Indies 2020 – A Night for Queensland

Wow, what a night! Thursday, 19 November 2020, was the Indies 2020 Awards Night, showcasing the best beers from the independent* beer landscape, live streamed across the nation for everyone to enjoy. Not a black tie event this year, although each state did host a viewing party, and Queensland’s was at Sea Legs Brewing.

Whilst not the largest Australian awards night, the Indies focus on independently owned and operated breweries across the country, which is different from other awards like the RQFWS Beer Awards or the AIBAs (Australian International Beer Awards). Managed by the IBA, or Independent Brewers Association, these beers are proudly touted as some of the best quality beers in Australia.

The breakdown has changed slightly over the past few years, but here are the results from the Indies 2020 in comparison to the years previous:

INDIES 2018 Results:INDIES 2019 Results:INDIES 2020 Results:
·         14/69 Gold (20.29%)·         16/86 Gold (18.6%)·         15/77 Gold (19.5%)
·         33/215 Silver (15.35%)·         68/284 Silver (23.94%)·         38/187 Silver (20%)
·         50/275 Bronze (18.18%)·         75/366 Bronze (20.49%)·         54/248 Bronze (21%)
·         Champion Small Brewery
·         Champion Session Beer
·         QLD State Champion Brewery: Balter·         Champion Australian Beer: Range IPA
17.35% of 559 Total Medals21.6% of 736 Total Medals20.5% of 522 Total Medals


As an additional note, there were a total of 696 entries, with 522 medals; this indicates that 75% of all beers entered into the 2020 Indies won a medal. Queensland represented 23% of all entries into the Indies 2020. If you want to see the full catalogue of results, you can find them here.

On top of the medals, Queensland breweries and beers showed strong representation by taking out many of the main trophies, including: Champion Australian Beer (Range Brewing), Champion Independent Brewpub (Moffat Beach Brewing Co.), Champion Small/Medium Brewery (Range), Champion IPA (Range), Champion Session Ale (Moffat Beach) and Young Gun of the year (Jess at Red Stockholm). What a powerhouse state! And this isn’t including our almost-Queensland breweries, like Stone & Wood and 7 Mile, which are pretty darn close to the border.

The medals from the awards listed above are based on blind tasting and strict judging criteria, including adherence to the style guidelines and any fault detection in the sample. Beer judges range from home brewers to commercial brewers, including people from large breweries such as Carlton United Brewing and Lion Nathan. With different levels of experience and expertise, all judges are qualified and have mastered various courses.

Congratulations, Queensland, for an excellent showing at the Indies 2020 – what will next year have in store?


Cheers and beers,
Joslyn and Matt


*The Independent Brewers Association defines an Independent Brewer as any brewer based in Australia:

  • which has aggregate beer sales <40M litres per calendar year
  • in which a brewer with aggregate beer sales of 40M+ litres per calendar year does not own more than a 20 per cent share
  • which does not itself hold more than a 20 per cent share in a brewery with aggregate beer sales of 40M+ litres per calendar year.

If you aren’t sure if your favorite brewery is independent or not, check out our list of breweries owned by international groups.