(l-r) Thunder Road’s Marcus Cox, 4 Pines’ Chris Willcock and Boatrocker’s Matt Houghton at Boatrocker Brewery
(l-r) Thunder Road’s Marcus Cox, 4 Pines’ Chris Willcock and Boatrocker’s Matt Houghton at Boatrocker Brewery


The Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) will unveil its Saison á Trois collaboration brew crafted by the 2015 Australian Champion Brewers at the upcoming 2016 AIBA presentation dinner next Thursday (19 May).

The limited-edition collaboration beer combines the knowledge, creativity and excellence of the 2015 AIBA Brewing Champions; 4 Pines Brewing Company, Thunder Road Brewing Company and Boatrocker Brewing Company representing the Large, Medium and Small Australian Brewer categories respectively.

Saison á Trois will be enjoyed for the first time at the 2016 AIBA Presentation Dinner as part of Melbourne’s Good Beer Week, alongside a special dessert created by master patissier Adriano Zumbo to match the beer.

Chris Willcock, chief brewer at 4 Pines Brewing Co. who won the 2015 Champion Large Australian Brewery said the brew is a one-of-a-kind, having been brewed on the rarest day of the year, 29 February.

“Matt, Marcus and I realised that we had a real appreciation for brewing traditional, but quite technical styles of beer,” Willcock said.

“We loved the idea of a French saison but we wanted to ramp up the malt and body to suit the late autumn launch at the AIBA.

“The light layering of hops, spice and citrus flavours, which we selected together on the day, should make this a complex yet drinkable style, which pairs nicely with the semi-sweet dessert.”

Matt Houghton, head brewer and founder at Boatrocker said it is a humbling experience to bring together the combined talents of other champion brewers to make the beer.

“Working with other Champion brewers to create Saison á Trois was fantastic,” said Houghton.

“Having the chance to collaborate on producing a beer as challenging as a saison was a lot of fun, and I think we all took home a little piece of each other’s inspiration as brewers at the end of the brew day.”

Marcus Cox, head brewer for Thunder Road Brewing Company, was thrilled to be a part of the prestigious collaboration brew for the second successive year, with back-to-back wins as Champion Medium Australian Brewery in 2014 and 2015.

“The main difference to last year is the new knowledge and experience that the 2015 Champion Breweries bring to the collaboration brew this year,” said Cox.

“The brewing experience was much more intimate this year as 4 Pines Brewing Co. is a smaller scale large brewery and Boatrocker is a more unconventional brewery and kept things new and exciting throughout the brewing process.”

The brewers combined two traditional yeast strains, fresh hops, dried tangerine peel and dark Belgian candy syrup to create a refreshing, lightly spiced, sweet citrus seasonal version of the style.

Beer enthusiasts will also have the opportunity to taste Saison á Trois and try other award-winning 2016 AIBA beers from the AIBA – Golden Taps stand at the GABS Festival, 20-22 May at the Royal Exhibition Building.

Now in its 24th year, AIBA is the world’s largest annual beer competition judging both packaged and draught beer and is presented annually by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV).



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