You might think bringing you news of two beer awards in 24 hours would be enough for one week. But, hot on the heels of the results from the 2017 Craft Beer Awards and the Royal Adelaide Beer & Cider Awards, we've news of another forthcoming awards night – albeit one with a difference.
While most beer awards are focused on judging beers and awarding medals and trophies for the best and to those that brew them, there's a wider beer community out there too. And that's what The Beeries in Brisbane is designed to showcase.
On September 21, Brisbane’s beer and cider community will come together for an awards night set to shine a spotlight on the people who make drinking beer and cider in Brisbane what it is. Categories like Best Beer Tender, Best Beer & Cider Rep and Best Beer & Cider Retailer offer the drinking public the chance to vote for some of the unsung heroes of the industry, selecting from a shortlist compiled by key figures in the local industry.
One of the key figuress behind The Beeries is Marty Keetels. He's is the founder of Brisbane’s Beer InCider Experience, which takes place on the two days following The Beeries.
Marty says the idea behind the awards developed out of the desire to get the beer and cider industry into a room to celebrate together.
“We’ve all got jobs either behind bars, running bars, delivering beer, organising events and it never really happens that we have the opportunity as a community or industry to get in the same room,” says Marty.
When Marty first floated the idea he received a lot of feedback from people within the industry who said any new awards night should focus on individuals.
“I just thought that was a really nice point of difference,” he says. “That the brand is actually secondary to what the person is actually bringing to the community.”
Most coveted among the awards will be the Gold Beery for best overall community contributor. Nominated this year for the top gong are Gillian Letham (The Mill, Oxford Tap House, Brewsvegas and more), Jim Gold (Newstead Brewing and Blood, Sweat & Craft Beers) and Newstead Brewing co-founder Mark Howes.
“For me, that award sets the tone of the night and the awards,” he says. “We really want to recognise people that have gone above and beyond in ways that aren’t linked to brand awareness or commercial decision making.”
As if recognising the people who make up Brisbane’s craft beer community wasn’t enough, all money raised by The Beeries will go directly to either Brewsvegas or the Red Rose Foundation.
Red Rose Foundation was founded to try to stop deaths caused by domestic violence and Marty says the decision was made early on by the advisory panel to support a cause which clearly needs a lot more attention – and money.
“We just thought that domestic violence is a such a not-spoken about issue within the community and there’s a link with alcohol and domestic violence and rather than hide from that link we thought we’d just call it out,” says Marty.
The rest of The Money raised by the night will go towards help run Brewsvegas. The ten-day festival has become a fixture in Brisbane’s craft beer calendar and its not-for-profit status made it a clear choice for where the rest of the money raised by The Beeries should go.
“Brewsvegas has done so much for beer in South East Queensland and beer in Queensland generally,” he says.
“So, when we were thinking about what causes we could put the money to, we just thought that if we could help make the festival more sustainable for the long term and keep it independent then it would be an awesome way we could help out.”
The Beeries take place on September 21. To find out more or to vote, head to the full list of nominees here.