An Adelaide Hills micro-brewery has beaten the big guys to win the Most Outstanding Beer in Show trophy at the 2022 Royal Adelaide Beer and Cider Awards (RABCA).

Balhannah’s Left Barrel Brewing won the title at the July 15 event, awarded to the entry with the most points overall, for their German-style lager, Bob’s Ya Dunkel, which also took home the Champion Lager trophy.

WA’s Nowhereman Brewing Co won the Champion Small Brewery trophy for their Mr Otters Barley Wine, as well as the Champion Porter or Stout trophy with their Alpharon Stout.

South Australia’s Vale Brewing won Champion Large Brewery for their IPA, as well as the Champion Ale title.

Chair of beer judges Stephen Nelsen said the Awards, run by the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of SA, recognise achievements in quality, consistency and innovation from Australia’s brewing and cider industries.

“This year’s awards attracted 347 entries from breweries across Australia. The return of interstate judges this year has been a boon for the competition, with all beers judged blind by the same panel demonstrating the competition’s commitment to fairness and consistency.

“By far the most entered category was pale ales with more than 80 submissions. There were some great examples of both the traditional, drier products, versus the rising numbers of hop-forward fruity and less bitter offerings to suit the younger market, with both types excelling.

“Mid-strength, reduced alcohol, and booze-less entries are swelling in volume and range, and some of the ales using novel hops were truly sessionable.

“Specialties, including wheat beers, sours, flavoured beers and barrel ageing are all really improving in quality and craftsmanship. As predicted, lagers, and in particular darker varieties, gained popularity and earned gold medals.”

Other South Australian breweries to receive recognition included Kick Back Brewing, who won the Champion Reduced Alcohol Beer trophy for their Mid Coast exhibit, and Swell Brewing Company’s Getting Barrelled which was named Champion Alternative Grain Beer/Speciality. They were joined by Brightstar Brewing’s Schwarzbier, which was the highest scoring exhibit from an entrant in their first year of competing. Another Western Australian producer, Otherside Brewing, won the Champion IPA trophy for their Hazy Double.

In the cider classes, Hills Cider Company’s Apple Cider won the Best Cider in Show trophy, as well as the Best South Australian Exhibit. They were joined by Barossa Valley Cider Company who won Best Perry in Show.

Chief cider judge Warwick Billings said cider-makers continued to evolve in recent years, resulting in a maturity in production techniques and an increase in the number of very good ciders which was reflected in the medal count.

“In particular, we noticed an increasing level of finesse in the fruit ciders this year, which was welcomed by judges. Cider has grown in popularity and diversity and we are seeing this reflected in the standard of entries into the Royal Adelaide Beer and Cider Awards.”

MAJOR AWARDS
CHAMPION SMALL BREWERY (<250,000 litres per annum)
Nowhereman Brewing WA
CHAMPION LARGE BREWERY (250,000 litres or greater per annum)
Vale Brewing SA
MOST OUTSTANDING BEER IN SHOW
Left Barrel Brewing SA Bob’s Ya Dunkel

BEER AWARDS
CHAMPION REDUCED ALCOHOL BEER
Kick Back Brewing Mid Coast
CHAMPION LAGER
Left Barrel Brewing Bob’s Ya Dunkel
CHAMPION ALE
Vale Brewing Vale IPA
CHAMPION IPA
Otherside Brewing Hazy Double
CHAMPION PORTER OR STOUT
Nowhereman Brewing Alpharon
CHAMPION ALTERNATIVE GRAIN BEER/SPECIALTY
Swell Brewing Getting Barrelled
Highest scoring exhibit from an exhibitor in their first year of exhibiting
Brightstar Brewing Schwarzbier

CIDER AWARDS
BEST CIDER IN SHOW
Hills Cider Company Apple
BEST PERRY IN SHOW
Barossa Valley Cider Company Squashed Pear Cider
BEST SA CIDER EXHIBIT (Cider or Perry must have been fermented in SA using at least 90% SA fruit)
Hills Cider Company Apple

This is an edited version of a media release distributed by the Royal Adelaide Beer and Cider Awards.

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