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Australia’s best independent beer for 2021 is officially Blasta Brewing Co’s – Blastaweizen.
The Perth-based brewery’s German-style wheat beer won out of 1389 beers from 180 breweries to take the top gong, in the largest ever Australian Independent Beer Awards (The Indies).
In addition to taking home the Champion Independent Beer, Blasta also picked up the trophy for Champion Western Australia Brewery for the second year running.
Queensland breweries picked up the most trophies, with five out of 13 Champion and Class trophies but it was a high success rate across the board, with 75% of entries receiving a medal.
Other big winners on the night were Stomping Ground Brewing Co (Melbourne) for Champion Large Brewery, Moffat Beach Brewing Co (Sunshine Coast) for Champion Medium/Small Brewery, and Future Mountain Brewing & Blending (Melbourne) for Champion Brewpub.
The awards are presented by the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) and Richard Adamson, IBA Chair, said both the number of entries and medals was incredible after a tough 18 months.
“It shows that quality is on the up for indie beer, which is great for everyone,” Adamson said.
“I think it’s amazing that we can get a record number of entries given the challenging circumstances faced by most breweries this year, especially considering the many lockdowns and limitations with production,” Adamson said.
It’s the second year the awards have been live streamed from all corners of the country, due to COVID uncertainty. This year it broadcast from 10 official live cross parties around Australia, and other celebrations in taprooms and bars throughout the country.
Kylie Lethbridge, IBA Chief Executive Officer, said it was such a special night, and it is great to feel like the whole IBA team is part of each celebration, even though we couldn’t be together as an industry after yet another difficult year.
“I am positive that 2022 will see us finally being able to be in the same place at the same time for the Indies Awards, but the virtual ceremony is certainly a brilliant way to ensure that our members and industry stakeholders have a chance to party and to raise a toast to indie beer and the brewers who excelled this year,” Lethbridge said.
And it’s not only beer that was toasted, with five Peer Nominated Awards also handed out over the course of the evening; including the Lifetime Achievement Award, to David Cryer, founder of Cryer Malt for his hard work helping grow the Australian and New Zealand beer industries over the last 30 years.
“Congratulations to all of the winners, and we would also love to thank the judges, the IBA Indies Advisory Group, Head Judge Tina Panoutsos, and all of the volunteers that helped make this happen,” Lethbridge added.
See below for a full list of trophy winners. You can re-watch the ceremony in full on the IBA YouTube channel.
Champion Independent Beer – Presented by Konvoy Kegs
Blasta Brewing Co – Blastaweizen
Champion Large Brewery – Presented by Orora
Stomping Ground Brewing Co (VIC)
Champion Medium/Small Brewery – Presented by Cryer Malt
Moffat Beach Brewing Co (QLD)
Champion Brewpub – Presented by Kegstar
Future Mountain Brewing & Blending (VIC)
Champion Victorian Brewery – Presented by the IBA
Stomping Ground Brewing Co
Champion Tasmanian Brewer – Presented by HopCo
Champion Queensland Brewery – Presented by the Queensland Government
Moffat Beach Brewing Co
Champion South Australian Brewery – Presented by the IBA
Champion New South Wales Brewery – Presented by the NSW Government
Champion ACT/Northern Territory Brewery – Presented by the IBA
Capital Brewing Co
Champion Western Australian Brewery – Presented by the IBA
Blasta Brewing Co
PEER NOMINATED AWARDS
Service to the Industry – Presented by TFG Group
Steve Jeffares & Guy Greenstone (Stomping Ground Brewing Co)
Young Gun of the Year – Presented by Ellerslie Hops
Stephanie Howard (Cryer Malt)
Community Initiative – Presented by 2XE
True Indie Supporter – Presented by Mighty Craft
Grain & Grape Yarraville
Lifetime Achievement Award – Presented by Brews News
David Cryer (Cryer Malt)