Beer Awards are back in force, and the Queensland Award Season for 2019 is shaping up to be stronger than ever!

With so many domestic and international competitions held throughout the year, it can be difficult to know where to focus your energies as a brewery,  however there are a few that are considered essential to enter to play on the big stage. For the past 3 years, major Australian and International trophies have been awarded to Queensland breweries and individual beers, with two main awards ceremonies as the focuses of the industry.

First are the AIBAs, or Australian and International Beer Awards, which are held each May (yes, this is old news to some readers). These awards include beers and breweries from all continents, so winning trophies of any sort at the AIBAs is a huge achievement. Results from Queensland breweries in 2016-2019 are listed below:

AIBA 2016 Results:AIBA 2017 Results:AIBA 2018 Results:AIBA 2019 Results:
·         3/108 Gold (2.78%)·         15/131 Gold (11.45%)·         16/169 Gold (9.47%)·         24/195 Gold (12.3%)
·         12/321 Silver (3.64%)·         23/374 Silver (6.15%)·         55/442 Silver (12.44%)·         61/509 Silver (11.98%)
·         12/531 Bronze (2.26%)·         33/643 Bronze (5.13%)·         41/638 Bronze (6.43%)·         87/806 Bronze (10.79%)
·         Champion Small Australian Brewery·         Champion Small Australian Brewery
·         Champion Medium Australian Brewery
·         Champion Medium Australian Brewery
·         Champion Large Australian Brewery
·         Best International Pale Ale
·         Best Reduced/Low Alcohol Beer


The second awards of high esteem are the Independent Beer Awards^, or the affectionately called “Indies” held annually each year, now in September (previously in July) during BrewCon^^.  Awards won here are proudly listed next to individual beers or displayed on tap handles to celebrate the fact that these beers are, in fact, some of the best in Australia.

CBA 2016 Results:CBA 2017 Results:INDIES 2018 Results:INDIES 2019 Results:
·         8/62 Gold (12.9%)·         8/46 Gold (17.39%)·         14/69 Gold (20.29%)·         16/86 Gold (18.6%)
·         17/124 Silver (13.7%)·         12/120 Silver (10%)·         33/215 Silver (15.35%)·         68/284 Silver (23.94%)
·         27/200 Bronze (13.5%)·         9/200 Bronze (4.5%)·         50/275 Bronze (18.18%)·         75/366 Bronze (20.49%)
·         Champion Medium Brewery
·         Champion Specialty Beer
·         Champion Small Brewery
·         Champion Session Beer
·         QLD State Champion Brewery is                  Balter
13.47% of 386 Total Entries7.92% of 366 Total Medals17.35% of 559 Total Medals21.6% of 736 Total Medals


As an additional note, there were a total of 1021 entries, with 736 medals; this indicates that 72.1% of all beers entered into the 2019 Indies won a medal. Wow, what an incredible showing across the Australian brewing community as a whole!

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.

2019 saw the RQFWS (Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show) reintroduce their Beer Awards after a multi-year hiatus. Whilst most of the entries were from Queensland, as were the majority of the judges, there were some fantastic examples of base styles that reinvigorated interest in returning to the roots of beer and those fundamental styles that have been around for centuries. If you are interested in the full list of medal winners, you can find the results here.

One of the “trophies” that, while less official than some of the others, still gives winners extensive bragging rights, is having a beer make it onto the GABS Hottest 100 list. This list is essentially a popularity contest of beers around Australia. Sponsored in part by Dan Murphy’s, the survey has grown from a bit of fun in a small Saint Kilda pub to a nationwide celebration. The results, compiled from online voting at the end of each calendar year, are announced publicly in line with Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown on 27 January.

GABS Hottest 100 2018 Results:
·         22 QLD Beers in 1-100       Including the #1 SPOT with Balter XPA!
·         16 QLD Beers in 101-200
·         38 QLD Beers in top 200
·         23 QLD Beers in top 100 Independent* Beers
·         25 QLD Beers in top 100 New~ Beers
2,300 + total entries into GABS Hottest 100


What’s better than knowing Queensland is producing such excellent quality beer? Knowing that Queenslanders can enjoy the freshest brews possible without sacrificing quality. No more looking interstate for the next great thing; all that’s needed is a trip down the road or a day out with Hop On Brewery Tours.

Cheers and beers,
Jos and Matt



^ The Indies were previously known as the CBAs, or Craft Beer Awards; the name change was effective from 2018
^^ BrewCon was previously knows as the ACBC, or Australian Craft Brewers Conference
* Brewed by an independent brewery (as defined by the Independent Brewers Association)
~Brewed for the first time in 2018