Judges thousand-beer taste off

Beer judges this year gave up their Anzac Day holiday to taste draught brews in the eighteenth Australian International Beer Awards. The annual event, organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria and the University of Ballarat, attracts entries from brewers all over the world.

This year’s Awards received 1,107 entries – 622 from Australia and 485 from other countries, including Czech Republic, Belgium, Chile, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Germany, UK and the U.S.A.

Organisers say the competition reflects the trend towards craft beers, with about half the entries now coming from small brewers. The trophy winners will be announced at the Crown Palladium Ballroom, Melbourne, on Thursday 20 May 2010, and the full results published at www.beerawards.com

The website features a useful link to the style guidelines followed by judges at the awards (click the “competition” button, then scroll to “style guidelines”). The link leads initially to a terrific American reference site, written in plain English and broken into easily-digested chunks – an overview; English, Irish and Scottish ales; American ales; Belgian and French ales; other ales and hybrids; classic lagers; and specialty beers.

For a more complete and technical style guide click through to the “brewers association” site and see “publications”.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010