Australian International Beer Awards winners announced

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th June 2013

The winners of the 2013 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) have been announced at a prestigious presentation dinner in Melbourne.

The title of Champion Australian Beer went to ‘Alpha Pale Ale’, which is brewed by the Matilda Bay Brewing Company in Victoria, and the Champion International Beer title went to German beer ‘Oud Beersel Oude Geuze’, which is brewed by Oud Beersel from Vlaams-Brabant in Belgium.

Now in its 21st year, the AIBA is the pre-eminent showcase for premium beer and brewing achievements in the Asia-Pacific region, and is co-ordinated annually by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victotria (RASV) and the University of Ballarat. The RASV said a record number of entries were received in 2013 – over 1,480 beers from more than 230 brewers in 35 countries.

The judging panel was lead by Brad Rodgers, a highly respected member of the Australian brewing community and current Chairman of the Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA). A total of 42 judges participated, including judges from Australia, Norway, Belgium, the US, the UK, Japan and New Zealand.

“Stand out classes this year included beers competing for Best Stout, with 49 medals awarded, Best Amber/Dark Ale with 48 medals awarded, Best International Pale Ale with 43 medals awarded, and of course Best Belgium and French Style ale with 55 medals awarded, 11 of these gold,” said Brad Rodgers, AIBA Chief Judge.

“We are also pleased to have another first this year with a gold medal awarded in the Gluten Free Beer Class. This is a great result and a reflection that this beer is of the highest standard and quality in its category,” Mr Rodgers said.

Mark O’Sullivan, RASV CEO, said that each year the competition sees improved standards.

“This year in response to both Australian and international brewing industry changes and trends, a medium sized brewery category was introduced recognising, in particular, the global growth in the craft sector,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

Craft beer grows in popularity

Meanwhile, the US celebrated American Craft Beer Week in May 2013. Global research organisation Mintel reported that 7 per cent of Americans said they were drinking m ore craft beer in 2013 when compared to 2012.

According to Mintel, craft beer may be a favourite of younger markets in the US, with 49 per cent of Generation Y and 40 per cent of Generation X reporting that craft beer appealed to them, but just 29 per cent of Baby Boomers and 22 per cent of the Swing/World War 2 generation saying it appealed to them.

Mintel’s research showed that 84 per cent of craft beer consumers like to choose their beer depending on the season, and that 73 per cent of craft beer drinkers usually know what brand beer they are going to buy before they go to the store. Nearly half (45 per cent) of craft beer drinkers said they would try more craft beers if they knew more about them.

Winners of the 2013 Australian International Beer Awards:

2013 Champion Trophies

Barrett Burston Malting Trophy for Champion Australian Beer: ‘Alpha Pale Ale’, Matilda Bay Brewing Company, Victoria, Australia

City of Ballarat Trophy for Champion International Beer: ‘Oud Beersel Oude Geuze’, Oud Beersel, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium

Graincorp Trophy for Champion Large Australian Brewery: Carlton and United Breweries, Abbortsford, Victoria, Australia

Spiegelau Trophy for Champion Large International Brewery: Die Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, Bavaria, Germany

FB* Propak Trophy for Champion Medium Australian Brewery: Feral Brewing Company, Western Australia, Australia

Cryermalt Trophy for Champion Medium Internation Brewery: NØgne Ø, Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri, Grimstand, Norway

Brewpack Trophy for Champion Small Australian Brewery: 2 Brothers Brewery, Victoria, Australia

City of Ballarat Trophy for Champion Small International Brewery: Renaissance Brewing Ltd, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gary Sheppard Memorial Trophy for Best New Exhibitor: Schlossbrauerei Au-Hallertau, Au-Hallertau, Germany