An all Victorian judging panel for this year’s Australian International Beer Awards

February 22, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Judging will run for an extra day at this year’s Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) due to the reduced size of the judging panel and the fact that all judges will be Victorian-based.

In ‘normal times’, the panel is made up of 60-80 judges from around Australia and the world. Of the 80 judges in 2019 , 25% were internationals from countries including New Zealand, USA, Japan, Spain and Hong Kong.

This year, there will be just 35 judges as the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) tread carefully given the year that has been, especially for Victoria, and to ensure they present a COVID-safe event.

Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) CEO, Brad Jenkins said: “To minimise the potential impact of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, in particular interstate travel, we have assembled an expert judging panel that involves the best Victorian based beer and brewing experts that bring the skills, knowledge, experience and importantly – a passion for celebrating beer and brewing excellence.”

The extra day of judging is intended to compensate for the limited numbers and pool of judges. Each entry will be judged against specific criteria including appearance, aroma, flavour and body, technical quality and style.

The world’s largest annual beer competition celebrates and recognises the best brewers around the world. Trophies are presented to 35 beers, including the overall Champion Australian Beer and Champion International Beer.

Last year, the Champion Australian Beer trophy was awarded to 4 Pines Brewing Company, New South Wales while California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Co was awarded Champion International Beer for their Feral One brew.

The competition attracts around 2,600 entries from more than 400 breweries in 26 countries and in its 28th year, the event will again be hosted at Melbourne Showgrounds, from 11-14 May 2021.

“The Australian International Beer Awards attract entries from the best brewers and breweries from around the world because it offers an incredible opportunity to benchmark against industry standards and place their brand among some of the most talented brewers in the world,” said Jenkins.

RASV Awards Integrity Manager, Michael Katoa announced this year’s category changes and a new trophy that recognises the expansion of the non- alcoholic beer range.

“Several exciting changes have been introduced for the 2021 Australian International Beer Awards, including a new category for non-alcoholic beer, a split of the India Pale Ale (IPA) category into Best Modern IPA and Best Traditional IPA and the split of the Best Specialty Beer into the two trophies of Best Speciality Beer and Best Speciality Flavoured Beer”, stated Mr Katoa.

“These category changes ensure the Australian International Beer Awards are at the forefront of industry trends, production techniques and consumer interest,” he said.

This year will also include the presentation of a new trophy for Champion Victorian Brewery, awarded by the Premier of Victoria.

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