AIBA gongs for Woolworths and Boston Beer Co

326 brewers go head to head

Sixty-three judges at this year’s Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) tasted 1793 beers from 326 brewers in 36 countries. They dispensed hundreds of gold, silver and bronze medals. In taste-offs of gold-medal winners, they awarded trophies to category winners. And grand taste-offs elected a champion Australian beer and champion international beer.

Woolworths execs smiled all the way to the presentation ceremony, as their part-owned Gage Roads Brewing Co topped all Australian beers with the draught version of its Little Dove. US brewer Boston Beer Company led the international field with its beautifully named Samuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru.

The real excitement though can be found in the full results at For beer nerds, the Catalogue of Results, details the scores of all entrants in every category. But of more interest to the general consumer, the Trophy Guides offers judge profiles, tasting notes, medal winners and lists of category taste-off contenders.

Reviews – 2016 AIBA award winners

BentSpoke Brewing Co Barley Griffin 560ml glass $11
One of six beers created for BentSpoke’s opening in 2014, the easy-drinking Barley Griffin Canberra Pale Ale won a gold medal in the 2016 Australian International Beer Awards. Brewer Richard Watkins won three other medals, silver for Big Nut, and bronzes for Dick Tracy and Pedal Pale.

Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier (Bavaria) 500ml $4.60–$6.50
No surprises seeing Weihenstephan conquering the Beer Awards’ wheat category. It’s a Bavarian specialty, and imagine the tut-tutting in Munich had  a new-world upstart stolen the mantle. It’s a textbook example of the style, with luxurious white head, delicate, banana-like aroma, and light, lively palate, combining subtle, smooth malt with wheat beer’s zesty, fresh finish.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2016
First published 26 May and 1 June 2015 in  and the Canberra Times