Judging Process

Judging Process

Judging criteria

To win a USA Beer Ratings award you will need to score highly in all three areas of our judging criteria. You might have an outstanding quality beer, but if the price and packaging, is not right, you will not be recognized by the USA Beer Ratings.

There is no point, for example, in having a 95 point beer if it does not look good or offer consumers great value for money. Those points mean it will remain highly respected within the trade, but it will also remain largely unsold on the shelf or languishing on a restaurant’s beer list.

Scoring system

That is why the USA Beer Ratings will be decided based on the following judging formula:

Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = USA Beer Ratings Score.

A separate weighted score will be given for each of the three parts of the judging process. The scores will be calculated to give a final score out of 100 from which individual prizes will be awarded.

  1. Quality Score: will be marked out of 100
  2. Value Score: will be marked out of 100
  3. Package Score: will be marked out of 100

Gold: to receive a Gold medal you need to score 90 or over.

Silver: you need to score between 80-89.

Bronze: you need to score between 70-79.

Who are our judges?

The USA Beer Ratings will be assessed and judged by a leading panel of top-level beer buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility. Or beer consultants and experts who are also directly involved in the development of new beer brands or buying beer for commercial resale.

The list of judges will be drawn 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. 

Judging procedure

All beer entered will be handled by USA Beer Ratings and organized into flights for tasting.

The beer will:

- Initially be tasted blind to determine its quality and drinkability.

- Where appropriate they will also be assessed by variety, style, region, and country.

- Judges will then determine the value score of the beer based on the quality and its retail price.  

- The judges will then be handed the bottle or format for them to be able to assess, in detail, the design, label, and packaging and determine how well that matches up to, 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 beer.

- The judges can discuss the beer as a whole to help allocate scores in the three judging areas however each judge will give its independent score and a weighted average will be taken at the end.

- The Gold winning Beer and all special category Beers are re-tasted by the Beer judges on the re-judging day to ensure the scoring quality.

Judging dates

Judging will take place on July 22, 2024, in the US. To be considered in the ratings all products must be in our warehouse by July 5, 2024.

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