On Wednesday, September 4, a team of dark hops headed to Melbourne for the 7th annual BrewCon and Trade Expo, culminating in the Independent Beer Awards (aka “Indie Beer Awards”).
It was our first time at the Expo and Awards Gala. It was great to network with fellow independent brewers from all over Australia during the conference. The Expo is recognized as one of the premier educational and trade events in the Australian industry.
Dan and Govs, the founders of Black Hops, were on panels during the conference on the topics of crowdfunding (Dan) and brewery gas supply (Govs).
In the evening, it was time to dress up and mingle indie awards with Australia’s largest independent beer competition, the Independent Beer Competition. The Indie Beer Competition provides an opportunity for brewers to benchmark their beers while recognizing the excellence of the beer industry.
It was our first time at the event and our first time drinking beer. The jury evaluated over a thousand beers, and we knew it wouldn’t be easy to knock the gong out that night. As a result, we are very proud to have won a series indie awards of medals among all the entries, including two gold medals,
for Raspberry Saison (Pink Fog) and Hazy IPA (Misty). Both of these beers had a leg up on winning gold medals, having both previously earned points at the annual AIBA.
In total, we judged eight beers in two indie awards categories, draft (cans) and packaged (kegs). The results were as follows.
As well as being proud of our individual efforts, this is a great achievement for the entire Queensland independent brewing fraternity. Our Gold Coast colleagues at Balter Brewing were awarded the prestigious Independent Brewery Championship (QLD).
Gold medals were also awarded to: Newstead Brewing Company, Hemingway Brewery FNQ, Ether Brewing Company, Semi-Pro Brewing Company,
Felony Brewing Company, Noosa Beer and Brewing Company, Moffat Beach Brewing Company, Carnival Brewing Company and Confluence Brewing Company.
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Sour beers come in a range of different styles and brewing techniques. Some, such as those brewed in specific regions of Belgium, have been around for centuries.
Gose (pronounced Gose-Uh): A top-fermented beer that originated in Germany and is characterized by its use of salt in addition to its sourness and offers its unique flavor.
Berliner Weisse: A spicy, cloudy indie awards German beer, usually about 3% abv, often served with fruit syrup. This is a great entry point into the world of sour flavors.
Flanders Red Ale: Sometimes called “Flemish Red”, these Belgian beers have a distinctive red hue and are fermented with ale yeast and aged in oak barrels until mature.
Oud Bruin: Another Belgian beer (originating from the flesh region), infused with cultured yeast, similar to the Flemish Reds but darker in color, with brown ale as its “base” beer.
Lambic: These barrel-aged Belgian beers are indie awards spontaneously fermented with naturally occurring wild yeasts. Derivatives include Gueze, Kriek and Framboise.
American Wild Ale: American sour beers, represented by the unusual bacteria and yeast strains used to brew them.
The main winners of the evening’s trophies included
Australian Independent Beer Champion: Denton Brewery’s Triple Dry Hopped Double Red Eye Rye
Champion Independent Large Brewery: Solidary Brewing Company
Champion indie awards Independent Small to Medium Brewery: 3 Ravens
Pale Ale: The Brewing Company, Pale Ale (Barrel)
India Pale Ale: Brewing Pre-Tannen Red IPA (packaged) M.O.