By Andy Young

Sydney Brewery has taken out the Champion Draught Beer and Champion Cider awards at the 2015 Sydney Royal Beer and Cider Show.

The brewery came out on top of a record number of entries, while Matilda Bay, produced by CUB Cascade Brewery, was awarded Champion Bottled Beer for its Redback Original. 

Speaking to TheShout just after collecting both awards Michael Capaldo, Sydney Brewery's head brewer, was understandably delighted.

"I'm over the moon, this is amazing. It's an incredible career night for us to win best cider in show and best beer in show. I'm very proud," Capaldo said.

The winning draught beer was the brewer's Lovedale Lager and his Sydney Cider was the other winner.

Capaldo explained to TheShout, what he felt was behind the success: "Our number one philosophy is on quality; you cannot compromise on quality with today's consumer. They are very educated, they are very knowledgeable, and they know what they want to drink. So we don't release a batch if it's not in spec. We make sure our procedures are impeccable, we make sure our raw materials are the best we can possibly get and we are constantly striving for the best quality product we can."

Speaking about the winning brews, Capaldo added: "Lovedale is a great lager, it's preservative free, it's just brewed well. It's light, it's refreshing but it's all about balance. It's 4.7 per cent, it's got all German hops and malts in it and with the water profiles, we pay a lot of attention to our mineral compositions and the way we handle our yeast.

"The whole process from grain to brain is very meticulous from us.

"The ciders have been an absolute labour of love for us. Again, it's all about freshness and quality. So we don't use concentrate, we use a few orchards around Australia depending on when the vintage is and it's all about the quality of the juice. We use a beautiful Champagne yeast and that just gives it a nice, winey, tart edge.

"This is a real career moment for us and something that our whole team is very proud of."

Chair of judges and head brewer at The Australian Brewery, Neal Cameron, said it was a phenomenal effort by both producers; however he was particularly impressed a small brewery could not only master a draught beer but accept top honours for cider as well. 

“In all my years in the industry and judging, I have never seen a small producer deliver two Championship products in the draft and cider classes at one event. Sydney Brewery’s Lovedale Lager and Sydney Cider are exceptional brews and I encourage all enthusiasts to get out and support them,” Mr Cameron said.

“The quality at this year’s Show was the highest we’ve seen, however it’s no surprise when entries have climbed over three-fold since inception in 2007 and we award 15 gold medals, the most we’ve ever seen.

The awards are presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and this year saw 15 Gold, 55 Silver and 73 Bronze medals awarded, in addition to the three Championship trophies.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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