The World Beer Awards are the awards recognizing the best beers in all the internationally recognized styles. First, the winner of the respective sub-category is chosen before the overall winner is selected. An example: the category Wheat Beer has seven styles: Alcohol Free, American Style, Bavarian Style, Belgian Style, Dark Wheat Beer, Kristal Wheat Beer und Strong Wheat Beer. The respective winner of these sub-categories is selected first, the so-called Style Winner, before these seven then complete in a second round for the title of World´s Best Wheat Beer. At the World Beer Awards all these beers are awarded gold – the additional prizes however make all the difference.
Gold, silver and bronze can be won by the beers at the World Beer Awards. Unlike, for example, at the European Beer Star there can be more than one winner for each medal. If certain criteria are met, the beer wins gold. Deductions lead to silver, bronze or even no award.
The big final takes place then in the third round. The respective winner of the categories Dark Beer, Flavoured, IPA, Lager, Pale Beer, Sour & Wild Beer, Speciality Beer, Stout & Porter and Wheat Beer complete in a final competition against each other – in order to find in the end the world´s best beer. In 2011 the light-colored Weizenbock Vitus of the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan was awarded the world´s best beer title.
A jury comprising international beer experts judge the beers at an official tasting. To prevent the beers having to travel halfway around the world for the first round, the first tastings take place in Brazil, Canada, the USA, Germany and in Great Britain. Beginning with round two, when the Style Winner is selected, the tastings are held centrally in London.