The biggest three weeks of the Australian beer year have been and gone.
So what did we learn about the country’s brewing industry, and, indeed about our international friends, after the festivities in Melbourne?
Apart from the realisation that the Victorian capital is the best place in the land for such events, beer watchers were also reminded that WA continues to shine as a brewing force.
While some were surprised Sandgropers took away only one Champion Trophy – Cheeky Monkey with Pale Ale in the New-World Style Pale Ale category – at the Australian International Beer Awards, there was a swag of gold medals.
And WA might have been a victim of its own success with Champion Beer wins for Mash (Copy Cat), Gage Roads (Little Dove) and Wheat (Beerland) over the past six years.
The AIBA gala is now one of the world’s biggest brewery competitions. There were 2594 entries from 402 breweries over 26 countries. It took 83 tasters to judge them.
A total of 17 WA-made beers collected gold medals at the awards. And they stretched from the largest brewery, Gage Roads, to smaller Thorny Devil team at Cape Bouvard.
That is a strong return for the State.
It also showed those on the west coast have a strong passion for Pale Ales – maybe like everyone else!
WA AIBA Gold Medal Beers 2019
Social Lager (Package), Otherside Brewing – European-style Lager (Munich Style Helles)
Session (Package), Rocky Ridge – Best Australian-style Pale Ale (Australian Style Pale Ale)
Pale Ale (Draught), Cheeky Monkey – Best New World-style Pale Ale (New World Style Pale Ale)
Pale Ale (Draught), Thorny Devil – Best New World-style Pale Ale (New World Style Pale Ale)
VHA (Draught), Gage Roads – Best New World-style Pale Ale (New World Style Pale Ale)
Grimster Rocks Mosaic (Draught), Blasta – Best International-style Pale Ale (American Style)
Rhapsody (Draught), Nowhereman – Best International-style Pale Ale (Other International Pale Ale)
Summer (Draught), White Lakes – Best British-style Ale (English Summer Ale)
Sleeping Giant IPA (Draught), Gage Roads – Best India Pale Ale (British Style)
Chainbreaker (Draught), Blasta – Best India Pale Ale (American Style)
West Coast IPA (Draught), Cheeky Monkey – Best India Pale Ale (American Style)
Atomic IPA, (Draught), Gage Roads – Best India Pale Ale (American Style)
India Pale Ale (Draught), Beerfarm – Best India Pale Ale (American Style)
Harvest Red Ale (Packaged), Otherside – Best Amber/Dark Ale (American Style Red)
Double Harvest (Packaged), Otherside – Best Amber/Dark Ale (American Style Red)
Wheat (Draught), Beerland – Best Wheat Beer (German Style Kristal)
Barn Farm (Draught), Feral – Best Specialty Beer (Other Specialty Beer)
With WA Beer Week just around the corner, drinkers can have the utmost confidence there are plenty of high-quality brews on offer within easy reach.
One of the interesting results was the gold for Gage Roads’ Atomic IPA, which wasn’t released publicly when tasted by the judges. It was subsequently a big hit at GABS in Melbourne the day after the awards.
It was also a big win for Cheeky Monkey, which in the past month has also added a new, bigger brewery and given the brand a refresh.