In only nine years, the participation has skyrocketed from 271 beers in 2004 to 1,366 beers from 45 countries in 2012. It took the expert-tasters - a total of 102 brewmasters, beer sommeliers, and specialized journalists from 25 countries - two days to choose the world's best beers in 50 beer categories by blind tasting. They evaluated the beers on the basis of purely sensory criteria that all beer consumers are familiar with: colour, aroma, foam, and of course flavour. On 14 November, the gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to European-style beers from 23 countries worldwide at the award ceremony during the Brau Beviale in Nuremberg, Germany. All the awarded breweries are listed in the List of winners 2012 (see below).
The public prizes "Consumers' Favourites" were chosen from the ranks of the 50 European Beer Star gold medal winners. Visitors at the Brau Beviale in Nuremberg chose their favourite beers at a blind tasting session. This coveted public prize was awarded at the "Winners Night" on 14th November 2012 in addition to the gold medal for the individual category:
Consumers' Favourite 2012 in Gold
"Double Jack" of Firestone Walker Brewery, USA
Consumers' Favourite 2012 in Silver
"Schimpf Hefe hell" of Kronenbrauerei Alfred Schimpf, Germany
Consumers' Favourite 2012 in Bronze
"Weiherer Rauch" of Brauerei-Gasthof Kundmüller, Germany