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Sydney brewery produces Australia’s best craft beer

October 25, 2014

Editorial comment:

Sydney's new Modus Operandi Brewing Co. announced their arrival in style

Sydney’s new Modus Operandi Brewing Co. announced their arrival in style

Last night the very appropriate Giant Dwarf Theatre in Redfern was the perfect venue to announce the inaugural Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) Craft Beer Awards.

The big winner of the night was Modus Operandi Brewing Company which collected four trophies, including the Kegstar Trophy for Champion Australian Craft Beer.  It’s a significant achievement for any brewery, let along one that only opened its doors two months ago.

The award ceremony was very very laid-back and informal, in contrast to the much larger and very gala Australian International Beer Awards, but the atmosphere and informality was befitting an awards celebrating the best of the craft industry.

With 280 beers entered from  80 breweries, the awards were a promising start.

A special mention was made of Australia’s best beer writer, now brewer, Willie Simpson who was awarded the trophy for services to craft beer. As Chuck Hahn noted when presenting him with the award, Willie has been writing about craft beer before there was such a thing. There are more than a few writers and bloggers, myself included, who were first introduced to beer – and to writing about it – by Willie and it was great to see him recognised by the industry that he has done so much for.

Congratulations to the Craft Beer Industry Association on successfully staging their inaugural awards, as well as the brewers recognised for their excellence. [MK]

Media Release

Sydney brewery produces Australia’s best craft beer

CBIA AwardsSydney small craft brewery, Modus Operandi Brewing Co, dominated the inaugural Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) Craft Beer Awards held tonight at the Giant Dwarf Theatre, Sydney, taking out four of the eleven awards.

As well as being deemed Labelmakers Champion Amber/Dark Ale, Beer and Brewer Champion IPA and Hopco Champion Small Brewery, they were also bestowed with the ultimate award of the Kegstar Champion Australian Craft Beer, an impressive effort for this Mona Vale brewery which only launched in July this year.

4 Pines Brewing Company, from Sydney, triumphed over 92 competitors in the AIBA Pale Ale category to be crowned champion with their ESB. But in the battle of the states, it was Victoria who produced the largest amount of winning breweries, with Moon Dog Brewing, Two Birds Brewing and La Sirene all receiving Champion trophies.

Industry stalwart Willie Simpson was bestowed with the CBIA Services to Australian Craft Beer Award, recognising his lengthy contribution to the industry both as a brewer, craft beer advocate and as a reviewer. On receiving his award, Simpson said, “I’m really very humbled and honoured to be the inaugural recipient of this award. The craft beer industry is really finding its legs in Australia and it’s a great time to be part of it. After writing about the Australian craft beer scene for so long, it’s a very exciting to be in it now as a brewer.”

The 2014 Craft Beer Award category winners are:

Kegstar Champion Australian Craft Beer
‘Former Tenant’, Modus Operandi Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

AIBA Champion Pale Ale
‘ESB’, 4 Pines Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

Labelmakers Champion Amber/Dark Ale
‘Former Tenant’, Modus Operandi Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

Champion Porter and Stout
‘Black Lung IV’, Moon Dog Brewing (Melbourne, VIC)

Champion Speciality Beer
‘Taco’, Two Birds Brewing (Melbourne, VIC)

Beer and Brewer Champion IPA
‘Zoo Feeder’, Modus Operandi Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

Champion French and Belgian style
‘Saison’, La Sirene (Melbourne, VIC)

Hopco Champion Small Brewery (up to 49,999 litres/per annum)
Modus Operandi Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW)

Cryer Malt Champion Medium Brewery (50,000 to 299,999 litres/per annum)
Nail Brewing Australia (Perth, WA)

Bintani Champion Large Brewery (300,000 to 40m litres/per annum)
Joint winners: 4 Pines Brewing Company (Sydney, NSW) and Two Birds Brewing (Melbourne, VIC)

CBIA Services to Australian Craft Beer
Willie Simpson

The winning beers for each category were determined by 25 judges from craft breweries around Australian and New Zealand, with all tastings conducted ‘blind’ to ensure an equal playing field. In order to be in the running for a Champion beer trophy, beers needed to be awarded a ‘Gold’ rating. As there were no gold beers in the categories of Label Makers Champion Wheat, Champion Light Coloured Lager and Champion Dark Coloured Lager, no trophies were given. It was from the category winners that the Champion Australian Craft Beer was chosen.

CBIA Chair Peta Fielding feels these awards are an important celebration and will help shine the light on Australia’s thriving craft beer industry. “With more than 280 beers from 80 breweries submitted for the Craft Beer Awards, we were blown away by not only the quality but the variety of brewers we have in Australia.  We really feel the awards offer a unique opportunity for Australian craft breweries to be benchmarked against their local peers and are proud the CBIA can help draw attention to these talented brewers.”

Since their inception in 2011, the CBIA’s purpose is to be the independent voice, shaping and driving the future of the Australian craft beer industry.


Twitter and Instagram: @AustCraftBeer



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