Whether enjoyed with a backyard grill, watching a game, in the company of friends, or a sunset, there is definitely no other excellent backup in life than a well-timed beer.
Beer is so many things— it is light and dark, rich and robust, and sour and sweet. With the continuous ascent of specialty - the craft beers - the beer industry is proliferating more than ever, making it challenging to track down the best brew.
From light brews to heavy lagers, there is a wide variety of suds to choose from.
So, fill your favorite beer glasses with award-winning beers. But which ones? You can select any beer that has won the ultimate stamp of approval, a medal or award from the USA Beer Ratings.
Why USA Beer Ratings and not any other competition? The USA Beer Ratings examines and prizes beers that have effectively been created to relate to and target the right set of consumers. To win a medal or award at the USA Beer Ratings, a beer brand demonstrates that they have what it takes to procure its put on a retailer's rack or an eatery's brew list - and can indispensably stay there. To win, they should be attractive and buyer-driven and not simply created in the general hope of gaining market success.
The beers are judged on three key areas that make the competition unique from others. These three key areas are quality, their value for money, and their packaging. A beer may be of excellent quality, but if the pricing and packaging are not right, it will not be recognized by the USA Beer Ratings.
The award winners are categorized based on medals, the type of beer, and the country of origin. The beers that score 90 or more are identified as gold medallists, those which score between 80 to 89 are silver medallists, and the ones that score between 70 to 79 are bronze medallists.
Who are the judges?
The judging panel consists of top-level beer buyers, beer consultants, and experts from leading retail chains, wholesalers, distributors, and on-trade groups across a variety of channels and disciplines, including multiple retailing, convenience stores, cash and carries, specialist retailers, casual and fine dining, hospitality, and the travel industry.
The 2021 judging panel includes Joshua A Charlton (VP of Sales for a premier craft beer and beverage wholesaler- Morris Distributing), Nicole Erny (Master Cicerone & Quality, Sensory and Education Projects Coordinator at Alvarado Street Brewery), Herlinda Heras CTA (CoHost Craft Beer Radio BrewHaHa KSRO; Sonoma State Univ Beer Education Coordinator; Certified Tourism Ambassador), and many other experts.
The appointed judges of the USA Beer Ratings are drawn from across the USA, with years of experience, involvement, capability, and qualifications. This guarantees that brews become significant across the different cultures of the country and in bars and restaurants that lead the line around there.
Why trust USA Beer Ratings?
The beers entered in the USA Beer Ratings are organized into flights for tasting. They are initially tasted blind to determine their quality and drinkability. They are also assessed by variety, style, region, and country. Judges then determine the value score of the beer based on the quality and its retail price. Following this they are handed the bottle or format to assess in detail, the design, label, and packaging and determine how well that matches or complements the quality of the beer and its price point. It is how the product is perceived when placed on the beer shelf among thousands of other beers. Then the judges discuss the beer as a whole to help allocate scores in the three judging areas. Each judge gives their independent score, and a weighted average is taken at the end.
Along with medals, there are significant special awards that the beers win, like the best in the show by country, beer of the year, the brewery of the year, best beer by quality, and others.
The Gold-winning beers and all special category Beers are re-tasted by the judges on the re-judging day to ensure the scoring quality.
The next time you are at a bar, make a great choice with one of the winners at the USA Beer Ratings 2020.
Watch out for 2021's winning beers to come out in August.