By Amy Looker in Melbourne

US brewers were the big winners at last night’s (May 20) Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) held in Melbourne.

The prestigious awards were presented at a gala dinner at Crown Casino’s Palladium, with Norway’s Nøgne Ø – Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri of Grimstad taking home the top gong, the Champion Exhibitor Trophy, and the award for Champion Small Brewery.

Of the 15 major awards up for grabs, international breweries snagged 11 of the trophies, with five trophies awarded to US beers, two to New Zealand, and one each for first time entrant, Denmark and brewing giant, Germany.

Australian breweries took out four awards at the event with defending Champion Exhibitor, Feral Brewing, awarded the Champion Ale, while the Premier’s Trophy for the Best Victorian Beer was awarded to 2 Brothers Brewery.

New South Wales breweries Hunter Beer Company and Redoak Pty Ltd took out the Champion Porter and Champion Reduced / Low Alcohol Beer trophies respectively.

More than 1170 beers, including 495 international entries and 675 Australian entries, were judged by an international judging panel over the course of two weeks.

Chairman of judges, Peter Manders, said the number of trophies awarded to international breweries was an indication of the quality of entries that AIBA attracts.

“A panel of 30 judges which included, Professor Paul Hughes of Heriot-Watt University in the UK, Director of Brewing Operations Jaime Jurado of Gambrinus Company in the US and international brewing consultant, Brian Watson of New Zealand, tested the beers over two weeks, experiencing some of the most fantastic beers in the world,” Manders said.

This year also marked the first time a Champion Gluten Free Beer Trophy was introduced, however, no trophy was awarded.

“Judging the 12 gluten free beers in accordance with international beer standards, the brews that use products such as rice, millet and sorghum to replace wheat, did not stand up in 2010 with the panel unable to nominate a Champion, remaining true to its quality benchmarking standards,” said Manders.

AIBA is held annually by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria and the University of Ballarat. The first awards were held in 1993 and has grown to attract entries from 34 countries.

All the major winners:

  • Champion Lager – Hoss Rye Lager, Great Divide Brewing Company, Colorado, USA
  • Champion Ale – The Runt, Feral Brewing Company, Western Australia, Australia
  • Champion Porter – Hunter Chocolate Porter, Hunter Beer Company, New South Wales, Australia
  • Champion Stout – Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, Mikkeller, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Champion Reduced & Low Alcohol Beer – Redoak Bitter, Redoak Pty Ltd, New South Wales, Australia
  • Champion Wheat Beer – Emerson’s Weizenbock, Emerson’s, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Champion Belgian & French Ale – The Sixth Glass, Boulevard Brewing Company, Missouri, USA
  • Champion Scotch & Barley Wines – Samual Adams Longshot Barley Wine, The Boston Beer Company, Massachusetts, USA
  • Champion Hybrid Beer – Black Butte XXI, Deschutes Brewing, Oregan USA
  • Champion Packaging Award – Scotts Pale Ale – 6 Pack Holder, Scotts Brewing Co, Auckland, New Zealand
  • NEW Champion Gluten Free Beer – No trophy awarded
  • Premier’s Trophy – Voodoo, 2 Brothers Brewery, Victoria, Australia
  • Gary Sheppard Memorial Trophy – Big Sky Brewing Company, Montana, USA
  • Champion Large Brewery – Weihenstephan Brewery, Friesing, Germany
  • Champion Small Brewery – Nøgne Ø – Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri, Grimstad, Norway
  • The prestigious Grand Champion Exhibitor Trophy (awarded to the most successful exhibitor) – Nøgne Ø – Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri, Grimstad, Norway

The Shout Team

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