The 2015 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBAs)

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February 18, 2015 by 250 Beers

I get sent quite a few media releases or press releases and I’m often quite picky about which ones I publish and which ones I don’t. For example, I received an announcement recently about a brand new beer to be released in Brazil. Now, whilst the beer sounded very tasty the main readership of – an Australian based beer blog focused predominantly on Australian beer and the Brisbane craft beer scene – wouldn’t have given a flying fandango about it.

A media release received a few weeks ago probably should have been given more time on my part and I have apologised to the marketing agency in question.

It’s all about this year’s Australian International Beer Awards (AIBAs). The tidbit of news in amongst the below statement that stands out for me is the inclusion of a brand new trophy – the Gypsy Brewer Trophy.

For those that don’t know what a gypsy brewer is please allow me to explain; a gypsy brewer has no fixed abode to brew – they don’t own a brewery. They aren’t actual gypsies although I suppose they might be. They don’t necessarily have shit loads of illegal horses and wooden caravans although, again, they might have. Gypsy brewers brew on kit owned by somebody else. Pretty simple really. They hitch a ride on brewing gear at another brewery that isn’t theirs.

I’ll tell you why the concept of the new trophy stands out for me….because the gypsy brewers up here in Queensland are producing some fantastic beers. I’m talking to you Croft Brewing, Brewtal Brewers and Black Hops! And how about you Bad Beans and Toybox?!



aibaEntries for the 2015 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) are now open. The AIBA, conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), is the largest annual beer competition in the world assessing both packaged and draught beer. A diverse range of styles across 18 categories are assessed with a total of 30 Champion and Major trophies presented.

The Awards continue to evolve in recognition of the burgeoning industry with the AIBA’s branding and collateral updated with a modern, contemporary logo and style for 2015.

In response to industry feedback, the Gypsy Brewer Trophy has been added to the programme recognising Australian brewers who do not own a brewery who were previously ineligible for a brewery trophy. The award reflects this growing and emerging trend in the Australian market and allows gypsy brewers to be part of the Champion trophy set. It is believed to be the only award of its kind in Australia.

AIBA Head Judge and Little Creatures Head Brewer, Warren Pawsey, said “The Gypsy Brewer Trophy presents a huge opportunity to talented Aussie brewers who have previously gone unrecognised in the industry. It opens the programme to a new range of unique flavours and brew styles. There is a lot of quality beer coming from gypsy brewers and I can’t wait to see what is put forward.”

This year, the judging and presentation schedule has shifted to closely align with Good Beer Week with less than a week between the two. The move allows for international and interstate judges to attend the Awards and join other industry participants in Melbourne for the biggest week of beer celebration in Australia.

The winners of the AIBA will be announced and celebrated at the Awards presentation, a gala dinner held on Thursday 21 May, followed by the Exhibitor Tasting at Feddish on Friday 22 May, two feature events of the Good Beer Week schedule.

The 2015 AIBA will play host to a judging team of 60 industry experts from all corners of the world, the largest contingent of expert assessors ever assembled for the Awards. The judging process ensures fair and consistent marking across all competition categories through blind tastings, each beer being assessed on its own merit, against set criteria.

The AIBA prides itself on being accessible to all brewers and breweries, giving all industry participants the opportunity to benchmark their product against peers and allowing them to promote their award-winning brews using the AIBA seal of quality and excellence.

Charlie Hodgson from contemporary, innovative brewery Mash Brewing, winners of the 2014 Champion Australian Beer Trophy and Best IPA Trophy for their Mash AIPA, says that winning at the AIBA led to a direct increase in sales and brand awareness.

“It has done huge things for Mash. This past summer was very busy with most tanks (not just trophy winners) selling out on the day they were kegged or packed. A lot of people are looking much closer at what we do and some of our other brands are having a really nice flow on effect in terms of sales,” says Charlie.

Lee Changhyeon from Oriental Brewery Company in Korea, winners of the 2014 Champion Large International Brewery Trophy, adds that winning an AIBA trophy enabled the brewery to benchmark themselves against global standards.

“We enter the AIBA to ensure the quality level of our beer. Based on the results of the judging, we have more confidence in our quality having used the feedback to make improvements,” says Lee.

AIBA entries close on Friday 6 March, with judging to be held between Wednesday 13 May and Friday 15 May, and winners to be announced on Thursday 21 May.

For more information and to submit your entry, visit

Australian International Beer Awards – Key Dates 2015

Entries Open: NOW

Entries Close: Friday 6 March

Judging: Wednesday 13 May – Friday 15 May

Awards Presentation: Thursday 21 May during Good Beer Week

Exhibitor Tasting: Friday 22 May

Good Beer Week: Saturday 16 May – Sunday 24 May


The Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), is the largest annual beer competition in the world judging both packaged and draught beer. The AIBA celebrates and showcases beer and brewing excellence in Australia and around the world. It presents global brewers, large, medium and small, with the opportunity to benchmark their beer and achieve distinction amongst industry peers.

– ENDS –


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4 Hearts 4 Pines 8 Wired AIBA All Inn Brewing Co Amager Bryghus Anchor Brewing April Fool Archive Bar Armakeggon Australian Beer Connoisseurs Bacchus Beer Bloggers Series Bacchus Brewing Baird Brewing Banyo Beard and Brau Bear Republic Beer Advent Calendar Beer Camp Beer Fest Beer Glass Beer Here Beer InCider Beer InCider Social Club Beer Mail Beer of Origin Belgian Bitter Suite Black Hops Brewing Brewbake Brewcult Brewhouse Brisbane Brewski Brewsvegas Brewtal Brewers Bridge Road Brisbane Brisbane Brewhouse Brisbane Brewing Co. Burleigh Brewing Co BWS Calibre Craft Beer Trading Cardigan Bar Cartel Bar Cavalier CBIA Chilli Beer Christmas Coles Coopers Craft Beer Rising Craft Red Hill Dragonhead Ekim Embassy Craft Beer Bar Feral Brewing Five Flavours Fortitude Brewing Co. Fortitude Valley Founders GABS Gage Roads Gluten Free Beer Good Beer Week Good Food & Wine Show Grand Central Cellars Green Beacon Green Flash Brewing Co Grifter Hair Of The Blog Hawthorn Brewing Co Hipwood Brewery Holgate Brewhouse Hoo Ha Bar Hop-X IPA Ipswich James Squire Kerbside Kooinda Lager Lambic Lion Little Creatures Lowenbrau Mad Brewers Mantle Group Matilda Bay Matso's McLaren Vale Melbourne Mikkeller Milton Monteith's Moo Brew Moon Dog Mornington Peninsula Mountain Goat Movember MT Brewery Mt Tamborine Murray's Nail Brewing Co Newstead Brewing Nogne O Noisy Minor Brewing Co. North Coast Brewing Co NOvemBEER O'Brien Orkney Brewery Pale Ale Pig 'n' Whistle Platform Bar Porter Pumpyard Bar & Brewery QLD Beer Week Queensland Queensland Rail Rare Breed Red Hill Riverlife Rogue Sail & Anchor Sierra Nevada Single Batch Sniff & Sip Spiegelau Spring Hill Statler & Waldorf Steamrail Brewing Co. Stone & Wood Stout Sunshine Coast Brewery Temple Brewing Theakston's The Burrow The Charming Squire The Gold Digger The Mill On Constance The Scratch The Session Tippler's Tap Tomahawk Bar Tooheys Toybox Brewery Tuatara Two Birds Brewing Untappd XXXX Yeastie Boys


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