Elections of the best beer sommelier in Estonia

A. Le Coq is the biggest drinks manufacturer and beer brewer in Estonia. One of the priorities for A. Le Coq has always been the promotion of beer culture, including the skilful serving of beer and matching it with food. For this reason, in 2011 A. Le Coq founded with Estonia’s first beer sommelier Kristjan Peäske a project called Beer Star to develop beer culture. The aim of the project is to teach A. Le Coq’s partners in Horeca field the skilful serving of beer and matching it with food. Beer Star trainers have taught more than a thousand barmen so far.

The project started well, but there was still a need for new and fresh idea, that would bring beer culture in Estonia to high-quality restaurants and to average consumers, as well.

To achieve this, we decided to invite opinion leaders in drinks field and trainers who value beers, serving them correctly and matching them with food. We were convinced that this would also increase the cultural and conscious consumption of beer.

The first professional contest „Estonia’s Best Beer Sommelier” took place in 2013.

In collaboration with Estonian Sommelier Association, we created the program for the event. The participants had to take a written test, as a result of which the 8 best were determined, who advanced to the semi-finals, where their main task was to match different foods and beers. In the final, open to the public, the last four participants had to pass four main tasks – serving the beer, blind degustation, matching beer with food, and theoretical knowledge about beer.

„Estonia’s Best Beer Sommelier” contest has always gained a lot of media attention – interviews with beer sommeliers, organisers and jury, and articles about beer and beer culture were published in TV, print and online media.

The number of participants in the competition has grown year by year – for example, in 2015, a record number of more than 60 beer brewers and merchants, waiters and beer enthusiasts entered the competition for the title of the best beer sommelier.

Best beer sommeliers:

2013 Kristjan Markii
2014 Urmas Linnamägi
2015 Oskar Pihlik
2016 Els-Maria Uibo