Big winners at the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), 4 Pines Brewing Co. and Mountain Goat Beer, have both proclaimed the strength of the Australian craft beer industry and its growing momentum, on the back of their awards.
Victoria’s Mountain Goat Beer, which celebrates an impressive 18 years of brewing in 2015, won Champion Australian Beer for its Barley Wine – Barrel Beer.
“It feels a bit surreal really. But very exciting and great to see the lift it gives all the Goats,” said Mountain Goat Beer co-owner Cam Hines. “We sometimes joke that we started 10 years too early, because there were very few people who understood what we were trying to do in the early days. But it’s fantastic to see the way Australians are now embracing good beer. I think the momentum craft now has will only keep building.”
This was a sentiment echoed by 4 Pines Brewing Co. founder Jaron Mitchell, whose Sydney brewery opened in 2008.
“A craft beer industry hardly existed seven years ago. There were lots of brewers, however a market place to get our beers out was very thin,” Mitchell said. “Now there are about twice as many brewers and this market place is thriving. Consumers and retailers squarely have ‘craft beer’ as part of their vernacular, with what now seems like an unlimited thirst (pun) for local excellent beers. It’s an exciting industry and an exciting time to be involved.”
Another big winner at the 2015 AIBA was Lion Beer Spirits Wine, New Zealand which took home the Champion International Beer award for its Speight’s 5 Malt Old Dark. Champion Medium and Small Australian Brewery Trophies were awarded to Thunder Road Brewing Company and Boatrocker Brewing Company.
“We have been extremely impressed by the high quality product coming through, and 2015’s pool of entrants has not disappointed,” said head judge, Warren Pawsey.
4 Pines Brewing Co.’s win in the Champion Large Brewery category is particularly impressive considering it was up against much bigger brewers with greaterresources. So just how does it feel to win such a prestigious award?
Jaron Mitchell put it this way: “Not quite as good as male hand model of the decade or the one time my Nanna said I was really handsome, but this is still a very special achievement and something to celebrate. We will finally have made daddy proud and he’ll have to listen to what we have to say. He loves our sister the most, so even if for a day he gives us some respect, it is now all worthwhile.”
Mountain Goat’s Hines reflected that while winning Champion Australian Beer is a huge achievement, so too is keeping a business running for 18 years.
“It does feel like a very significant achievement. I think just keeping Goat on the rails for 18 years has in itself been a big thing. Dave and I continue to be challenged but continue to love what we‘re doing. Mountain Goat has sort of mapped out my life in a way,” he said.
Held in conjunction with Good Beer Week, the 2015 AIBA attracted a record number of entries with more than 1,700 submissions from 344 exhibitors, across 35 countries.
Full details of all the AIBA award winners are listed below.
2015 Australian International Beer Awards – Champion Trophy Winners
Barrett Burston Malting Trophy for Champion Australian Beer: Barley Wine – Barrel Breed (Draught) – Mountain Goat Beer, VIC
ExpoNet Trophy for Champion International Beer: Speight’s 5 Malt Old Dark (Packaged) – Lion Beer Spirits Wine, NZ
GrainCorp Trophy for Champion Large Australian Brewery: 4 Pines Brewing Company, NSW
Barrett Burston Malting Trophy for Champion Large International Brewery: Brouweris De Halve Maan, Belgium
Kegstar Trophy for Champion Medium Australian Brewery: Thunder Road Brewing Company, VIC
Federation University Australia Trophy for Champion Medium International Brewery: Pelican Pub & Brewery, USA
FB*PROPAK Trophy for Champion Australian Small Brewery: Boatrocker Brewing Company, VIC
City of Ballarat Trophy for Champion International Small Brewery: ParrotDog Brewing, NZ
Gary Sheppard Memorial Trophy for Best New Exhibitor: Yantai Platinum Brewing Company, China
AIBA Media Award presented by The Crafty Pint: Luke Robertson, Ale of a Time
2015 Australian International Beer Awards – Major Trophy Winners
Bargo Events Trophy for Best Australian Style Lager: 333 Premium Export – Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp, Vietnam
Federation University Australia Trophy for Best European Style Lager: Byron Bay Premium (Draught) – The Byron Bay Brewing Co, NSW
Hellman Beverage Logistics Trophy for Best International Lager: Red Horse Extra Strong Brew (Packaged) – San Miguel Beer Limited, Philippines
City of Ballarat Trophy for Best International Pale Ale: Anytime IPA (Draught) – Temple Brewing Company, VIC
The Post Project Trophy for Best Australian Style Pale Ale: Sandman (Draught) – The Byron Bay Brewing Co, NSW
Time Out Trophy for Best British Style Ale: Fuller’s 1845 Celebration Strong Ale (Packaged) – Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC, UK
Bargo Events Trophy for Best European Style Ale: Sporting Ale (Draught) – Thirsty Crow, NSW
Kegstar Trophy for Best IPA: Epic Armageddon IPA (Draught) – Epic Brewing Company, NZ
Cryermalt Trophy for Best Amber/Dark Ale: Speight’s 5 Malt Old Dark (Packaged) – Lion Beer Spirits Wine, NZ
Weyermann Specialty Malts Trophy for Best Porter: Temptress (Draught) – Holgate Brewhouse, VIC
Spiegelau Trophy for Best Stout: Monteith’s Velvet Stout (Packaged) – DB Draught Brewery, NZ
Beer DeLuxe Trophy for Best Wheat Beer: Weihenstephan Kristall Weissbier (Packaged) – Weihenstephan, Germany
Brewtique Trophy for Best Belgian & French Style Ale: Mad Abbot Christmas Ale 2013(Packaged) – The Little Brewing Company, NSW
RASV Trophy for Best Scotch & Barley Wine: Barley Wine – Barrel Breed (Draught) – Mountain Goat Beer, VIC
Plasdene Glass-Pak Trophy for Best Specialty Beer: Red Rock Paardebloem (Packaged) – Red Rock Brewing Co, USA
RASV Trophy for Best Reduced/Low Alcohol: ClippedWing (Packaged) – ParrotDog Brewing, NZ
ExpoNet Trophy for Best Pilsner: Trumer Pils (Draught) – Trumer Australia, VIC
Brewtique Trophy for Best Packaging: Bastard Children of the British Empire (Set of 6 Bottles) – 4 Pines Brewing Company, NSW