Australian International Beer Awards
We hope that by now that the success of a number of New Zealand breweries at the Australian International Beer Awards is not news.
Moa did their best to boast about their success, only to consolidate their reputation for crass publicity by issuing a press release that gloated about "sticking it to the Aussies". Their release went on to congratulate New Zealand's Epic brewery on their awards. But Epic's Luke Nicholas hadn't actually entered any beers at Melbourne after being scathing about the judging and awards dinner last year. (The Epic brewery that won gongs in Melbourne was in fact from Utah.)
But there is no more pleasing success at these awards than that of Renaissance. It wasn't mentioned in last year's awards publication but at the dinner they were named as having come close to winning the award for Champion Small Brewery. (That prize went to Nøgne Ø.) This year their Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout not only won a gold medal but took the trophy for Champion Stout.
We can't wait for our allocation of this year's Craftsman to turn up soon on a very big pallet at our front door.
Last year certain of us had the pleasure of attending the 2010 AIBA Awards Dinner and sharing the table of the Australian importer of Nøgne Ø, as they surprised everyone there by taking away the gong for the champion brewery. This year Nøgne Ø submitted more of their beers for judgement and while they didn't take out the big prize again, they did pick up a gold medal for their amazing Imperial Brown Ale. We have a keg of this beer waiting in storage and it will come out some time in the next few weeks.
Plenty of other favourites of ours did well in Melbourne. Cock and Bull's Monk's Habit picked up a gold medal which is well deserved although it was categorised simply as "Draught Ale - Other", whatever that means. The aforementioned Moa got a gold for Five Hop Ale as a "British Style Pale Ale". Yeastie Boys picked up a swag of medals, as did Invercargill Brewery.
Altogether there were over 30 awards to New Zealand beers. Anyone interested can find the full results at http://www.beerawards.com/pdfs/AIBA%20Cataloge%202011%20Final%20V.3.pdf.
Apart from New Zealand breweries, big winners at the AIBA were Perth's Feral whose Hop Hog was the Champion Ale and Northern California's Moylan's who took over from Nøgne ø as Champion Brewery. The good news is that we expect to be able to give our customers a taste of the output of these amazing breweries in the coming months.
On Tap Soon
Fans of Epic Brewing will have little to complain about over the next week or so. Their new Imperial IPA, Hop Zombie, is on tap right now and Armageddon and Mayhem are set to make it on tap any day.
Rescue Red Ale, the collaboration from Yeastie Boys, Renaissance and 8 Wired was an enormous hit last week and we'll have more of it on soon. Remember that drinking this beer raises money for victims of the Christchurch earthquake and Queensland floods.
Invercargill Brewery have another new beer out. It's a Scotch ale answering to the name Men’nskurrts. See how it stands up next to Bear Republic's Red Rocket Ale.
A new Yeastie Boys arrived a few days ago with a lot less fanfare than Rex Attitude got. It's Fool's Gold, a beer expressly aiming for the "sessionable but hoppy" category, much loved by us and you. We had a small amount for the hand pump that was consumed ridiculously quickly earlier this week. We also have a kegged (i.e. cold and fizzy) version of the beer to go on tap shortly.