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Back at the end of 2012, when compiling our 50 Beers of 2012 for James Halliday’s Wine Companion Magazine, we wrote: “The powers-that-be push stablemate Fat Yak but those in the know drink Matilda Bay’s genuine US pale ale.” In other words, their Alpha Pale Ale: the multiple award-winning beer that is inexcusably shunted to the back of their lineup by the marketing gurus at CUB. That may be about to change, however, following the announcement of the trophy winners in the 2013 Australian International Beer Awards.
The Alpha Pale Ale was named Champion Australian Beer at the Gala Dinner on May 23 and also took out the trophy usually reserved for Feral’s Hop Hog, the Best International Pale Ale. There was still cheer for WA’s Feral, however, as it added the Champion Medium Australian Brewery title to last year’s Champion Large Australian Brewery after the trophies were split into Large, Medium and Small to recognise the greater diversity in today’s beer world. Feral also picked up Best Porter for its Boris, a slightly odd win given it is sold as an Imperial Stout, while Champion Large Australian Brewery went to CUB.
Completing the champion trophy lineup were 2 Brothers from Moorabbin, who continued their period of success with Champion Small Australian Brewery, Germany’s Weihenstephan (Champion Large International Brewery), Norway’s NÃ¸gne Ã (Champion Medium International Brewery) and Renaissance from New Zealand (Champion Small International Brewery). Oud Beersel’s Oude Geuze took home Champion International Beer.
Among the other winners on the night were Mornington Peninsula Brewery’s Imperial Stout, an aged keg of which was tapped at Josie Bones for Good Beer Week and declared the best Victorian beer ever poured at the venue by its owners, Up Yer Kilt Scottish Ale from the tiny Brisbane Brewhouse, and Cooper’s Sparkling, which triumped in the Australian Pale Ale category.
Reflecting the increasingly international nature of the awards, which received its biggest number of entries this year, there were gongs for breweries from Brazil, Germany, Canada, the USA, Belgium, Norway and most notably New Zealand. Our friends from across the ditch are travelling back with no less than six titles, so perhaps we won’t get too much grief when our next article in James Halliday is published stating that the Kiwi craft scene is more advanced than ours…
Brad Rogers, AIBA Chief Judge said: âStand out classes this year included beers competing for Best Stout, with 49 medals awarded, Best Amber/Dark Ale with 48 medals awarded, Best International Pale Ale with 43 medals awarded and, of course, Best Belgium & French Style Ale with 55 medals awarded, 11 of these gold.â
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