Calling All Beer Media

Do you write about beer in Australia? Do you record your thoughts on beer on a podcast or in a blog? Have you produced any films or radio features on the local beer scene? If so, then you can put yourself forward for the 2016 Australian International Beer Awards Media Award.

The awards, conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), comprise the world’s largest annual beer competition judging both packaged and draught beer. This is the third time a trophy has been awarded for people covering or commenting on beer in Australia. And, as in previous years, the award is sponsored by The Crafty Pint. 

The site's founder has worked closely with the organisers of the Australian International Beer Awards on the entry and judging criteria, which sees a panel drawn from the media and beer worlds assess all entries before selecting a winner. The inaugural winner was Matt Kirkegaard (above left), founder of Brews News, and last year the trophy was awarded to Luke Robertson (above right) for his work on Ale of a Time

Anyone entering is invited to send in up to five submissions, which could be print articles (in print or online), podcast episodes, radio or TV spots and so on. They must have been published between January 1 and December 31, 2015, and will be judged against the following criteria: Passion; Knowledge; Originality; Quality.

Judges will assess each entry individually before convening to discuss all entries and make a final decision by consensus on the first, second and third best entrants. The results will be announced at the AIBA Gala Dinner on May 19, 2016, during Good Beer Week, at which the winning entrant will receive their trophy. 

As part of their prize, the winner will also receive a digital makeover from Peach Creative and a be profiled on The Crafty Pint the following week. Last year's winner, Luke Robertson, used the digital makeover to rebuild his Ale of a Time website, which hosts both a blog and podcast, and has since left his previous employer to focus full time on the various aspects of the Ale of a Time business. Our intention in supporting the Media Award has always been to encourage more and higher quality coverage of the beer scene so seeing someone use their trophy win, a least in part, as a platform to dedicate more time and passion in that direction is fantastic.

We should point out that, as the award's sponsor, The Crafty Pint's founder is ineligible to enter. What's more, he has no role in the judging other than helping to set guidelines and select the judges, one of whom is, where possible, the previous year's winner. He has no visibility of any of the entries and only learns of the winner at the awards.

All those who enter will receive feedback on their submissions. The cost to enter is $85 online or $90 is sending in a paper entry. You can enter here and download a copy of the full Media Award Guidelines here.

Submissions must be received by March 24, 2016.

NB: New deadline is April 1, 2016.


CALLING ALL BREWERS

Two of last year's trophy winners, Dave Bonighton of Mountain Goat and Scott Hargrave, now at Balter Brewing

Submissions are also open for all brewers wishing to enter their beers into this year's Australian International Beer Awards.

There is a new major trophy on offer, for New World Pale Ale, bringing the total number of trophies to 30. This will recognise brews distinguished by the prominent and evident use of New World hops predominantly from New Zealand and Australia in response to increased entries of the style over the last few years. 

RASV CEO Mark O’Sullivan said: “We had been receiving an increased number of entries of this style, and this trophy acknowledges the superior quality New World Pale Ale that brewers are looking for the opportunity to benchmark.” 

In total, 21 major trophies will be on offer across the various styles, with nine champion trophies to be awarded including Champion Australian Beer and Champion International Beer, as well as honours for Champion Large, Medium and Small breweries, both Australian and international and Champion Gypsy Brewer. 

A record number of judges, 65, has been appointed, with assessment of AIBA beer entries taking place over three days at Melbourne Showgrounds in the lead up to Good Beer Week. 

The Collaborative Beer brewed by the previous year’s Champion Large, Medium and Small Breweries, will see the combined brewing teams from 4 Pines Brewing Company, Thunder Road Brewing Company and Boatrocker Brewing Company unveil the finished product at the 2016 AIBA Presentation Dinner. 

Brewers can find full guidelines here and register their entries here. Again, deadline for submissions is March 24, 2016.

NB: New deadline is April 1, 2016.

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