4 Pines take top gong at the Australian International Beer Awards

Chris Willcock, chief brewer from 4 Pines Brewing Company and Mont Stuart celebrate at the Australian International Beer ...
Chris Willcock, chief brewer from 4 Pines Brewing Company and Mont Stuart celebrate at the Australian International Beer Awards. Photo: Supplied

Experts tasted almost 3000 beers from just over 400 national and international brewers before deciding on the two big gongs (and several more besides), awarded at a rollicking Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) held in Melbourne on May 16.

The Keller Door Schwarzbier Draught from 4 Pines Brewing Company, NSW won the coveted Champion Australian Beer awards, while the Champion International Beer Awards went to US-brewed Feral One from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.  

A swag of styles including popular India Pale Ales, Wheat Beers and Pilsners were judged across a number of categories by a judging panel of more than 75 local and international experts who tasted, critiqued and awarded over 30 trophies, including 24 major trophies across various beer types, and 10 overall champion trophies. 

Celebrating the great beers of the world at the Australian International Beer Awards 2019.  
Celebrating the great beers of the world at the Australian International Beer Awards 2019.   Photo: Craig Moodie Photography

As a nod to changing trends, this year saw Best Fruit Beer and Best Wood or Barrel Aged Beer Trophies added to the line-up.

Queensland breweries stood out, taking out two of the top four Australian spots; Champion Large Australian Brewery, awarded to Balter Brewing, and Champion Medium Australian Brewery, awarded to Green Beacon Brewing Co, while Victoria's Blackman's Brewing took out Champion Small Australian Brewery.

Internationally, New Zealand took home three of the four Champion International Trophies with Champion Large International Brewery going to DB Breweries, Champion Medium International Brewery awarded to Deep Creek Brewing Company and McLeods Brewery taking home Champion Small International Brewery.

The good times flowed at the best of beer award ceremony.
The good times flowed at the best of beer award ceremony.  Photo: Craig Moodie Photography

The awards are hosted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), and have evolved from being a small national competition started in Ballarat in 1987, to now being the largest annual beer competition in the world to assess both draught and packaged beer.

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2019 AIBA Champion Trophies 

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Champion Australian Beer
Keller Door: Schwarzbier – 4 Pines Brewing Company, New South Wales

Champion International Beer
Feral One – Firestone Walker Brewing Co., United States

Champion Large Australian Brewery
Balter Brewing - Queensland

Champion Medium Australian Brewery
Green Beacon Brewing Co. – Queensland

Champion Small Australian Brewery
Blackman's Brewery – Victoria

Best Pilsner
The Prospector Pilsner - Draught Hemingway's Brewery, Queensland, Australia

Best Amber / Dark Lager
Keller Door – Schwarzbier - Draught 4 Pines Brewing Company, New South Wales, Australia

Best Australian Style Pale Ale
North of Nowhere Pale Ale, Packaged - DB Breweries Ltd, New Zealand

Best New World-Style Pale Ale
Pale Ale, Draught - Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery, Western Australia, Australia

Best International-Style Pale Ale
Balter Strong Pale Ale - Draught Balter Brewing, Queensland, Australia

Best British-Style Ale (excluding IPA & Pale Ale)
Summer Ale, Draught - Mountain Goat Beer, Victoria, Australia

Best IPA
Hawkers West Coast IPA, Packaged - Hawkers Brewery, Victoria, Australia

Best Amber / Dark Ale
Traders, Packaged - McLeods Brewery, New Zealand

Best Porter
Black Shield Draught, Draught - Myanmar Brewery LTD, Yangon, Myanmar

Best Stout
Exit Milk Stout, Packaged - Exit Brewing, Victoria, Australia

Best Reduced / Low Alcohol Beer
Mid Range, Packaged - Black Hops Brewery, Queensland, Australia

Best Wheat Beer
TAP6 Mein Aventinus, Packaged - Schneider Weisse GmbH, Bavaria, Germany

Best Belgian / French Ale
Feral One, Packaged - Firestone Walker Brewing Co., United States

Best Scotch Ale / Barley Wine
Alba, Packaged - Cervejaria Bohemia, Brazil

Best Fruit Beer
Rodenbach Caractere Rouge, Packaged - Brouwerij Rodenbach, Roesalare, Belgium

Best Wood- And Barrel-Aged Beer
Captain of the Coast, Packaged - Pelican Brewing Company, Oregon, United States

Best Specialty Beer
Maui Express, Packaged - Denver Beer Co, CO, United States

Best Design - Label / Surface Graphic
Sabro: Single Hop Hazy IPA - Hope Brewery, New South Wales, Australia

Best Design - Outer Packaging
India Pale Ale - Mismatch Brewing Co., South Australia, Australia

For the full list of winners go to winningtastes.com.au