer packaging containing a multi-buy of, for example, 3, 6, 8 or 12 bottles or cans.
Best Can Range
A brand design carried across a range of cans, consisting of a minimum of 4 cans of different expressions.

The judging process


Round 1

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:

  • Brazil – judged in Sao Paulo
  • Canada – judged in Toronto
  • US West Coast – judged in Washington State
  • Germany – judge in Hamburg
  • All other countries will be tasted in the UK by an international panel with experts from each country and chaired by Adrian Tierney Jones
Round 2 & 3

Held on 7 August in London, UK
All Country style winners are tasted against each other to identify the Best in each style worldwide.

The winners in each style then compete for the title World’s Best in one of the 9 categories.


All design judging is conducted by a panel of leading international design

Winner presentation

The Style and Country winners as well as all medal winners will be presented in London on 7 August.

The World’s Best will be presented on 19 September online.



Entry fees

 1 entry2 entries3 entries4+ entries
Taste & Design£223 + VAT each£218 + VAT each£213 + VAT each£208 + VAT each
Design£54 + VAT each
Taste or Design£169 + VAT each£164 + VAT each£159 + VAT each£154 + VAT each
Taste & Design€264 + VAT each€254 + VAT each€249 + VAT each€244 + VAT each
Design€64 + VAT each
Taste or Design€200 + VAT each€190 + VAT each€185 + VAT each€180 + VAT each
Taste & Design$303 + VAT each$293 + VAT each$288 + VAT each$283 + VAT each
Design$77 + VAT each
Taste or Design$226 + VAT each$216 + VAT each$211 + VAT each$206 + VAT each
Canadian Dollar
Taste & Design$381 + VAT each$371 + VAT each$366 + VAT each$361 + VAT each
Design$88 + VAT each
Taste or Design$293 + VAT each$283 + VAT each$278 + VAT each$273 + VAT each
Japanese Yen
Taste & Design¥28945 + VAT each¥27945 + VAT each¥27200 + VAT each¥26200 + VAT each
Design¥4750 + VAT each
Taste or Design¥24195 + VAT each¥23195 + VAT each¥22450 + VAT each¥21450 + VAT each

Terms & conditions

Terms & Conditions
  • All entry forms and products must be sent by prepaid post and be received by the closing date listed.
  • Entries are only accepted on a completed online entry form with the appropriate entry fee.
  • If an entry is withdrawn by the due date or disqualified, the entry fee will be returned subject to an administration charge of 50% of the entry fee. Products will be retained by the Organiser.
  • If you are shipping your entries yourself, please ensure that all customs, clearance and any associated costs have been paid. If these are not paid, the World Beer Awards can either not accept the entries or will have to invoice any costs occurred, including a £25.00 administration fee.
  • The judges’ decision on all matters is final.
  • The Organisers may, at their discretion, refuse to accept an entry.
  • The Organisers may alter the closing date for the awards, place an entry in the most appropriate style, rule that an entry may not compete or is ineligible to compete, or alter the date, time or place on or at which the awards are scheduled to take place.
  • The Chair of Judges has the power to disqualify any entry not deemed as meeting the entry criteria.
  • These rules are governed by the laws of the UK.
  • Please note: bottles will not be returned. Our policy on unreturned bottles is as follows:
    • Opened bottles may be poured at trade and consumer events to promote the individual brand
    • Closed bottles may be distributed to individual charities on a case by basis, or presented for auction, all proceeds going to charity.

Our sponsors

Royston Labels