The Best Of Aussie Craft

July 29, 2014, by Crafty Pint
The Best Of Aussie Craft

A new competition that will allow Australian craft brewers to pit their beers against each others launches next week. The inaugural Craft Beer Awards: the Best of Australian Brewing is a new venture by the Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) that will focus its attention solely on beers produced by smaller Australian breweries. Entries open next week with judging set to take place over two days during this year’s Sydney Craft Beer Week before awards are presented at a ceremony on October 24 at which beer lovers are encouraged to join brewers at the Giant Dwarf Theatre for a night of Aussie craft beer, canapes and BBQ food.

The awards are open to any brewery or brewing company based in Australia that is eligible for CBIA membership, which includes those with an output of up to 40 million litres per annum.

"We are very excited by this," says CBIA chair Dave Bonighton. "The CBIA’s purpose is to be the independent voice shaping and driving the future of Australian craft beer and holding our own awards has always been an important part of achieving this.

"Competitions have many benefits for the industry: quality improvement, professional development for participants and providing further marketing opportunities for the successful beers among them. Being able to put Champion Australian Craft Beer on the side of the bottle will be a major coup for one Australian brewer."

The awards will slot in alongside a number of existing commercial beer competitions in Australia. The Australian International Beer Awards is now a quarter century old and pits the best of Australia – craft and otherwise – against hundreds of entries from across the globe. Then there are a number of state-based awards, such as the the Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show, the Perth Royal Beer Show, the Royal Adelaide Beer Awards and the Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show Beer Competition.

The aim with the Craft Beer Awards is to offer something that is exclusively Australian and craft by CBIA’s definition and also truly national.

Says Dave: “Up until now the Australian brewing industry has been lucky enough to have had the Australian International Beer Awards and the respective state based competitions but we have never had a national competition focused solely on craft beer. The Craft Beer Awards will allow Australia’s craft brewers to have their beers benchmarked against those of their peers."

The lineup of judges features a host of experienced faces, many of whom have judges overseas as well as at Australian competitions, including two from overseas (see below for full list). The CBIA is also establishing an Associate Judges programme to “bring on the next generation of judges”; details to follow soon.

Entries will be judges in nine categories (to be confirmed next week) with trophies awarded to the best beer in each category. The trophy winners will then be judged against each other with the winner taking the title of Champion Australian Craft Beer.

Awards will also given out to the best performing Large (300,000 to 40 million litres per annum), Medium (50,000 to 299,999 litres per annum) and Small (up to 49,999 litres per annum) breweries .

A new award is also being introduced: the CBIA Services to Australian Craft Beer award, which “will be the chance for the industry to recognise one of the many individuals whose tireless efforts have helped build this fantastic industry," according to Dave.

Entries open on August 4, with judging taking place on October 21 and 22 and awards being presented at a ceremony on October 24. Full details of the Craft Beer Awards including style guidelines, entry fees and the judging system will be available on the Craft Beer Awards 2014 page of the Craft Beer Industry Association website from August 4.

The awards presentation ceremony will be held at the Giant Dwarf Theatre, 199 Cleveland Street, Redfern. Guests will be able to sample from a wide range of beers that have been entered in the awards while dining for the evening will be provided by David O’Brien of Food Rascal: a range of canapés and a BBQ serving Ranges Valley Wagyu brisket and Kurobuta pork-shoulder rolls.

Tickets cost $95 and are available through the Sydney Craft Beer Week website. The full program for this year’s festival is now live too.


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