Winners Out West

November 6, 2013, by Crafty Pint
Winners Out West

This year’s Perth Royal Beer Show has thrown up some eye-catching winners alongside the usual familiar faces. There will have been a heavily-laden plane heading back to Sydney too after New South Wales brewers came, saw and conquered, taking home five trophies. But while serial winners Redoak, of Sydney, will have been cheered by another three gongs to add to their incredible haul this year, perhaps the biggest smile will have been on the face of the head brewer at Indian Ocean Brewing.

Dave Brough headed to the brewpub on the very northern tip of Perth last year, having previously been at 3 Ravens in Melbourne, and set about revitalising a brewery that had, in his words, “lost some focus”. He got rid of all but one beer from the lineup and replaced them with new ones. Since then, the beers have picked up medals at the Australian International Beer Awards and now have seen Indian Ocean named Best WA Brewery – quite some feat given the competition.

To date, such is the excitement surrounding the trophy that all we’ve managed to get out of the well-travelled Brit is: “Feels like am on a blind date with Winona Ryder, only for her to tell me we are going shopping!” But either way, this may lead to a few more people making the trek north to Mindarie Marina – and Dave getting a few more orders for his beers from outside his seaside surrounds.

Other eye-catching winners included NSW brewing company Wayward Brewing, who took out the Best Packaged Lager for a 13 per cent Eisbock (a wonderful dessert beer if you ever find a bottle), and Bush Shack from Margaret River, with the longstanding little brewery collecting Best Stout Packaged.

Other trophies went to more familiar names. Feral took home The Premier’s Trophy for the Best West Australian Beer of the Show, The Beer and Brewer Magazine Trophy for Best Ale Packaged and The Beer and Beef Club of Perth trophy for Best Ale Draught for Hop Hog. Redoak’s trophies included Best Commercial Brewery, Best Commercial Beer (Weizendoppelbock) and Reduced Alcohol Draught (Bitter). Fellow New South Welshmen, the Australian Brewery, collected an award for their Dark Lager, while Matilda Bay – born in WA but now based in Victoria – collected Best Wheat Packaged for its Redback Original.


Peter Phillip of Wayward after collecting trophies at last month’s Australian Hotel Beer Festival


The remaining trophies stayed in WA with Gage Roads collecting Best Reduced Alcohol Packaged for its 3.5 Pils and Nail Brewing adding yet another trophy to its cabinet for Nail Stout – the sixth time the beer has won Best Stout in Perth (see above).

Sean Symons, chief judge and former brewer at WA Swan Brewery, said: “The Perth Royal Beer Show has always been very strong comp and it is great to see that we are getting interest and entries from across the country. It is a well renowned competition and the fact people are trying to enter it from all over the country is only a tribute to its strength.

“The local competition for WA beers also has always been strong. There were great local beers across all the categories and that is a tribute to the maturity of the local brewers and breweries.

“They continue to be of a high standard, and across the board there were some outstanding representations of individual styles.”

In the Amateur section, there was further success for Crafty Pint contributor Jeremy Sambrooks, who won Best Amateur Beer of the Show and Best Amateur Wheat Beer, although was pipped to the Best Amateur brewer by Brian Fitzgerald of Denmark, who also won Best Amateur Ale.

You can find the full results here or read a Brew & A with the new Best WA Brewery’s head brewer here.

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