Melbourne-based brewery Hawker’s Beer, has received international acclaim at the UK’s International Beer Challenge (IBC), being named Brewer of the Year Asia 2018.
This follows Hawker’s two previous IBC trophy wins, taking home Supreme Champion Brewer and Brewer of the Year Oceania 2016. Hawkers Beer also won four medals this year, taking out Gold for its Pale Ale, two Silver medals for its IPA and Imperial Stout Vintage 2018 and one Bronze medal for its XPA.
The 2018 IBC awards saw beers from 30 countries entered across more than 72 categories.
Owner and founder Mazen Hajjar said he was “quite humbled” by the results.
”We’re only three and a half years old, so to be medaling in the international stage, it’s quite humbling and very cool.”
“It’s a testament to the brewers that do an amazing job.”
“It’s a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of sweat and blood that goes into it.”
Mazen said that entering his beers on the international stage was important for recognition.
“Australian beer has had a bad wrap because of Fosters for many years, so it’s good that more and more Australian breweries are getting recognition abroad.”
“It helps the overall view of Australian beer.”
Mazen said that through the IBC awards, he was able to sell Hawkers beer into Marks and Spencers. While Mazen said that he’s happy to have won these awards overseas, Hawkers is not focusing on the export market at this time.
Rather, he affirmed, that the IBC is a great way to benchmark Hawkers against the international market.
“For us to be benchmarking against guys like Fourpure and Beavertown… it’s good to go head to head with those international names and faces.”
Mazen highlighted that logistically, “it’s very challenging” to get his beers over to the UK in good condition.
However, Mazen said that through competitions like the IBC, he is given an understanding and a true reflection of how his beers are tasting in the marketplace.
The other Australian breweries to make a mark at the IBC, were Two Birds Brewing with two Silver medals for its Passion Victim Ale and Sunset Ale and La Sirene with a Silver medal for its Farmhouse Red.
The IBC Tasting Awards winners are established through a rigorous judging process by 60 notables from the beer industry. An intense blind-tasting panel scores the numbered entries for their aroma, appearance, taste and finish.
For further information on the IBC’s judging and awards processes, please visit their website.