Skip to main content
16th December 2022

American craft beer sweeps the board at international competitions

The Brewers Association’s Export Development Programme (EDP) is pleased to announce the global success of its American craft brewery members in three highly prestigious international beer competitions – the Brussels Beer Challenge, European Beer Star Awards and the Japan International Beer Cup.

Winning a medal at these contests is no mean feat and standards are extremely high.  Results are as follows:

Brussels Beer Challenge

Now in its 11th year, the Brussels Beer Challenge attracted 1,800 beers from 41 countries judged by 85 independent beer experts who awarded medals in 80 different categories. The competition took place in Eupen, Belgium over a three-day period from 1-3 November 2022

Participating beers were subdivided into categories based on origin, typology and style, and then tasted.

Congratulations to the EDP members who were awarded 25 medals in total: seven gold, nine silver and nine bronze as well as Fremont Brewing Co’s Legend Cold IPA which was voted  ‘Best American Beer of the Competition.’  View winners here

European Beer Star

One of the most recognized beer competitions in the world, the European Beer Star Awards, took place for the 19th occasion in August 2022 and is committed to the traditional European art of brewing. It recognizes high quality, authentic beers that are genuine and distinctive, and is limited to beer categories that originate in Europe.

This year’s competition attracted 2,168 beers from 40 different countries judged by 140 beer experts.  It took place at the Doemens Brewing Academy, in Gräfelfing, near Munich and judges awarded 213 beers with gold, silver or bronze in 71 categories.     Congratulations to the EDP member breweries who won 25 medals in total including eight gold, eight silver and nine bronze. View winners here

Japan International Beer Cup

Hosted by Japan’s Craft Beer Association, the International Beer Cup is Japan’s largest international beer competition and was established in 1996.  It provides a valuable opportunity for members of the EDP to compete and gain awareness in one of the world’s fastest-growing craft beer markets.

The competition attracted 1,111 entries from 268 breweries in 16 countries and awarded medals in 118 categories judged by 69 beer experts.  Congratulations to the American craft brewers who won 35 medals including five gold, 14 silver and 16 bronze, and two best in category.  View winners here

Neil Reinhardt, director of sales at Destihl Brewery, says: “Winning the awards has been completely unexpected and also extremely gratifying.  We were blown away when Tourbus won gold at the Great American Beer Festival in 2021 and the international awards have been a great validation of the beer.  I’m especially proud of our brewery team and the quality product they’re turning out.  Will it make a difference to sales?  We certainly hope so and have been in contact with new importers as a direct result and will feature our success in marketing content for Tourbus.”

Matt Lincecum, owner, Fremont Brewing Co, adds;  “Winning Best American Beer in Brussels for Legend Cold IPA validates the months and months of R&D, the endless experiments with fermentation temperatures, water chemistry and hopping theory as we sought to create the Cold IPA we had envisioned – clean, crisp, bright and slightly bitter. For our larger brewing team it is always a boost to have external validation from a respected international competition. Entering and winning these competitions helps spread the word of American Craft Beer as well as seeds the market for us to sell in that country one day and I absolutely think this will help Legend jump off the shelf in our European markets.”

Lotte Peplow, Brewers Association American craft beer ambassador for Europe, adds: “Having judged at both European Beer Star and Brussels Beer Challenge I can testify that the standard of entries was extremely high.  To see American craft brewers securing 85 medals across the three competitions demonstrates the skill, craftmanship and brewing expertise of America’s small and independent craft brewers and I’m immensely proud of each and every one of them.  American craft beer built its enviable reputation on quality, innovation and style-diversity and winning medals on the world stage reinforces that reputation and provides a valuable point of difference in today’s competitive market.”

Success at international beer competitions helps raise awareness for American craft beer abroad and assists EDP member breweries with generating publicity for their brands in overseas markets.   As part of its programming, the EDP helps facilitate U.S. brewery participation and performance in select competitions by covering entry fees and consolidated airfreight shipment to judging sites.

Congratulations to all the award-winning breweries.


About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,600-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceHomebrew ConTMNational Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at® and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association® and the free Brew Guru® mobile app. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Issued on behalf of the Brewers Association, 1327 Spruce Street, Boulder, Colorado, 80302 USA.

For further press information: Lotte Peplow :  on  +44 (0)7973 698 414