Dark horses claim Champion Beer honours at AIBA

Ken Arrowsmith celebrates Beerland’s top prize

A small West Australian brewery won Champion Australian Beer at the Australian International Beer Awards, with the top international prize going to a little known American brewery.

Beerland Brewing is the umbrella company behind Northbridge Brewing Company and Whitfords Brewing Company, two brewpubs in Perth.

Veteran brewer Ken Arrowsmith heads up production for the company, which took out Champion Australian Beer for its Beerland Wheat Beer (Draught).

“The last two or three years we’ve got our share of silvers and the occasional gold, but tonight was a cracker for us. We’re really happy,” Arrowsmith told Brews News.

“We’ve got a couple of young brewers that are really working hard for us and they’re doing a great job. This is evidence of their dedication.”

Champion International Beer was awarded to California-based brewery Three Weavers Brewing Company for its Knotty (Packaged) beer, which was also awarded Best IPA.

“We’re a small brewery in Los Angeles, California. We’re about three and a half years old,” Three Weavers brewmaster Alexandra Nowell told Brews News.

Alexandra Nowell of Three Weavers Brewing Company

“We’re distributed by ExperienceIT in Australia, so this our launch week. Knotty you can find in Australia in draught and packaged now at a very limited scale, but we hope to send more.”

Among the other standout results were the Champion Medium Brewery honours won by Brisbane’s Green Beacon Brewing Company, backing up its 2017 Champion Small Brewery prize.

“Honestly, I just cannot believe this. Hard work, that’s what our brewing team does all day every day, that’s all I can say!” Green Beacon’s Johann van der Walt told Brews News.

And the Gary Sheppard Trophy for best new exhibitor was won by the little known Brownstone Microbrewery, operated by Steve Hendo Henderson and Kris Domagala.

“For five years, I’ve secretly run this little brewery you’ve never been to called Brownstone Microbrewery and passed awesome beer making skills on to new and upcoming brewers because we need more beer skills in Australia,” Hendo wrote on Instagram.

“Kris is such an amazing brewer who will go a long way in this industry.”

A full list of the trophy winners is available here, with the complete results on the AIBA website.

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