The Dollar Bill Brewing Australian champions in beer

May 21, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Dollar Bill Brewing were named Champion Australian Beer for their Gold Teeth 2021 Packaged at the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) hosted in Melbourne on Thursday evening.

The brewing and blending company is based in Ballarat and owned by husband and wife team, Ed and Fiona Nolle.

Dollar Bill Brewing says, “We age our beverages in specially selected ex-wine oak barrels with wild yeasts and mixed cultures of saccharomyces, brettanomyces and lactic acid bacteria. Time is essential, as the barrel aging process creates flavours that are impossible to create any other way. Finally, we add locally grown high quality fruit and hops to compliment and highlight the flavour profiles we desire.”

Thirty-five trophies in all were handed out on Thursday evening to breweries from across the globe in the annual celebration hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria.

A new trophy category for Champion Victorian Brewery, was introduced this year, presented by the State Government of Victoria, and awarded to Footscray’s Hop Nation Brewing Co.  

RASV CEO Brad Jenkins said: “As the world’s largest annual beer competition judging both draught and packaged beer, the Australian International Beer Awards conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria is the pinnacle benchmarking opportunity for brewers from Australia and abroad. 

“After the challenges of 2020, it was fabulous to conduct the Awards again this year and receive 2,500 entries from more than 400 exhibitors and then see the beer industry come together to celebrate brewing excellence.”

Beer trends and other wins

There was significant growth in the IPA category again this year, and trophies were awarded for the first time for two styles: Best Traditional IPA was awarded to ACT’s BentSpoke Brewing Co for their Sprocket Draught, and the Best Modern IPA, which was awarded to WA’s Cheeky Monkey Brewery’s Lefties, Draught. 

Other prestigious categories include Champion International Beer which went to Auckland’s Deep Creek Brewing Company for their Sauvage, that earlier in the night had taken out the trophy for Best Wood- And Barrel-Aged Beer. 

The AIBA is the largest annual beer competition in the world assessing both draught and packaged beer and this year, over 75 judges tasted 2,500 entries from 402 exhibitors, from 21 countries. Award winners were handed their trophies in front of a sell-out crowd at the Awards Presentation Dinner, held at Melbourne Showgrounds Victoria Pavilion.  

New South Wales winners include 4 Pines Brewing Company, Six String Brewing Company, Sunday Road Brewing, Foghorn Brewery, Stone & Wood Brewing Co, and Pinnacle Drinks. 

Victorian breweries snapped up 12 of the trophies this year, with Hop Nation taking out several awards along with Valhalla Brewing, Two Birds Brewing Co, Dollar Bill Brewing and Fixation Brewing Co. 

Western Australia winners include Cheeky Monkey Brewery and King Road Brewing Co.

South Australian brewery Mismatch Brewing Co. walked away with a trophy, as well as Australian Capital Territory brewery Bentspoke Brewing Co. 

All results are available here.  

How to judge beer

Photo by Luke Hemer.

Endeavour Group’s Craft Beer and Cider Category Manager, Billy Ryan was an Associate Judge at the awards. He explained that judging beer is a very different process to judging a wine. Perhaps the biggest difference, and challenge, being that when judging beer, you must swallow every time.

Ryan says: “You can only taste bitterness at the back of your mouth which means you have to swallow a beer in order to be able to taste and assess it. Needless to say, that means you can only judge so many beers in a day, whereas in wine competitions, judges can taste up to 200 different wines in a day.”

He also explained that when judging wine, flavours and aromas are up to interpretation among judges, whereas when tasting beer, judges assess a beer based on the flavours it should have according to the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines. The guidelines establish the colour, aromas and flavours that a specific beer style should have. When judges assess these beers at the awards, they can ensure that each beer displays the characteristics outlined in the style guidelines.

2021 AIBA Champion Trophies:

  • Champion Australian Beer: Gold Teeth 2021, Packaged. Dollar Bill Brewing, Victoria  
  • Champion International Beer: Sauvage, Packaged. Deep Creek Brewing Company, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Champion Large Australian Brewery: 4 Pines Brewing Company, New South Wales
  • Champion Large International Brewery: Deep Creek Brewing Company, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Champion Medium Australian Brewery: Hop Nation Pty Ltd, Victoria
  • Champion Medium International Brewery: Nbeer Craft Brewing Co., Sichuan, China
  • Champion Small Australian Brewery: Cheeky Monkey Brewery, Western Australia
  • Champion Small International Brewery: Goose Island Brewhouse Seoul, South Korea
  • Champion Victorian Brewery: Hop Nation
  • Australian Gypsy Brewer Award: Valhalla Brewing, Victoria
  • Gary Sheppard Memorial Trophy For The Best New Exhibitor: Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company, Ohio, United States

Photo credit Dollar Bill Brewing on red carpet: Craig Moodie Photography.

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