By Tam Allenby, Assistant Editor, Beer & Brewer
The results of the 2017 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) were announced last night in Melbourne, with Victorian brewery White Rabbit taking out Champion Australian Beer for their White Rabbit White Ale (draught).
Another big winner was California-based brewery Firestone Walker, who won Champion International Beer for their Feral One (packaged) – with which they also won Best Belgian/French Ale – as well as Best Pilsner for their Pivo Pils (packaged).
Stone & Wood Brewing Co was awarded Champion Large Australian Brewery for the second year running, whilst DAGON Beverages of Myanmar were announced as Champion Large International Brewery.
Balter Brewing Company also had a big night, being awarded Champion Medium Australian Brewery while also taking home the Garry Sheppard Memorial Trophy for Best New Exhibitor, as well as the Best International Style Pale Ale for their popular XPA.
Queensland’s wins continued with Champion Small Australian Brewery being awarded to Green Beacon Brewing Co, while New Zealand took home the last of the Champion brewery honours with Deep Creek Brewing Company being awarded Champion Small International Brewery.
The Australian Gypsy Brewer Award was presented to ACT brewers Pact Beer Co., who only began production in 2015.
In the trophies for the 19 beer style categories, six were awarded to international breweries, six to Victorian breweries, five to New South Wales, two to Queensland and one to Western Australia.
And for the first time, two trophies were awarded in design categories: WA’s Colonial Brewing Company took home Best Label/Surface Graphic for their Pale Ale, while Wayward Brewing Company won Best Outer Packaging for their Wayward Core Range.
The AIBA is the largest annual beer competition in the world judging both draught and packaged beer, and celebrated 25 years this year – attracting a record number of entrants, with 1890 beers entered across the various categories.
Close to 200 more entries were also received in the design and media categories.
A panel of close to 80 international and local judges, overseen by Head Judge Brendan Varis (founder of Feral Brewing Co) assessed the entries over three days at Melbourne Showgrounds last week.
“As always the standard of beer entered was exceptional with the gold medal and trophy winning beers representing the absolute pinnacle of beer quality from around the globe,” said Varis.
The Awards are conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, and were presented at a gala dinner in front of 700 people as part of Good Beer Week.
For a full list of winners, see below:
2017 Australian International Beer Awards
- Champion Australian Beer presented by GrainCorp: White Rabbit Ale (Draught) – White Rabbit Brewery, VIC
- Champion International Beer: Feral One (Packaged) – Firestone Walker Brewing Co., USA
- Champion Large Australian Brewery presented by Barrett Burston Malting: Stone & Wood Brewing Co., NSW
- Champion Large International Brewery: DAGON Beverages Co., Myanmar
- Champion Medium Australian Brewery presented by CryerMalt: Balter Brewing Company, QLD
- Champion Medium International Brewery presented by Federation University Australia: Pelican Brewing Co., USA
- Champion Small Australian Brewery presented by FB*PROPAK: Green Beacon Brewing Co., QLD
- Champion Small International Brewery: Deep Creek Brewing Company, New Zealand
- Garry Sheppard Memorial Trophy for Best New Exhibitor: Balter Brewing Company, QLD
- Australian Gypsy Brewer Award presented by FB*PROPAK: Pact Beer Co, ACT
- Best Australian Style Lager: Storm Super Dry (Packaged) – Aldi Stores (Minchinbury), NSW
- Best European Style Lager – Presented by Federation University Australia: DAGON Extra Strong Beer (Draught) – DAGON Beverages Co., Myanmar
- Best International Lager – Presented by 3 Degrees Marketing: India Pale Lager (Draught) – Beer Farm, WA
- Best Pilsner – Presented by ExpoNet: Pivo Pils (Packaged) – Firestone Walker Brewing Co., USA
- Best Amber / Dark Lager – Presented by ExpoNet: Velkopopovicky Kozel Dark (Packaged) – Plzensky Prazdroj A.S., Czech Republic
- Best Australian Style Pale Ale – Presented by Plasdene Glass-Pak: Pay Day (Packaged) – 2 Brothers Brewery, Vic
- Best New World-Style Pale Ale – Presented by Hops Products Australia: Pale Ale (Draught) – Mountain Goat Beer, Vic
- Best International Style Pale Ale – Presented by The Post Project: Balter XPA (Packaged) – Balter Brewing Company, QLD
- Best British Style Ale – Presented by Time Out: Jasper Ale (Draught) – Stone & Wood Brewing Co., NSW
- Best European Style Ale – Presented by Hopco: Sourpuss Raspberry Berliner Weisse (Packaged) – Wayward Brewing Company, NSW
- Best IPA – Presented by Kegstar: Pulped Fiction (Draught) – Mountain Goat Beer, Vic Best Amber / Dark Ale Exit Amber (Packaged) – Exit Brewing, Vic
- Best Porter – Presented by Weyermann Specialty: Malts Silent Knight Porter (Draught) – Modus Operandi Brewing Company, NSW
- Best Stout: Sligo Extra Stout (Draught) – Foghorn Brewhouse, NSW
- Best Reduced / Low alcohol beer: Happiness (Draught) – 2 Brothers Brewery, Vic
- Best Wheat Beer – Presented by Dan Murphy’s: White Rabbit White Ale (Draught) – White Rabbit Brewery, Vic
- Best Belgian / French Ale: Feral One (Packaged) – Firestone Walker Brewing Co., USA
- Best Scotch Ale / Barley Wine: SEAMASTER Imperial Ale (Packaged) – Bach Brewing, NZ
- Best Specialty Beer – Presented by GABS: Raspberry Stout (Packaged) – Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, USA
- Best Design – Label / Surface Graphic: Pale Ale – Colonial Brewing Company, WA
- Best Design – Outer Packaging: Wayward Core Range – Wayward Brewing Company, NSW
- Best Media – Presented by The Crafty Pint: James Atkinson – Australian Brews News