IBA seeks judges for Indies

The Independent Brewers Association has launched Expressions of Interest for aspiring judges and stewards for the 2023 Australian Independent Beer Awards.

The annual beer awards celebrating independent brewing received 1,400 entries in 2022 and is expecting a bigger event this year, with its associated tradeshow BrewCon returning for the first time since COVID.

Indies judging will take place at Felons Barrel Hall in Brisbane from Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 August and Expressions of Interest close on Friday 26 May.

The association’s CEO Kylie Lethbridge said judges are selected based on their sensory abilities, industry and peer recognition, knowledge of beer styles and the brewing process as well as previous judging experience.

“We understand it is important that the IBA provides a pathway to judging as well as opportunities to learn from those more experienced so we will be ensuring that we allocate positions in our selection process each year,” Kylie said in a statement.

Kylie said that following feedback received last year, the IBA is developing an education and training program under the Indies Awards program, to help judges in understanding how to judge emerging and specialised styles such as non alc and gluten free and also how to identify faults and understanding what makes a gold medal beer.

“Indies judges perform several important roles as they are not only required to assess entries against stringent criteria to determine medals and trophies but they have an important role in providing concise written feedback to assist the maker to improve on identified faults and understand their score,” she said.

“They are also required to work with their fellow judges to come to a consensus on all of these elements in what is a very fast-moving process.”

Kylie said that for those in the industry wanting to get started in judging, stewarding provided a pathway to judging.

“As a Steward, you have the opportunity to be an integral part in the process, to watch how it all happens and to learn the basics of beer judging from some of the most experienced talent in the country.”

Applications can be lodged here and further information can be obtained by contacting Shev Kerin.

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