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The Competition

The Best Finnish Beer competition

The purpose of the competition is to improve the appreciation of Finnish beers and to make beers and their producers known. The competition brings an interesting addition to the Finnish beer culture and stimulates discussion about the taste, quality, raw materials and production of beers.

The Best Finnish Beer competition is the only Finnish beer competition that gathers domestic producers together to compete with their products. The products of large and small producers participate in the competition in parallel, in which case the beer itself and the related quality and taste factors are the main points under scrutiny.

For the consumer, the competition provides tools for making choices by highlighting familiar and previously unknown products and their characteristics. At the same time, it encourages a beer lover to try flavors and products that differ from the user’s usual taste. For manufacturers the competition provides support for product marketing and direction for new product development.

The right to participate in the competition

The competition is open to all beers made in Finland by commercial breweries operating in Finland. The beers have to be in regular on-trade or retail sales. Only retail packed products (can, bottle) can participate in the competition.


The best three products in each category are awarded. The jury then selects The Best Finnish Beer among the winners of each category. Also the best three gluten-free beers are given an honourable mention.

The Best Finnish Beer is awarded with an honourable mention and a diploma. In addition, The Best Finnish Beer is sponsored to represent Finland and the winning brewery in the European Beer Awards.

The three best beers in every category receive a diploma.

Announcing the results and the award ceremony take place in a separate Best Finnish Beer event where the winning beers are presented also to the public and the press.

Competition categories

There are 12 different categories in The Best Finnish Beer competition in 2021.

The beers in the competition are categorized by applying the Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guidelines 2015.

  1. Pale lager
    This category includes pale lagers and pale bocks produced from bottom-fermenting yeast.
  2. Pils
    This category consists of bottom-fermented traditional Pils beers (pilsner, pilsener).
  3. Dark or coloured lager
    This category is meant for bottom-fermented medium brown and dark lagers and bocks.
  4. Pale or medium brown ale
    This category is for pale and medium brown ales and sahtis produced from top-fermenting yeast. The colour range of this category may reach up to dark copper (50 EBC at most).
  5. IPA and APA
    This category includes different types of India Pale Ales and American Pale Ales.
  6. Stout and porter
    This category is for any stout or porter style beers regardless of strength or type of yeast used.
  7. Wheat beer
    The category is open to wheat beers produced either from top- or bottom-fermenting yeast.
  8. Unflavored and flavoured sour beers
    This category includes both unflavoured and flavoured sour beers, i.e. berry and fruit sours such as gose, berliner weisse, sour ales and other sour beers.
  9. Flavoured beers such as fruit, berry and other spiced beers
    This category is open to beers flavoured in different ways
  10. Fermented beers
    This category consists of beers fermented in casks or other slow fermented beers.
  11. Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers
    This category is open to beers containing no more than 2,8% of alcohol.
  12. Other beers
    This category is for any beer not fitting the other categories.

A brewery can label their beer as gluten-free. In this case, the beer is automatically evaluated in the category of gluten-free beers. This category is not judged separately but the best are selected among the best scoring gluten-free beers in each category.

Judging the categories and the jury

The jury consists of beer industry professionals as well as beer enthusiasts and consumers alike. The jury judges the beers entered in the competition by blind tasting every category at a time. A person who is affiliated with beer producers or their products participating in the competition cannot function as a judge.

There is an application process to be a judge and the jury will be trained before judging. The aim is to select the jury so that there are both people with plenty of judging experience and those who are newer beer enthusiasts. The intent is also to include people working in retail and on-trade of alcoholic beverages so that the jury is as extensive as possible and representative of the Finnish beer palate.

Judging of beers and scoring

The beers are judged on a scale between 0 and 100, the score 100 being the best.

Judging a category may take place in several servings. A weighted average is calculated from the points given in a serving. This means that each sample’s highest and lowest scores are left out. The scores of every serving in one category are arranged in a descending order. If a category has only one serving, three beers with the highest scores are awarded. If several products receive the same score, the award is shared between them.

If more than one serving is held in each category, the best scoring beers of each serving move on to a semi- final. If there are less than four servings, six samples are selected to the semi-final, whereas the number of selected samples is eight if there are four or more servings. The judging of a semi-final is conducted via conversation among the judges after which the jury selects the three best beers of a category.