Entries for the 2022 Independent Beer Awards (The Indies) are now open, with the awards featuring new categories and trophy classes, an integrated judge training and mentoring program, and a new scoring system of the flagship Champion Size and State trophies.
Brewers and brands have until August 12 to enter the awards, with judging commencing on September 26.
Independent Brewers Association CEO, Kylie Lethbridge, said the organisation had “listened to our industry” and as a result, was implementing a number of changes for this year’s competition.
Among these is ‘a revised trophy and class schedule welcoming new categories’, that responds to current beer trends and styles. These include: ‘Juicy-Hazy’, ‘NoLow’ and a more consumer-friendly name for the Hybrid and Mixed Culture category, ‘Fruit & Funk’.
There are changes to some of the smallest categories too, with Amber-Dark Ale being merged with Porter-Stout, creating the new ‘Amber-Dark Beer’ class.
The Indies is also introducing a new competition tech management system and improved feedback strategies, while creating a new Advisory Committee.
Probably the most important of the changes is a new scoring methodology for the Champion Size and State trophies, with the incoming method tracking a brewery’s total performance in the competition, not just its top beers.
From today, July 27, organisers are also welcoming expressions of interest from would-be judges, calling for those ‘the passion and experience to be part of the program’. Judging take place over two days, from August 26 to Wednesday 28 at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne.
A hybrid virtual and in-person awards night will be held on October 13.