The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW has announced the addition of nine new major trophies and prizes to the 2024 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show as it refreshes the competition’s award structure, including a brand new reduced or no-alcohol championship title.

The new model for the show will focus on beverage style over packaging, aiming to better reflect the broad range of beers, ciders and perries in the Australian market and almost doubling the number of trophies and special prizes available.

Ian Kingham, Chair of Judges, explained that the changes bring the competition’s award structure into alignment with modern trends in the beer and cider industry and among consumers.

“The updated structure will ensure that the competition’s focus provides a true reflection of trending new world styles and interpretations, and a fair comparison of these styles for the Championship awards. It will also provide more opportunities for exhibitors to be recognised as a Champion producer,” said Kingham.

This year’s championship trophies and special prizes include Lager, Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Amber or Dark Ale, Wheat or Other Grain, Fruit or Sour, Porter or Stout, Experimental or Specialty, Cider, Perry, Reduced or No Alcohol Beer or Cider, Best NSW Beer or Cider, and Best Beer or Cider of Show.

Entries for the 2024 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show are set to close next week, on Wednesday 29 May, before judging takes place on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 September.

This year, a total of 25 judges will assess exhibits, involving a rigorous score-based evaluation and individual product feedback which focuses on appearance, aroma, flavour, technical merit and style.

The juding model allows for a comparison of products against industry benchmarks and provides producers with an opportunity to refine their practices and standard of excellence.

Kingham added: “The quality and experience of our judges this year is exceptional, with a distinctly diverse group of judges from brewing, media and sensory backgrounds, representing family, small and large businesses, and of varying ages, experience and gender.

“It gaves me great pleasure to once again serve as the Chair of Judges for this prestigious competition. The beer and cider industry is still experiencing an extraordinary period of growth and innovation and I’m excited to see what this year’s producers bring to the table,” he concluded.

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