The judges were apparently “hypnotized by flavor” when our Hopnosis IPA earned a gold medal at one of the toughest beer competitions in the world: the European Beer Star.

Indeed, Hopnosis took the lone gold in the New-Style Pale Ale category at the 2022 European Beer Star competition held in Germany earlier this week.

This internationally renowned competition awards only three medals per beer category: gold, silver, and bronze. The 2022 judging was conducted by expert tasters – including brewmasters, beer sommeliers, and specialized journalists – from more than two dozen countries. The resulting gold medal winners represented the best beers in 72 categories determined by blind tasting.

In that context, a gold medal at the European Beer Star is a considerable achievement for Hopnosis, a West Coast-style IPA we launched just seven months ago.

“Hopnosis represents everything we’ve learned about hopping techniques over the years, all rolled into one beer,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Earning the gold medal at the 2022 European Beer Star is a validation of all the work our brewing team invested in creating this new-school expression of a West Coast IPA.”

Mosaic Cryo HopsĀ® are the centerpiece of Hopnosis. Cry HopsĀ® are made by collecting the concentrated lupulin from whole-leaf hops, which contains the pure resins for bitterness and aromatic oils. These hops provide intense aroma and flavor with incredible integration, allowing for a hop-froward beer that is super smooth and low in bitterness.

Additionally, our DBA British pale ale and Frieky Bones wild ale took silver medals in their respective categories at the 2022 European Beer Star. Brewery Operations Director Mark Fischer was in Munich to attend the awards ceremony.

“It’s always an honor to represent Firestone Walker, especially on the international stage,” Mark said. “The European Beer Star awards is an extremely diverse, energetic, and exciting event. When the applause dies down at the end of the award ceremony, the dinner and after-party offer the most prestigious and eclectic beer bar in the world as we get a chance to taste through all the winners.”

Brewery Operations Director Mark Fischer poses with Firestone Walker’s awards at the 2022 European Beer Star ceremony

We should add that Firestone Walker has some history at the European Beer Star, starting a decade ago when our Pale 31, Double Jack, and Stickee Monkee won the top honors as “Consumer Favorite in Gold” for three straight years.

Firestone Walker has always been about blending Old World brewing traditions with New World innovations, so earning honors like this in the European brewing community means a lot to us.

If you’d like to try our beers that took medals at this year’s European Beer Star, you can use our Beer Finder to discover where Hopnosis, DBA, and Frieky Bones are available near you. Frieky Bones is also available for purchase from our online store.