Back at the end of 2012, when compiling our 50 Beers of 2012 for James Halliday’s Wine Companion Magazine, we wrote: “The powers-that-be push stablemate Fat Yak but those in the know drink Matilda Bay’s genuine US pale ale.” In other words, their Alpha Pale Ale: the multiple award-winning beer that is inexcusably shunted to the back of their lineup by the marketing gurus at CUB.
That may be about to change, however, following the announcement of the trophy winners in the 2013 Australian International Beer Awards.
The Alpha Pale Ale was named Champion Australian Beer at the Gala Dinner on May 23 and also took out the trophy usually reserved for Feral’s Hop Hog, the Best International Pale Ale. There was still cheer for WA’s Feral, however, as it added the Champion Medium Australian Brewery title to last year’s Champion Large Australian Brewery after the trophies were split into Large, Medium and Small to recognise the greater diversity in today’s beer world. Feral also picked up Best Porter for its Boris, a slightly odd win given it is sold as an Imperial Stout, while Champion Large Australian Brewery went to CUB.
Completing the champion trophy lineup were 2 Brothers from Moorabbin, who continued their period of success with Champion Small Australian Brewery, Germany’s Weihenstephan (Champion Large International Brewery), Norway’s Nøgne Ø (Champion Medium International Brewery), and Renaissance from New Zealand (Champion Small International Brewery). Oud Beersel’s Oude Geuze took home Champion International Beer.
Among the other winners on the night were Mornington Peninsula Brewery’s Imperial Stout, an aged keg of which was tapped at Josie Bones for Good Beer Week and declared the best Victorian beer ever poured at the venue by its owners, Up Yer Kilt Scottish Ale from the tiny Brisbane Brewhouse, and Cooper’s Sparkling, which triumped in the Australian Pale Ale category.
Reflecting the increasingly international nature of the awards, which received its biggest number of entries this year, there were gongs for breweries from Brazil, Germany, Canada, the USA, Belgium, Norway and most notably New Zealand. Our friends from across the ditch are travelling back with no less than six titles, so perhaps we won’t get too much grief when our next article in James Halliday is published stating that the Kiwi craft scene is more advanced than ours…
Brad Rogers, AIBA Chief Judge said: "Stand out classes this year included beers competing for Best Stout, with 49 medals awarded, Best Amber/Dark Ale with 48 medals awarded, Best International Pale Ale with 43 medals awarded and, of course, Best Belgium & French Style Ale with 55 medals awarded, 11 of these gold."
"We are also pleased to have another first this year with a gold medal awarded in the Gluten Free Beer Class. This is a great result and a reflection that this beer is of the highest standard and quality in its category."
RASV CEO Mark O'Sullivan said: "The AIBA draws international recognition from the beer industry and showcases the commitment to excellence from brewers. Each year has seen standards continually improve and brewers continually exceed our expectations.
"This year in response to both Australian and international brewing industry changes and trends, a medium sized brewery category was introduced recognising, in particular, the global growth in the craft sector.
"The RASV would like to congratulate the AIBA 2013 winners, and thank all the Australian and international brewers who participated in the competition."
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
2013 Champion Trophies
BARRETT BURSTON MALTING TROPHY FOR CHAMPION AUSTRALIAN BEER
ALPHA PALE ALE: MATILDA BAY BREWING COMPANY, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
CITY OF BALLARAT TROPHY FOR CHAMPION INTERNATIONAL BEER
OUD BEERSEL OUDE GEUZE: OUD BEERSEL, VLAAMS-BRABANT, BELGIUM
GRAINCORP TROPHY FOR CHAMPION LARGE AUSTRALIAN BREWERY
CARLTON & UNITED BREWERIES – ABBOTSFORD, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
SPIEGELAU TROPHY FOR CHAMPION LARGE INTERNATIONAL BREWERY
DIE BAYERISCHE STAATSBRAUEREI WEIHENSTEPHAN, BAVARIA, GERMANY
FB*PROPAK TROPHY FOR CHAMPION MEDIUM AUSTRALIAN BREWERY
FERAL BREWING COMPANY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
CRYERMALT TROPHY FOR CHAMPION MEDIUM INTERNATIONAL BREWERY
NØGNE Ø – DET KOMPROMISSLØSE BRYGGERI, GRIMSTAD, NORWAY
BREWPACK TROPHY FOR CHAMPION SMALL AUSTRALIAN BREWERY
2 BROTHERS BREWERY, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
CITY OF BALLARAT TROPHY FOR CHAMPION SMALL INTERNATIONAL BREWERY
RENAISSANCE BREWING LTD, MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND
GARY SHEPPARD MEMORIAL TROPHY FOR BEST NEW EXHIBITOR
SCHLOSSBRAUEREI AU-HALLERTAU, AU-HALLERTAU, GERMANY
2013 Major Trophies
CITY OF BALLARAT TROPHY FOR BEST AUSTRALIAN STYLE LAGER
MAC’S GOLD: LION – THE PRIDE, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA TROPHY FOR BEST EUROPEAN STYLE LAGER
TAXI: 2 BROTHERS BREWERY, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
UNIVERSITY OF BALLARAT TROPHY FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL LAGER
CASCADE PURE: CASCADE BREWERY CO, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA
BREWERS GUILD OF NEW ZEALAND TROPHY FOR BEST PILSNER
MAC’S HOP ROCKER: LION – THE PRIDE, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
BEER & BREWER MAGAZINE TROPHY FOR BEST AUSTRALIAN STYLE PALE ALE
COOPERS SPARKLING ALE DRAUGHT: COOPERS BREWERY LTD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
UNIVERSITY OF BALLARAT TROPHY FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL PALE ALE
ALPHA PALE ALE: MATILDA BAY BREWING COMPANY VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
BARRETT BURSTON MALTING TROPHY FOR BEST BRITISH STYLE ALE
UP YER KILT SCOTTISH ALE: BRISBANE BREWING CO, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
WEYERMANN SPECIALTY MALTING TROPHY FOR BEST EUROPEAN STYLE ALE
BAMBERG ALTBIER: CERVEJARIA BAMBERG, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
GOOD BEER WEEK TROPHY FOR BEST IPA SUPERCONDUCTOR:
8 WIRED BREWING, BLENHEIM, NEW ZEALAND
3 DEGREES MARKETING TROPHY FOR BEST AMBER / DARK ALE
SIREN RED ALE: LIGHTHOUSE BREWING CO, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
CRYERMALT TROPHY FOR BEST PORTER
BORIS: FERAL BREWING COMPANY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
GOOD BEER WEEK TROPHY FOR BEST STOUT
MORNINGTON RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT: MORNINGTON PENINSULA BREWERY, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
UNIVERSITY OF BALLARAT TROPHY FOR BEST REDUCED OR LOW ALCOHOL
CARLTON MID: CARLTON & UNITED BREWERIES – ABBOTSFORD, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA TROPHY FOR BEST WHEAT BEER
WEIHENSTEPHANER VITUS: DIE BAYERISCHE STAATSBRAUEREI WEIHENSTEPHAN, BAVARIA, GERMANY
WEYERMANN SPECIALTY MALTING TROPHY FOR BEST BELGIAN & FRENCH STYLE ALE
OUD BEERSEL OUDE GEUZE: OUD BEERSEL, VLAAMS-BRABANT, BELGIUM
LABELMAKERS GROUP TROPHY FOR BEST SCOTCH ALE & BARLEY WINE
TRIBUTE 2011 BARLEY WINE: RENAISSANCE BREWING LTD, MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND
BARREL MEDIA & EVENTS TROPHY FOR BEST SPECIALITY BEER
SAMUEL ADAMS NORSE LEGEND: BOSTON BEER COMPANY, MASSACHUSETTS, USA
LABELMAKERS GROUP TROPHY FOR BEST PACKAGING
TUATARA BREWING CO LTD PILSNER TWELVE BOTTLE CARTON: TUATARA BREWING CO LTD, WELLINGTON – KAPITI, NEW ZEALAND
TROPHY FOR BEST AMBER / DARK LAGER NOT AWARDED