2023 Australian International Beer Awards
Melbourne Royal has awarded 36 prestigious trophies in the 2023 Australian International Beer Awards to breweries across Australia and the globe, with a sold-out Trophy Presentation Dinner last night, held at the iconic Victoria Pavilion at Melbourne Showgrounds. We were invited along to this industry gala event, the largest annual beer competition in the world. While some international breweries took out well desrved awards, it was largely a triumph for the fast-maturing local industry.
Perfect beer food.
Table setting goals.
Celebrating 30 years in 2023, with record entries and 1,000 guests in attendance at ‘beer’s night of nights’, the Awards’ evening toasted the best beers in the world and crowned Victoria’s Dollar Bill Brewing with the prestigious title of Champion Australian Beer for their Candy Paint 2023 Barrel Aged Sour Ale, which also took out the Best Fruit Beer award.
The award-winning Candy Paint 2023 Barrel Aged Sour Ale uses Victorian grown sour cherries that add subtle cherry flavours and vanilla notes from pits and new oak. With hints of Brettanomyces and deep lactic acidity intertwine with vinous notes from the pinot and chardonnay barrels, it is aged for two years and is claimed to be their best vintage yet.
Remarkably, it was Dollar Bill Brewing’s second Champion Australian Beer win after claiming the title in 2021 for their ‘Gold Teeth’ Barrel-Aged Peach Sour Ale. The Ballarat-based brewery also took out the Australian Gypsy Brewer Award on the night, claiming back-to-back wins for the award following their success in 2022. Dollar Bill Brewing brews using fresh pressed fruit, honey and wort from local producers, which is then fermented and aged in French oak barrels. These barrels are then blended to create Belgian inspired ales, Ciders, Mead and barrel aged beers.
The other major award on the night, the prestigious Champion International Beer, went to NBeer Craft Brewing Co, Sichuan, China for their Lindongjiangzhi Weizenbock, which also took out Best Wheat Beer.
NBeer Craft Brewing is one of the most internationally awarded craft brewing companies in the world, having also previously won the Champion Medium International Brewery award in 2021. Established in 2013, the Bejing-based brewery is one of the first natively-owned-and-brewed craft beer brands in China, and to this day remains a leader of China’s craft beer movement, gaining a dedicated following among the nation’s craft beer fanatics.
Champion Medium Australian Brewery and Champion Victorian Brewery were awarded to Deeds Brewing, which also won Best Specialty Beer for Ruminations and Best Specialty Flavoured Beer for BBA Peanut Butter Imperial Stout. Born from a shared vision and a relentless pursuit of brewing excellence, Deeds Brewing crafts extraordinary beers with a strong focus on quality, innovation and pushing the flavour envelope, with these awards a testament to their passion.
Also among Victorian winners are Mountain Goat Beer which won Champion Large Australian Brewery as well as Best Wood And Barrel Aged Beer for their Hightail XXV; Aunty Jacks took home Best European Style Lager for their Mair St Märzen; Co-Conspirators Brewing which won Best Amber / Dark Lager for The Nightcrawler, Hop Nation won Best Amber / Dark Ale for The Buzz, Blackman’s Brewery won Best Porter / Stout for their Arthur Smoked Porter, Holgate Brewhouse won Best Belgian / French Ale for their Sour Brett Ale.
New South Wales winners include Reckless Brewing Co. which won Best Australian Style Pale Ale for their XPA; Esker/ Australian Brewery took out Best Modern Pale Ale for their Esker Hazy Pale; Seven Mile Brewing Co. won Best Traditional India Pale Ale for their West Coast IPA; and Philter Brewing which won Best Modern India Pale Ale for their Haze.
Queensland winners include Moffat Beach Brewing Co. which took out Champion Small Australian Brewery as well as taking home the Best International Style Pale Ale for their Shadow of the Moon Eclipse Strong Pale Ale; Hemingway’s Brewing Company which won Best Pilsner for The Prospector; and Revel Brewing Company which won Best Reduced / Low Alcohol Beer for The Reveller.
Western Australian winners include Boundary Island Brewery, which was awarded the Gary Sheppard Memorial Trophy for the Best New Exhibitor; King Road Brewing Co. which won Best Australian Style Lager for their King Road Lager; Margaret River Brewhouse took home Best British or European Style Ale (excluding India Pale Ale & Pale Ale) for their Margaret River Kölsch.
New Zealand also took home several awards, including Wellington’s Garage Project Brewery winning Champion Large International Brewery; Auckland’s Behemoth Brewing Company, which won Champion Medium International Brewery; and Taranaki’s Three Sisters Brewery, which took out Champion Small International Brewery.
Further international winners include Japan’s Kirin Brewery Company, which won Best International Lager for their Spring Valley Hojun 496; and Samuel Adams Brewery from Massachusetts, United States won Best Non-Alcohol Beer for their Samuel Adams Gold Rush.
The design packaging winners included Shiner Beers from Texas, United States, who took out Best Design – Outer Packaging for their Shiner ¡Órale!; Endeavour - Pinnacle Drinks won Best Design – Label / Surface Graphic for their Golden Pipes Brewing Auguste's Underground Hazy Pale Ale; while Mick Wüst from The Crafty Pint won the Best Media Award.
Celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the awards in 2023, the Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards is the largest annual beer competition in the world assessing both draught and packaged beer. This year, the Awards saw 75 judges from around Australia and abroad critique 2826 entries from over 400 exhibitors from 21 countries.
“The growth of the Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards has been extraordinary,” said Brad Jenkins, Melbourne Royal CEO.
“Since the award’s inception in 1993, to grow from 128 entries to now receiving a record number of entrants in our 30th year, from brewers from every continent other than Antarctica, illustrates the prestige the awards are now held in.
“Heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of medals and trophies, there’s nothing quite like winning at the world’s largest annual beer competition.
“We are immensely grateful for the extraordinary support received from the beer industry, and we extend our thanks to our major partners and sponsors who make these awards possible.”
All results including medal winners are available at melbourneroyal.com.au. A memorable night.