Mismatch Brewing Co’s Lager was named Champion Beer at the inaugural Indies held at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney last week.

Formerly known as the Australian Craft Beer Awards, the Indies are a celebration of the very best in Australian independent brewing.

In order to win, Mismatch Lager had to beat a total of 756 entries – the largest number of entries in the awards yet – of which 443 were draught and 313 were packaged.

The other Champion Trophy award winners for 2018 were:

  • Pale Ale: Philter Brewing XPA
  • Amber/Dark Ale: Dainton Brewery Red Eye Rye
  • Porter/Stout: The Grifter Brewing Co Omen
  • Hybrid Beer: Modus Operandi Brewing Vanilla Mocha Stout
  • Lager: Mismatch Brewing Co Lager
  • India Pale Ale: Modus Operandi Brewing #Gainz
  • European-Style Ale: BlackFont Brewhouse Saison de Ville
  • Session Beer: Moffat Beach Brewing Co Social Jam Mid Strength Pale
  • Strong Beer: Boatrocker Brewing Co Ramjet
  • Mixed Culture Beer: Boatrocker Brewing Co Daddy Koel

Based in the Adelaide Hills, Mismatch’s Lager is inspired by the great Helles-style beers of Germany, and Munich in particular. A smooth drinkable beer, it celebrates the famed Hallertau hops.

Mismatch’s Owen Lyons was very surprised by his two wins, having also won the Lager category, and described the feeling as “humbling”.

“It’s just amazing that someone appreciates the fact that we can brew a clean, crisp lager – I’m a bit lost for words,” he told Beer & Brewer.

“We make hoppy beers, we make sour beers, we make lager – our approach is to try and make every beer, which not every brewery does. Our lager is a Helles lager, but we’re a craft brewery so it’s tailored towards the palate of our consumers.

“Still, I think sometimes we can think a little bit too much about craft beer – we try to get a little bit too hoppy, we try to get a bit too fancy. This is just a quaffable lager, you can just drink it and not think about it too much.”

The Independent Brewery — Large award was awarded to Modus Operandi Brewing, based on Sydney’s northern beaches.  Independent Brewery — Medium went to Boatrocker Brewing Co in Melbourne, while Independent Brewery — Small, was taken out by Moffat Beach Brewing, located on the Sunshine Coast.

Mountain Goat co-founder Dave Bonighton was bestowed with the IBA Services to the Industry award, recognised in a speech by Two Birds’ Jayne Lewis for his years of service and dedication to the craft brewing scene.

In a further reflection of the continued dominance of Pale Ale, 179 of the entries were for this style; 14 were awarded a gold medal, 42 a silver and 70 a bronze. Lager (114) and IPA (103) also received a high number of entries.

The awards night was the culmination of BrewCon 2018, which ran from 26-28 June at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. The conference is the IBA’s keystone event and exists to build excellence and best-practice in the Australian beer industry.

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