A number of trophies from the Indies awards in 2020 and 2021 are changing hands after the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) discovered they had been allocated incorrectly.
The trophies in question are all state winners – a new category of trophy first introduced by the IBA in 2019 – with a total of four awards from the past two years impacted following an independent audit of results. An audit of the 2019 results was still ongoing at time of writing to ascertain if any state champions from that year will change, but all champion beer trophies, as well as those awarded to each year’s champion large, small / medium, and brewpub winners are unaffected.
The changes to the awards announced today are as follows:
- Champion New South Wales Brewery 2019 - Modus Operandi (previously All Hands Brewing)*
- Champion Victorian Brewery 2021 – Future Mountain (previously Stomping Ground)
- Champion New South Wales Brewery 2021 – Wildflower (previously Philter)
- Champion South Australian Brewery 2021 – Mismatch (previously Vale)
- Champion South Australian Brewery 2020 – Mismatch (previously Loophole)
IBA CEO Kylie Lethbridge said the association was "mortified" to discover the error, telling The Crafty Pint they had acted quickly once they were notified there might have been an error, and had spoken to all concerned parties.
“We’ve issued formal apologies and have offered compensation,” she said, adding that the IBA is in the process of conducting a full review of the entire Indies process.
This further review has been prompted not just by the need to reassign a number of state champion trophies, but also in response to other feedback received from members. At a board meeting today, it was agreed to bring in an independent auditor to conduct the review.
“For one reason or another, mistakes were made,” Kylie said, explaining they became aware there could be a problem when they received a challenge over one of this year's state champions.
“When we started the investigation [into the 2021 results], we realised this was a bigger problem.”
The IBA contacted all impacted breweries before issuing a statement today, with Kylie expressing sadness the brewers had to receive such news.
“People have been very kind and thankful that we’ve dealt with it immediately, and did an independent audit,” she said.
The IBA has offered to refund the entry fees for those breweries caught up in the changes, as well as compensating them for any adverse ramifications for their businesses.
“Anything we can do to help breweries impacted we will,” Kylie said, adding: “We would like to take this moment to congratulate the newly-awarded winners because their hard work shouldn’t be tainted.”
It’s not the first time trophies have changed hands in Australia this year. Following the Australian International Beer Awards in May, NZ brewery Deep Creek realised they’d entered the wrong category and relinquished their Champion Large International Brewery title, which instead went to Germany’s Weihenstephan.
And, while they may have lost their state champion titles from the 2021 Indies, the three impacted brewers retain their other trophies: Stomping Ground (Champion Hybrid Beer, Champion Large Brewery and Service To Industry, awarded to co-founders Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone), Philter (Champion Mixed Culture Beer), and Vale (Champion Strong Beer).
*UPDATE 22/12: Since this article first ran, the IBA has corrected another State Champion Trophy, with 2019’s Champion NSW Trophy (which originally went to All Hands Brewing) now awarded to Modus Operandi. The IBA said in a statement that this concludes the audit process and their attention is now turning to a full and independent review of The Indies.
Updated 2021 Indies Winners
Champion Independent Beer
Blasta Brewing – Blastaweizen
Champion Large Brewery
Stomping Ground Brewing
Champion Medium/Small Brewery
Moffat Beach Brewing
Future Mountain Brewing & Blending (pictured at top of article)
Champion Pale Ale
Sea Legs Brewing Pale Ale
Champion Amber/Dark Ale
Moo Brew Dark Ale
Revel Brewing Neo-Mexicanus Black IPA
Champion Hybrid Beer
Stomping Ground Brewing - Hanging Rauch
Sydney Brewery - Pilsner
Moffat Beach Beach Brewing - Trilogy IPA
Champion European-style Ale
Blasta Brewing - Blastaweizen
Champion Session Beer
Moffat Beach - Moffs Summer Ale
Champion Strong Beer
Vale Brewing - Bearded Mongrel
Champion Mixed Culture Beer
Philter Brewing - Raspberry Pash
Champion Victorian Brewery
Future Mountain Brewing & Blending
Champion Tasmanian Brewer
Champion Queensland Brewery
Moffat Beach Brewing
Champion South Australian Brewery
Champion New South Wales Brewery
Champion ACT/Northern Territory Brewery
Champion Western Australian Brewery
PEER NOMINATED AWARDS
Service to the Industry
Steve Jeffares & Guy Greenstone (Stomping Ground Brewing Co)
Young Gun of the Year
Stephanie Howard (Cryer Malt)
True Indie Supporter
Grain & Grape Yarraville
Lifetime Achievement Award
David Cryer (Cryer Malt)
IBA Statement: Correction regarding State Champion Trophies at the Independent Beer Awards
The Independent Brewers Association must advise an incorrect scoring process was used to calculate State Champion Trophies.
As per our previous statement, the question was raised as to whether a State Champion Trophy was incorrectly awarded at the 2021 Indies Awards and, as a result of an initial investigation, it was decided that an independent audit was needed.
In 2019 a new scoring matrix to determine the State Champions was introduced and published in the entry booklet. The audit has determined the new scoring method was not implemented correctly in the processing of results and this error has impacted State Trophies awarded in 2020 and 2021.
However, the judging process was not impacted nor were the Champion or Class trophies. The revised results are as follows:
In 2021 the Champion Victorian Brewery is Future Mountain
In 2021 the Champion NSW Brewery is Wildflower
In 2021 the Champion South Australian is Mismatch
In 2020 the Champion South Australian Brewery is Mismatch
The 2019 results are under analysis and each and every component of the Indies Awards will now be independently reviewed and feedback sought from our members to shape the competition so that it is reflective of the scale, diversity and professionalism of the industry.
“We are mortified that this error has occurred, as we pride ourselves on running these awards to the highest standard and know how much the results mean to the winners.” stated IBA Chief Executive Officer Kylie Lethbridge
“We would also like to take this moment to congratulate the newly awarded winners. Their hard work shouldn’t be tainted, nor should the great results achieved by other breweries caught up in this error be diminished.
“We deeply apologise to all breweries impacted, this is something that has cut us to the core and because of the significance of this issue we will be undertaking a full review of how the Indies Awards are run in future,” stated Lethbridge.