Winners are grinners – Grant and Jaz Wearin, withDJ McCready

Incredibly just over two months since opening, Mona Vale’s Modus Operandi Brewing Co has dominated the inaugural Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) Craft Beer Awards, taking out four of the 11 awards.

In addition to winning Labelmakers Champion Amber/Dark Ale, Beer & Brewer Champion IPA and Hopco Champion Small Brewery, Modus Operandi was also bestowed with the ultimate award of Kegstar Champion Australian Craft Beer.

Sydney’s4 Pines Brewing Company triumphed over 92 competitors in the AIBA Pale Ale category to be crowned champion with their ESB. But in the battle of the states, it was Victoriathat produced the largest number of winning breweries, with Moon Dog Brewing,Two Birds Brewing andLa Sirène all receiving Champion trophies.

Industry stalwart Willie Simpson was honoured with the CBIA Services to Australian Craft Beer Award, recognising his lengthy contribution to the industry both as a brewer, craft beer advocate and as a reviewer.

On receiving his award, Simpson said, “I’m really very humbled and honoured to be the inaugural recipient of this award. The craft beer industry is really finding its legs in Australia and it’s a great time to be part of it. After writing about the Australian craft beer scene for so long, it’s very exciting to be in it now as a brewer.”

CBIA chair Peta Fielding feels these awards are an important celebration and will help shine the light on Australia’s thriving craft beer industry.

“With more than 280 beers from 80 breweries submitted for the Craft Beer Awards, we were blown away by not only the quality but the variety of brewers we have in Australia. We really feel the awards offer a unique opportunity for Australian craft breweries to be benchmarked against their local peers and are proud the CBIA can help draw attention to these talented brewers.”

The 2014 Craft Beer Award category winners are:
Kegstar Champion Australian Craft Beer
‘Former Tenant’, Modus Operandi Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

AIBA Champion Pale Ale
‘ESB’, 4 Pines Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

Labelmakers Champion Amber/Dark Ale
‘Former Tenant’, Modus Operandi Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

Champion Porter and Stout
‘Black Lung IV’, Moon Dog Brewing (Melbourne, VIC)

Champion Speciality Beer
‘Taco’, Two Birds Brewing (Melbourne, VIC)

Beer & Brewer Champion IPA
‘Zoo Feeder’, Modus Operandi Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

Champion French and Belgian style
‘Saison’, La Sirène (Melbourne, VIC)

Hopco Champion Small Brewery (up to 49,999 litres/per annum)
Modus Operandi Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

Cryer Malt Champion Medium Brewery (50,000 to 299,999 litres/per annum)
Nail Brewing Australia (Perth, WA)

Bintani Champion Large Brewery (300,000 to 40m litres/per annum)
Joint winners: 4 Pines Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW) and Two Birds Brewing (Melbourne, VIC)

CBIA Services to Australian Craft Beer
Willie Simpson

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