With entries now open for the 2013 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has thrown the doors open in the search for Australia’s best beers and ciders.

With 2013 being the first year that the competition has been a standalone event, due to its increasing popularity, this is also the first year that cider will be put under the judging microscope.

The changes to the competition – first instated in 2007 – reflect the changing face of the Australian consumer market with craft beer and craft cider exponentially growing in popularity.

As such respected brewer, beer judge and cider expert, Neal Cameron – Head Brewer at the Australian Brewery – will take on the role of Chief Judge for the competition. Cameron brings considerable industry experience as a regular beer and cider judge, a tasting panellist for Beer & Brewer Magazine and the Treasurer of Cider Australia.

According to Cameron Sydney Royal has set an unquestionably high standard in both judging and benchmarking, something he says is a more than a little intimidating when being asked to carry on the tradition, especially in the face of such a rapidly developing market.

“Australia is going through an unprecedented cider boom currently, with over 100 producers now creating products for the domestic market,” he says. “It will be fantastic to have the opportunity to support these producers with the inclusion of cider into the awards for the first time.”

Classes to be judged include Golden Lagers, Dark Lagers, Pale and Golden Ales, Amber and Dark Ales, Stouts and Porters, Wheat Beers, Strong Beers, Reduced Alcohol Beer, Cider, Perry and Speciality Beer.

Entries for the Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show close next week on Wednesday 7 August, 2013.

All exhibitors are encouraged to enter online by visiting www.sydneyroyal.com.au/beercider

Competition award winners will be celebrated at a function held at Sydney Showground on Friday 20 September, and members of the public are invited to attend to meet the winning producers, talk to the competition judges and taste outstanding award-winning beer and cider.

Tickets will be on sale from mid-August at www.sydneyroyal.com.au/beercider.

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