Sunshine State shines at AIBA 2017

Balter Brewing

Queensland has come of age as a brewing region, judging by the results announced at last night’s Australian International Beer Awards.

The State’s brewers claimed the Champion Small and Medium Australian Brewery titles, two major trophies and six breweries were awarded no fewer than 13 brewing gold medals out of a total of 116 awarded.

In a win that should firmly focus attention on its beer rather than its surf star founders, Balter Brewing was named Champion Medium Australian Brewery and Best New Exhibitor.

Brisbane’s Green Beacon added to its 2016 Craft Beer Awards Champion Medium Brewery award last year with the Trophy for Champion Small Australian Brewery and four Gold Medals.

Green Beacon

Despite only opening this year, newcomer Ballistic won three Gold medals and was a finalist in two trophy categories in a result that is set to bring attention to the, until now, little known Salisbury-based brewer.

Social media savvy Black Hops also showedits beer lived up to the buzz taking two gold medals for its Beach House and Pink Mist beers. Other Queensland Gold medallistswere Fortitude Brewing and 4 Hearts.

The third major brewery winner was Stone & Wood which took out the title ofChampion Australian Large Brewery, as well as the trophy for Best British Style Ale for Jasper.

With the awards announced on the day the Craft Beer Industry Association voted to remove largebrewers from their ranks, Lion-ownedWhite Rabbit and Asahi-owned Mountain Goat reinforced their brewing credentialswith major wins, highlighting good beer is good beer regardless of definitions. White Rabbit claimed the major trophy for Champion Australian Beer, while Mountain Goat claimed two trophies, for Best New World Pale Ale and Best IPA.

Beer Writer of the Year, Brews News editor, James Atkinson.

Goat’s wins were in the two most hotly-contested categories and, in an apparent swipe at the debate aboutwhat is craft, brewer Ian Morgan celebrated the wins posting to his Facebook page, “Two trophies. Feeling pretty crafty.”

The winner of the 2017 Media Award was Australian Brews News editor James Atkinson,a two-time finalist in the award for Australia’s best beerwriters and media.

The 2017 awards marked the 25th anniversary of the AIBA, which has now grown to thelargest annual beer competition in the world judging both draught and packaged beer. This year it attracted record participation with over 1890 entries across the beer categories.

2017 Australian International Beer Awards Champion Trophies

Champion Australian Beer presented by GrainCorp
White Rabbit Ale (Draught) – White Rabbit Brewery, VIC

Champion International Beer
Feral One (Packaged) – Firestone Walker Brewing Co., USA

Champion Large Australian Brewery presented by Barrett Burston Malting
Stone & Wood Brewing Co., NSW

Champion Large International Brewery
DAGON Beverages Co., Myanmar

Champion Medium Australian Brewery presented by CryerMalt
Balter Brewing Company, QLD

Champion Medium International Brewery presented by Federation University Australia
Pelican Brewing Co., USA

Champion Small Australian Brewery presented by FB*PROPAK
Green Beacon Brewing Co., QLD

Champion Small International Brewery
Deep Creek Brewing Company, New Zealand

Garry Sheppard Memorial Trophy for Best New Exhibitor
Balter Brewing Company, QLD

Best Stout
Sligo Extra Stout (Draught) – Foghorn Brewhouse, NSW

Best Reduced / Low alcohol beer
Happiness (Draught) – 2 Brothers Brewery, Vic

Best Wheat Beer – Presented by Dan Murphy’s
White Rabbit White Ale (Draught) – White Rabbit Brewery, Vic

Best Belgian / French Ale
Feral One (Packaged) – Firestone Walker Brewing Co., USA

Best Scotch Ale / Barley Wine
SEAMASTER Imperial Ale (Packaged) – Bach Brewing, NZ

Best Specialty Beer – Presented by GABS
Raspberry Stout (Packaged) – Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, USA


Best Media – Presented by The Crafty Pint
James Atkinson – Australian Brews News


Best Design – Label / Surface Graphic
Pale Ale – Colonial Brewing Company, WA

Best Design – Outer Packaging
Wayward Core Range – Wayward Brewing Company, NSW

The full catalogue of results can be viewed here.

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