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Changing The Guard

Changing The Guard
October 4 2012 by Crafty Pint

The man behind Australia’s current favourite craft beer, the Pacific Ale, has been appointed as the new Chief Judge for the country’s biggest beer awards. Brad Rogers, head brewer and co-founder (and all-round top bloke) at Stone & Wood takes up the mantle for the Australian International Beer Awards.

The appointment comes months after Brad (pictured above) was appointed to an Advisory Group for the awards alongside Chris Badenoch from Josie Bones, Bill Taylor of Lion Nathan, Leif Ryan of Phoenix Beers, Peter Aldred from the University of Ballarat, and Peter Manders, the former Chief Judge who is stepping aside after eight years in the top job. It was formed to look at ways to revamp the awards to better reflect the rapidly changing beer scene. Already some effects of the revamp have been seen, such as the introduction of a number of new categories at the awards held in Melbourne in May.

In making their appointment, the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) in conjunction with the University of Ballarat recognised Brad’s extensive judging experience, both at the AIBAs and other Australian awards, but also internationally at the World Beer Cup, the Great American Beer Festival, Brew NZ and most recently Beer Asia. He is also the chairman of the fledgling Craft Beer Industry Association, a body he helped found.

Mark O’Sullivan, CEO of RASV said: “The RASV is thrilled to have Brad Rogers join the AIBA as Chief Judge in a move that accompanies exciting changes to the Awards moving forward.

“Brad is a passionate industry figure and innovator whose experience as a brewer and judge will strengthen the Awards and its appeal to brewers worldwide. We also acknowledge and thank Peter Manders for his support and contribution to the Awards over the past eight years.”

Details of the 21st AIBA awards dinner are yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to be held during Good Beer Week 2013, which runs from May 18 to 26. Entries to the 2013 awards open from January 7 and close on February 15, with judging beginning on April 8.

The Crafty Pint has contacted Brad regarding his intentions for his new role and will update the story as soon as we get his response. But given he could well be the busiest man in the industry…

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