Two Australian breweries have enjoyed success at the 2021 World Beer Awards. The final trophy winners were announced in the UK overnight with Brick Lane and O'Brien's both claiming World's Best titles.
Brick Lane took out World's Best Porter for their Revolver Dark Hoppy Ale, with O'Brien's Belgian Ale named World's Best Specialty Gluten Free Beer.
Brick Lane head brewer Jon Seltin (above right) told The Crafty Pint Revolver is a staff favourite at the brewery – a seasonal they first released in 2020. It follows trophy success at the Australian International Beer Awards for one of the Tinnies beers they design and brew for Coles.
"I'm proud of any of the beers we make," Jon says, "and it's funny because we treat all the partner brewing stuff like it's our own – we formulate most of the beers, come up with them, tweak them and improve them over time. But to have a Brick Lane brand do so well, there's something much more special about it.
"We're all chuffed. I'm sure the mood around the brewery will be really good – we really love Revolver."
Earlier in the judging rounds, Brick Lane claimed Best Amber for their Red Hoppy Ale and Best American-style Pale Ale for One Love in the country awards, but Revolver was the one that went on to triumph on the world stage.
Judges said of the beer: "Lovely pour with off white head. Aroma is hoppy green with coffee. Toasted chocolate flavour is more green hops, milk chocolate, espresso martini with a slightly spicy/ bitter finish. Velvety body, medium light, luscious if slightly black IPA in hop char."
Jon adds: "This award [the World's Best] is more meaningful as it's up against good beers from all over the world. There's a lot of entries from the US and Europe, and I know they take it very seriously in South America."
It comes amid a busy period for Brick Lane, who are in the process of a major upgrade and expansion, which has seen them take over a neighbouring building to as they take aim for 20 million litres annual production. Jon says a lot of the preparation work – upgrades to utilities, services and infrastructure – is complete so they're now focusing on getting the 100 hectolitre brewhouse and additional tanks in place.
"We're absolutely in the guts of it," he says, explaining that the new brewery – which can knock out 12 brews a day – will be able to work in parallel and integrated with their existing 50 hectolitre system. They can even use the two for decoction brewing. Once that's in place, they'll be installing a five hectolitre pilot system, also from Braukon.
The win for O'Brien Beer continues a successful 2021 for the pioneers of GF beer in Australia. They claimed six golds at the Australian International Beer Awards and surpassed their target in an equity crowdfunding campaign run with Birchal in winter.
Founder John O’Brien said the team was "absolutely delighted" to claim the World's Best title, adding: "On the back of six gold medals at the AIBA awards, our winning streak continues and it is wonderful to be recognised for the quality of our beers.
“Gluten free beers are judged in the World Beer Awards against barley based ‘gluten free’ beers that have been ‘gluten reduced’. To win this award is really a testament to our brewing team and also our incredible suppliers with whom we work so closely."
The World Beer Awards judges had the following to say of their Belgian Ale, itself no stranger to trophy success: "Lovely spicy Belgian yeast nose. Attractive pale gold in colour. Taste is complex with spicy yeast and bitterness. Beer retains interest throughout to a clean, spicy, short finish. Refreshing."
The country level awards were announced a few weeks ago with Brick Lane also claiming Australia's Best Amber for their Red Hoppy Ale and Best American-style Pale Ale for One Love. Heaps Normal's Quiet XPA was named Australia's Best No & Low Alcohol Beer, with Tinnies IPA (brewed by Brick Lane for Coles Liquor) the country winner for IPA and Smithy's Dry Lager deemed the best International Lager from Australia.
You can check out the full list of winners from around the world here.