2012 Beers are a Changin’ Awards (aka the Oscars of Beer Awards)

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Bear Republic and Green Flash – Unofficial Sponsors of the Evening

Welcome to the 2012 inaugral Beers are a Changin’ Awards. After deriding the pointlessness of beer lists, I thought I would establish my own subjective, unofficial and entirely random beer awards. You know, because that’s so much more meaningful than a list.

So join me on a metaphorical amber carpet that’s sticky, wet and stained by malty liquid substances.

The sponsors for this night of nights is Bear Republic and Green Flash (they were the beers in my fridge).

The host is, thanks to tonight’s sponsors, inebriated and ready to roll. The host may refer to himself in the third person tonight to confer a greater sense of authority upon his made-up awards, which have been carefully voted on by the Beer Geeks Academy (of which the host is the one and only member).

Without further ado,

The Award for the Best Brewery

The nominees are:

  • Murrays Brewing
  • Feral
  • Bridge Road
  • Mountain Goat

The envelope please…. and the winner is…

Bridge Road Brewers

(Wild applause)

Last year, I had Murrays and Feral vying for the top brewer, and while these two breweries continue to impress, Bridge Road have been even more impressive this year.

Brew 500, a dark ‘breakfast’ lager that had everything but the kitchen sink go into it, came out amazing, and was my pick of the last Micobrewers Showcase.

Already producing one of the finest Saisons in Australia, they decided to up the ante and take the Saison yeast to new places with the Saison Noir and Indian Saison, their fantastic collaboration with the great Nogne O.

I also really liked seeing their release of various Single Hop IPAs throughout the year. The Stella, Galaxy, Summer and now even Pride of Ringwood IPAs have all been good stuff.

Best Newcomer

The nominations are:

  • Cavalier
  • Hix
  • Moon Dog
  • Thunder Road
  • Temple

Come on down…

Temple

Wait they aren’t new you say? Technically, no but they are relaunched and they do have their own place now, and the host makes the rules around here, so they’re the best newcomer.

They came out with a solid range right off the bat highlighted by their Saison and then they clinched this award with their Midnight Black IPA, which is simply dope.

Beer Store of the Year

Nominees are:

  • Slow Beer
  • Purvis Beer
  • The Beer Cartel
  • Local Provisions

And the winner is:

Local Provisions

Next door to their Local Taphouse St Kilda, they burst onto the scene and now have four taps filling growlers. Extra points for introducing Australia to the squealer, an ideal-sized vessel for a one-man drinking operation, answering questions I raised regarding the practicalities of growlers.

Best Beer Bar

Nominees are:

  • Local Taphouse
  • Scratch Bar
  • The Wheaty
  • Pumphouse

Winner: Local Taphouse

The Local Taphouse really are the “Best Beer Bar in the Land”. 20 Rotating Taps; regular SpecTAPulars including the great GABS; Tap Takeovers from the likes of Mikkeller and Feral; these guys are simply the best in the biz and it ain’t even close.

At this point in proceedings, there is a short intermission to drink beer.

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Much better. Now let’s continue.

Best International Brewery in Australia

Nominees are:

  • 8 Wired
  • Brooklyn
  • Mikkeller
  • Nogne O

And the winner is…

8 Wired

8 Wired’s uncompromising world-class beers were a class addition to the craft beer scene in Oceania. Another feather in the Kiwis cap as they continue to lead us Aussies in terms of great craft beer.

Best International Beer in Australia

The nominees are:

  • 8 Wired Tall Poppy
  • Epic Hop Zombie
  • Brooklyn Brown Ale
  • Mikkeller Koppi IPA

And the winner is…

Mikkeller Koppi IPA

The coffee and beer thing was popular this year but none was more tasty and complex than this one from the great Danish brewery.

Best Beer Style of the Year in Australia

Nominees are:

  • Saison
  • Brown
  • Black IPA
  • Beer/Coffee

And the winner is…

Saison

While I noted the rise of the Brown Ale earlier in the year, the Saison made a late run to take the prize. Bridge Road’s India Saison, the La Sirene Sasion and Temple Saison, all released in recent months, have all been brilliant.

At this point in the post, I’m hoping that only those who don’t take things too seriously are still reading, so we have the Brazzies aka the Razzies of Beer.

Worst Carbonation of the Year

Moon Dog

They’ve pumped out a series of exciting/crazy range of beers with tons of flavour and complexity. I was bubbling (pun originally not intended) with anticipation with each new beer I tried but each time when I pried the bottle cap off… there was no carbonation. Dang.

Most Overrated Beer

Stone & Wood Pacific Ale

Just because this bee is rated so damn highly, winning the Australia Day Top 100 from the Local Taphouse and the Beer Lovers’ Guide Critics Award, when this is, let’s be honest, a fairly average beer. I know, I know it’s a Gateway beer, but personally I much prefer their Stone beer.

Most Overhyped

Thunder Road

I went to the opening day but the brewery still hasn’t actually fully opened. And meanwhile we’re still waiting for them to produce, you know, good beer (for beer geeks).

And while I’m still confident that these guys will do good beer and excited with where they’re headed but there’s no skirting the fact that thus far the hype has outweighed the production.

Best New Australian Beer

And now for the grand finale. A hushed silence falls across the imaginary ballroom.

The nominees are:

  • Bridge Road/Nogne O India Saison
  • Bridge Road Brew 500
  • Feral’s Barrel-Aged Hop Hop
  • Bright Stubborn Russian Imperial Stout

The host opens the envelope… (dramatic pause)… (longer dramatic pause)… a heckler yells out “Hurry up, it isn’t Australian Idol”, the host takes a deep breath.

Bridge Road/Nogne O India Saison

So it’s actually a collaboration between a Norwegian and an Australian brewery but whatever – main thing is it’s good, real good.

The hops came through a lot stronger in the Aussie version, a punchy fruity aroma but the Saison yeast adds a brilliant complexity and spice to the mix, resulting in a beer that is both drinkable and full of flavour – bravo.

Until next year…

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2 thoughts on “2012 Beers are a Changin’ Awards (aka the Oscars of Beer Awards)

  1. Nice entry – and a good concept, my choices/thoughts are:
    Feral
    Cavalier (but yeah Temple is a close second)
    Blackheart and Sparrows
    The Wheaty (AKA the only good thing about Adelaide)
    8 Wired, absolutely spot on, followed by Epic
    I’d forgotten about the Mikeller Koppi IPA – it was a fantastic beer, blew all the other Coffee Beers out of the water
    I think Black IPA’s produced more interest than the Saisons this year.
    Moon Dog could probably be named as the riskiest brewery of the year, sometimes brilliant, sometimes terrible, always fascinating.
    Amen on Stone & Wood, finally someone else is saying it.
    Poor old Thunder Road, they can’t seem to do anything right in the Beer Geeks eyes, they probably just need to shut up and brew.
    And best new beer, hmmmm, Karma Citra wasn’t knew was it? Maybe Bridge Road Saison Noir

  2. Thanks Leon. I can’t fault any of your choices for the awards, maybe we need to create a beer bloggers awards 🙂 Well there’s probably enough awards/lists out there already but I’d love to see an awards that gives more recognition to new breweries, new beers and new innovations in craft beer, rather than being just a popularity contest between the most well known craft beers (yes I’m looking at you Hottest 100).

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