The inaugural Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show beer competition was held in Brisbane yesterday with a local brew picking up the trophy for Champion Beer of Show.
Gold Coast-based Burleigh Brewing collected the gong for their Bavarian-inspired hefeweizen, Burleigh Hef, which also collected the Trophy for Champion Queensland Beer of Show.
Other big winners included Port Stephens-based Murray’s Craft Brewing Co with two golds, including for the new world style pilsner, and Sydney’s Redoak for their Oktoberfest beer. Fosters’ Matilda Bay Brewing won gold for Fat Yak and its Yatala brewery was similarly awarded for Carlton Dry.
In their first year the awards attracted 50 entries from across Australia. Surprisingly for the state’s first beer awards, Sydney-based Lion Nathan National Foods did not enter Queensland’s parochial Fourex brands in the awards, nor any of the craft beers from its James Squire label.
Run by the Queensland RNA under the auspices of its annual Food & Wine Show, the beer competition joins the association’s other gourmet food competitions including cheese, wine, beef and lamb. Having beer join these products in the gourmet food stakes is a big boost for the grain-based beverage at a time when it is losing market share and is increasingly coming under pressure from wine and other drinks categories. The inclusion of beer in this roster of competitions, and having it highlighted in the competition’s associated public tastings and food festivals, provides beer with a major platform to showcase its best and introduce these to a wider audience.
The growth of these state-based competitions, independently run by the state agricultural societies, delivers the important message that beer is a gourmet product to wide audience. In this regard they are potentially more valuable in lifting the public’s perception of beer generally than the more industry-focused competitions that don’t incorporate the wider aspects of food and wine or even one-off beer tastings conducted by individuals or breweries designed to showcase individual beer brands.
A Judges Selection 12-pack will soon be available through the Drinx bottleshops in Brisbane and is expected to cost $29.95.
Class 1: Golden Lagers – Continental Pilsner Style
Murray’s Pilsner (New World Pilsner) – Murray’s Craft Brewing Co
Pure Blonde – Carlton United Breweries, Yatala
Red Angus – William Bull Brewery
Matilda Bay Bohemian Pilsner – Matilda Bay Brewing Company
Blue Sky Pilsner – Blue Sky Brewery
Class 2: Golden Lagers – Australian style
Carlton Dry – Carlton & United Breweries, Yatala
Byron Bay Premium Ale – Byron Bay Brewery
John Boston Premium Lager – The Wine Society
VB – Carlton & United Breweries, Yatala
Class 3 – Dark Lagers
Redoak Oktoberfest – Redoak
Matilda Bay Dogbolter – Matilda Bay Brewing Co.
Class 4 – Pale/Golden Ales
Matilda Bay Fat Yak – Matilda Bay Brewing Co.
Boston’s Mill Pale Ale – The Wine Society
28 Pale Ale – Burleigh Brewing Company
Class 5 – Amber and Dark Ales
Dirty Angel – Flying Horse Bar & Brewery
Class 6 – Stouts and Porters
Robust Porter – Bridge Road Brewers
Class 7 – Wheat Beers
Hef – Burleigh Brewing Co.
Matilda Bay Redback – Matilda Bay Brewing Co
Wollaston Wheaty – Flying Horse Bar & Brewery
Redoak Opera Bar Blonde – Redoak
Class 8 – Strong Beers
Wild Thing Imperial Stout – Murray’s Craft Brewing Co
Murray’s Icon 2IPA – Murray’s Craft Brewing Co
*The editor was an official judge in the RNA Food & Wine Show beer competition, but is not associated with the RNA or the Food & Wine Show. All comments and opinion are the author’s.