Mazen Hajjar (L) and Joseph Abboud (R) accept their award from Pete Mitcham

Hawkers Beer, a new craft brewery located in Reservoir, north of Melbourne’s CBD, took out the People’s Choice award at the Great Australian Beer Festival (GABF) on the weekend.

The punters at the Geelong festival named Hawkers Pale Ale as their favourite, in spite of the brewery only having been in operation for a matter of weeks.

Hawkers was founded by Melbourne chef and restaurateur Joseph Abboud together with Mazen Hajjar of Lebanon’s first craft brewery, 961 Beer, which was introduced by Abboud to the Australian market in 2013.

Hajjar recently moved to Australia with his young family and the duo decided to set up a new brewery in Melbourne.

“Beer has changed my life,” said Abboud, who three years ago considered himself a non-beer drinker.

“I really had no idea that beer could taste so good and could have a place on the dining table as wine does. I look forward to seeing beer become a big part of Melbourne’s dining scene,” he said.

Alongside the American-inspired pale ale, the initial range from Hawkers also includes a traditional Czech Pilsner, an IPA and a saison.



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