The Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) has announced the inaugural Craft Beer Awards: The Best Of Australian Brewing will be held during Sydney Craft Beer Week.

The Craft Beer Awards will be open to all Australian breweries and brewing companies that produce less than 40 million litres per annum. Entries open 4 August, with judging occurring 21-22 October and the awards ceremony on 24 October.

“The CBIA’s purpose is to be the independent voice shaping and driving the future of Australian craft beer and holding our own awards has always been an important part of achieving this,” said CBIA Chair Dave Bonighton.

“Competitions have many benefits for the industry: quality improvement, professional development for participants and providing further marketing opportunities for the successful beers among them. Being able to put Champion Australian Craft Beer on the side of the bottle will be a major coup for one Australian brewer.”

The CBIA has assembled a line-up of some of Australia’s best beer judges including; Neal Cameron (Australian Brewery), Warren Pawsey (Little Creatures Brewing) and Chuck Hahn (Malt Shovel Brewery).

“With the Craft Beer Awards we have decided to follow the World Beer Cup model and not appoint a head judge. This will ensure that all of Australia’s best brewers will be able to enter their beers with no concerns of a conflict of interest,” said Bonighton.

The Craft Beer Awards will judge nine categories with trophies awarded to the best beer in each category. The trophy winners will then be judged against each other with the winner taking the prestigious title of Champion Australian Craft Beer.

Awards will also be given to the best performing large (300,000 to 40 million litres per annum), medium (50,000 to 299,999 litres per annum) and small (up to 49,999 litres per annum) breweries. Another major award will be the CBIA Services to Australian Craft Beer award.

“This will be the chance for the industry to recognise one of the many individuals whose tireless efforts have helped build this fantastic industry,” said Bonighton.

Full details of the Craft Beer Awards including style guidelines, entry fees and the judging system will be available on the Craft Beer Awards 2014 page of the CBIA website (australiancraftbeer.org.au) from 4 August when entries open.

The awards presentation ceremony will be held at the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Redfern, with beer lovers able to rub shoulders with nation’s best brewers as the awards are handed out.

Guests will be able to sample a range of the beers that had been entered in the awards. Tickets are $95 and are available here.

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