Husband and wife team Frank Samson and Corinna Steeb at Prancing Pony Brewery. Image credit: John Kruger
South Australia’s Prancing Pony Brewery has won the pinnacle of awards at the International Beer Challenge (IBC) in London, with its India Red Ale crowned Supreme Champion Beer.
The India Red Ale was first awarded a gold medal, then the Trophy for Best Ale, before beating all the category winners to be named Supreme Champion Beer.
“It’s almost unbelievable that we have won the champion of the champions’ trophy for our India Red Ale. To be entering beers into an international competition and winning gold is spectacular but to see in print that our beer is considered ‘a world’s best’ is quite another thing. We are totally honoured and at the same time humbled by this experience,” Prancing Pony’s CEO Corinna Steeb told Beer & Brewer.
“Our customers tell us over and over again that the India Red is something special and we tend to agree. It’s a combination of getting the perfect hop flavour combinations together with a wonderful mix of malts that makes the India Red wonderfully balanced so even at 7.9 per cent ABV, this beer is very easy to drink and leaves long and lingering flavours.
“And just like our customers, the judges commented on the balance and harmony of flavours in this beer saying that it left a memorable taste impression even after tasting many other excellent beers.”
The IBC judges were impressed by the beer’s balance and bold but approachable flavours, which were ‘memorable enough to stand out in a field of very powerful, punchy beers’.
“It was evident from the judging that the standard was exceptionally high this year, because on several of the rounds I observed judges working on they really struggled to find a winner because the level was so high, and that carried forward to the trophy judging at the end of the day, where it was extremely difficult to separate the beers. I am certain we found a worthy Supreme Champion,” said Jeff Evans, IBC chairman.
Another big Aussie winner was Hawkers Beer, which was named Supreme Champion Brewery. While none of Hawkers’ five entries won a trophy, their average score was the highest in the competition.
The IBC attracts entries from more than 30 countries around the globe and from esteemed breweries like Weihenstephan (Germany), Deschutes (USA) and BrewDog (Scotland).
IBC judges include retailers, importers, publicans, brewers, writers and flavour analysts from the UK.
“This has well and truly put South Australian craft beer on the map and is true recognition for our totally hands-on approach to brewing,” says Steeb.