Written by Andrew Spence 

A dark ale crafted using six different specialty malts has taken out the top prize at the Royal Adelaide Beer & Cider Awards for the second consecutive year.

Fleurieu Peninsula brewery Smiling Samoyed has won the Best Beer in Show trophy beating more than 40 brewers for the title.

Described as a celebration of the darker malts, husband and wife team Simon Dunstone and Kate Henning add six different specialty malts to their Dark Ale to produce a blend of roasted, nutty, dark chocolate and coffee flavours.

The Myponga-based brewery’s Dark Ale also won the Champion South Australian Beer and Dark Ale classes.

Announced at the Adelaide Beer & Barbecue Festival at the Adelaide Showground, the awards were dominated by South Australia, with all but one of the trophies won by SA-based breweries.

Chief beer judge Simon Fahey said the awards, run by the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of South Australia, recognised the importance of Australia’s $7 billion beer and cider industry.

“This year’s awards attracted 196 entries from 42 brewers of all sizes and from four states of Australia, with all entries judged blind by an expert industry panel,” Fahey said.

Competition newcomers Pirate Life Brewing, which brews in Adelaide’s inner-west, won the Champion India Pale Ale and Champion American Style Pale Ale trophies, as well as the Chief Judges Award for Best New Exhibit (Pirate Life IPA) and the Champion Large Brewery trophy.

Iconic South Australian brewery Coopers also performed well, winning the Champion Australian Style Lager, Champion Traditional Australian Style Pale Ale and Champion Reduced Alcohol Beer trophies.

McLaren Vale’s Goodieson Brewery also won three trophies – Champion Wheat Beer, Champion Porter and Champion Small Brewery, while West End won the Champion Stout Beer award for its Southwark Old Stout.

Other winners included Woolshed Brewery’s Judas the Dark (Champion Hybrid Beer), Prancing Pony Brewery (Champion Pilsner) and Vale Brewing’s Vale Amber (Champion Other Lager). New South Wales’s Modus Operandi Brewing was the only non-South Australia brewery to win a trophy (Champion Medium Brewery).

In the cider section, The Hills Cider Company’s Apple Solera Series won two trophies – Best South Australian Cider Exhibit and Best in Show, while the Barossa Valley Cider Company won the Best Perry trophy for its Squashed Pear Cider.

Brewer of the winning beer, Smiling Samoyed, was founded in 2012 by Dunstone and Henning after a home brewing hobby got out of control.


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