The First Gold Medal Awarded to a Gluten Free Beer
For the first time, the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) has bestowed a Gold Medal upon a gluten free beer, awarding it to the O’Brien Belgian Ale.
In the 21 years of the Awards, they have never before deemed a gluten free beer of high enough quality to win gold.
The judging panel was headed by Craft Beer Industry Association chairman Brad Rogers who said the Gold Medal awarded to O’Brien Belgium Ale was “a great result and a reflection that this beer is of the highest standard and quality in its category.”
O’Brien Beer founder John O’Brien was delighted by the win. “It is a reward for all the hard work brewer Andrew Lavery and the team have put in to create a delicious, drinkable beer for people who can’t have gluten.”
The O’Brien Belgium Ale, which won the Gold Medal in the Best Specialty Beer category, is the brewer’s first limited-release seasonal beer. It was unveiled in March to match the autumnal appetite of Australian drinkers, balancing a light, refreshing style for warm days with gentle alcohol warmth for cool nights.
O’Brien Beer Head Brewer Andrew Lavery said: “It’s a really exciting start for our seasonal beers. We’re going to keep experimenting and introducing new styles, and it’s always good to have the range and quality of our beers recognised along the way.”
Like all O’Brien beers, the Belgian Ale is 100% gluten free. It’s made with pale, lightly roasted sorghum malt, millet malt and Belgian candi sugar. Magnum hops lend bitterness, Galaxy, Saaz and Bobek hops in the finish provide earthy, fruity characters, and the brew displays subtle spice from coriander seeds.
From O’Brien’s humble beginnings in the garden shed, the win is a credit to their dedication to continually developing and improving the quality of their beer.
O’Brien Beer also took home three silvers for their draught O’Brien Belgian Ale, draught O’Brien Brown Ale and draught O’Brien Pale Ale, plus three bronze awards for their packaged and draught O’Brien Premium Lager and packaged O’Brien Brown Ale.