Indies Trophies To Change Hands Following Audit

December 7, 2021, by James Smith
Indies Trophies To Change Hands Following Audit

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.”


Wildflower is one of three brewers to receive state champion trophies following an audit of recent Indies results.


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

Mismatch now add to their impressive trophy collection with the 2020 and 2021 SA State Champion trophies.


Champion Independent Beer

Blasta Brewing – Blastaweizen 

Champion Large Brewery

Stomping Ground Brewing 

Champion Medium/Small Brewery

Moffat Beach Brewing 

Champion Brewpub

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

Champion Porter/Stout

Revel Brewing Neo-Mexicanus Black IPA

Champion Hybrid Beer

Stomping Ground Brewing - Hanging Rauch

Champion Lager

Sydney Brewery - Pilsner

Champion IPA

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

Moo Brew 

Champion Queensland Brewery

Moffat Beach Brewing

Champion South Australian Brewery 

Mismatch Brewing 

Champion New South Wales Brewery 


Champion ACT/Northern Territory Brewery 

Capital Brewing

Champion Western Australian Brewery

Blasta Brewing


Service to the Industry

Steve Jeffares & Guy Greenstone (Stomping Ground Brewing Co) 

Young Gun of the Year

Stephanie Howard (Cryer Malt) 

Community Initiative


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.

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