Best independent beers of 2022 announced

Australia’s best independent beer of 2022 has been announced, with Sydney’s White Bay Beer Company taking the gong with its German-Style Pilsner.

The traditional lager was judged the best beer out of a total of 1458 entries from 207 breweries. This was a 15 per cent increase in entries over 2021 when 1389 beers from 180 breweries were judged, with 2022 the largest ever Australian Independent Beer Awards (The Indies).

The awards, announced at an online awards ceremony and multiple live events, saw Queensland again top the list of class trophies with 5 of the 10 trophies heading to the state. Moffat Beach again showed strongly with two class trophies, with Range Brewing, Madocke and Brouhaha Brewery also taking trophies.

New South Wales also featured strongly with four class trophies, going to Six String, The Grifter Brewing, White Bay Beer and Philter. Victoria’s Good Land Brewing Co also received a class trophy.

Class trophy winners were:

  • Pale Ale – Six String Brewing Co (NSW)
  • Amber/Dark Beer – The Grifter Brewing Co (NSW)
  • Juicy/Hazy – Range Brewing (QLD)
  • Specialty Beer – Good Land Brewing Co (VIC)
  • Lager – White Bay Beer Co (NSW)
  • IPA – Moffat Beach Brewing Co (QLD)
  • European-Style Ale – Madocke Beer Brewing Co (QLD)
  • NOLO (No & Low Alc) – Moffat Beach Brewing Co (QLD)
  • Strong Beer – Philter Brewing (NSW)
  • Fruit & Funk – Brouhaha Brewery (QLD)

This year the Champion Brewpub trophy was discontinued, with the Small/Medium category split into two separate categories. The winners of the brewery awards were:

  • Champion Large Brewery – Moon Dog Craft Brewery
  • Champion Medium Brewery – Moffat Beach Brewing Company
  • Champion Small Brewery – Wheaty Brewing Corps
  • Champion Contract Brewery – UpFlow Brewing

Four peer-nominated awards were announced, including industry veteran Neil Whittorn being recognised for his role in training and mentoring brewers over the course of his career, being award the Lifetime Achievement award.

The peer-nominated awards went to:

  • Lifetime Achievement – Neil Whittorn
  • Services to the Industry – Jade Flavell
  • Young Gun – Emma Locke
  • True Indie Supporter – Kieran Yewdall & Michael Shaughnessy

State-based trophies went to:

  • Victoria – Moon Dog Craft Brewery
  • Tasmania – Moo Brew
  • Queensland – Moffat Beach Brewing Co
  • South Australia – Barossa Valley Brewing
  • New South Wales – The Grifter Brewing Co
  • ACT/ Northern Territory (The Territories) – Bentspoke Brewing Co
  • Western Australia – Otherside Brewing Co

Entries showed the resurgence of lager as a category, with the 201 lagers entered being the second most contested category behind Pale Ales with 269 beers entered. Twenty-four gold medals were awarded in the Pale Ale class while lager saw 31 Gold Medals awarded.

In the new Juicy-Hazy category 162 beers were entered with 16 gold medals awarded while IPA received 176 entries for a total of 23 gold medals.

The Amber-Dark Beer class, newly combining the Amber-Dark with Porter Stout for 2022 saw 135 entries with 17 Golds.

The Specialty class, which includes beers with unusual additions and processes was renamed to the more consumer-friendly Hybrid trophy and received 155 entries with 25 taking the top medal.

The Strong Beer class received 100 entries (19 golds), renamed Fruit & Funk 98 entries (12 golds), European Style 37 entries (3 golds) and the new No & Low Alcohol class which includes Session, Reduced Alc and Non-Alc entries received 125 entries (14 gold).

Link to the full results catalog.

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