There was much cause for home state delight at last night’s Perth Royal Beer Show awards. Many of the trophies were collected by Western Australian breweries and even those won by interstaters had strong connections to WA.
Case in point is the winner of the major brewery prize, which saw Pirate Life (pictured above) continue its phenomenal start to life by taking out the Best Commercial Brewery title just months after releasing its first beers. Although based in Adelaide, its brewers, Red Proudfoot and Jack Cameron, who met while working at BrewDog in Aberdeen, both hail from WA and brewed at Cheeky Monkey and Little Creatures before setting sail on their own adventure across the border.
The Pirate Life Pale Ale won gold as a beer (both draught and packaged) and in the packaging category, with big brother IIPA also collecting gold in the IPA category (both draught and packaged). There were silvers for its Export Stout and Throwback (session) IPA.
Meanwhile, Best Commercial Beer went to another interstate entrant, Melbourne’s 3 Ravens, for their Dark, a rauchbier / smoke beer. However, since 2013, 3 Ravens – which also collected Best Reduced Alcohol Beer (Packaged) for its Prince-parodying Berliner Weisse Purple Stain – has been owned by Swan Valley based Mash Brewing, who also continued to stuff their own swelling trophy cabinet.
Mash’s Copy Cat – last year’s Australian International Beer Awards Champion Australian Beer – won Best Western Australian Beer as the brewery retained the Best Western Australian Brewery title it won in 2014 too.
Other local successes included Emu Export taking Best Lager Packaged and Indian Ocean’s Mumme Returns winning Best Lager Packaged. Both Best Stout titles stayed in WA too, with Little Creatures’ winter seasonal Return of the Dread taking the Packaged trophy and Nail’s Flaming Lamington winning in the draught category.
On the eve of the awards, with word spreading that not only was there a record number of entries – 570 from 49 commercial and 110 amateur brewers – but a higher standard than ever before, Nail’s John Stallwood had confessed to being nervous that his long-running streak of collecting a trophy at every award he entered may come to an end. He also said he believed the Flaming Lamington was one of the "top beers" he’d ever brewed and, with the judges enjoying it too, his streak continues.
There were also WA winners in the Reduced Alcohol Draught (Gage Roads Pils 3.5), and Best Wheat Beer Packaged (Billabong Wheat) and Draught (Duckstein Hefeweizen).
Chief judge Sean Symons said it “has been an exemplary year for beer – demonstrating that WA is an empirical part of the beer renaissance.”
He added: “The Amateur section demonstrated both an impressive range of style and more attention to detail in their entries with the standards continuing to improve year on year.
“The Commercial section was more focused on excellent quality with a substantial increase in gold and silver medals awarded.”
In the Amateur section, Best Amateur Brewer went to Mark Smith while Best Amateur Beer of the Show went to Ryan Lucas for his Wee Heavy Bourbon Oak Soaked Scotch Ale.
The Hopco Trophy for BEST COMMERCIAL BREWERY
- Pirate Life Brewing
The Sail and Anchor Trophy for BEST WESTERN AUSTRALIAN BREWERY
- Mash Brewing
The Beer and Beef Club of Perth Trophy and Cash Prize of $1,000 for BEST COMMERCIAL BEER OF THE SHOW
- 3 Ravens Brewery – Dark
The Premier’s Trophy (on behalf of the Government of Western Australia) for BEST WESTERN AUSTRALIAN BEER OF THE SHOW
- Mash Brewing – Copy Cat
The James Squire Trophy for BEST AMATEUR BREWER
- Mark Smith
The Brewmart Trophy for BEST AMATEUR BEER OF THE SHOW
- Ryan Lucas – Wee Heavy Bourbon Oak Soaked Scotch Ale
The Edith Cowan University Trophy for BEST LAGER PACKAGED
- West End Brewery – Emu Export Lager
The Cryer Malt Trophy for BEST LAGER DRAUGHT
- Indian Ocean Brewing Co – Mumme Returns
The Container Refridgeration Trophy for BEST ALE PACKAGED
- Pirate Life Brewing – Pirate Life IIPA
The Beer and Beef Club of Perth Trophy for BEST ALE DRAUGHT
- 3 Ravens Brewery – Dark
The Edith Cowan University Trophy for BEST STOUT PACKAGED
- Little Creatures Brewery – Return of the Dread
The Hopco Trophy for BEST STOUT DRAUGHT
- Nail Brewing – Flaming Lamington
The Lion Trophy for BEST REDUCED ALCOHOL PACKAGED
- Mash Brewing – Purple Stain
The Clancy’s Fish Pub Fremantle Trophy for BEST REDUCED ALCOHOL DRAUGHT
- Gage Roads Brewery – Pils 3.5
The Brewmart Trophy for BEST WHEAT BEER PACKAGED
- Billabong Brewery – Wheat
The Cryer Malt Trophy for BEST WHEAT BEER DRAUGHT
- Duckstein Brewery – Hefeweizen
The Menu Magazine Trophy for BEST PACKAGING AND DESIGN
- Pirate Life Brewing