Lion Beer Australia has grabbed the prize for Champion Large Brewery at the 2020 Perth Royal Beer Awards.
The brewery also won Gold for its Emu Export Lager, Swan Draught, James Squire Broken Shackles Lager and Tooheys Old Dark Ale.
This year’s judging team, led by Will Irving – formerly of Feral Brewing Co. – worked through 395 entries across 104 separate classes.
Each beer, identified only by a catalogue number and served in its own standard, non-descript tasting glass, was judged according to international judging criteria, considering appearance, aroma, flavour, technical quality and style.
Irving said that the competition across all categories had been incredibly strong.
“We’ve seen big growth in the number of Pale Ale and IPA entries winning gold medals this year,” he noted. “It shows that hops are still king and there is still a huge drive across all brewers in producing those great, expressive hop-driven styles.
“All in all the quality and consistency across categories in 2020 has been pretty exceptional, especially when you consider all the challenges the industry has been facing this year with COVID-19.
“We’ve also seen a steady increase in the number of sours being entered, though not the huge boom that many were expecting.”
RASWA President, David Thomas, said: “Australian brewing continues to go from strength to strength and the quality of the entries just keeps getting better every year.
Triumph for Western Australia
Blasta Brewing Company – based in Burswood – took home six medals and four trophies in total at the Perth Royal Beer Awards, including the coveted Trophy for Champion Beer, won by its Chainbreaker IPA.
Irving said: “Blasta has had an incredible year. They’ve walked away with four trophies – and that isn’t just confined to one style of beer. The quality is there throughout all their entries and their success this year shows it.
Other wins for the metro-based microbrewery included the trophy for Champion Small Brewery and an award for their sour-style ‘The Rampant Raspberry’ (Trophy for Best Hybrid & Speciality Beer).
The Trophy for Best New Exhibitor went to King Road Brewing Co in Oldbury, WA.
The ever-popular ‘Best Draught Lager’ category was hotly contested, with Lucky Bay Brewing Co. (Esperence) taking home the trophy for its aptly named ‘Lockdown Dark Lager’, launched earlier this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was also a successful year for Great Southern’s Boston Brewing Co,(Denmark WA), which walked away with seven gold medals.
“Boston Brewing Co. deserve the recognition they’ve received for their three trophies and five gold medals across a wide spread of categories,” Irving said.
“While this is very much a national competition, it’s great to see WA brewers being so competitive. We have seven trophy winning breweries in our metro area this year and a further seven in our state’s south-west. There’s certainly no shortage of great beer to choose from on the west coast.”
For more information about the Perth Royal Beer Awards and a full list of 2020 winners, click here.