There is no conspiracy here. It’s not some sort of unconscious parochialism. South Australian beers really did perform outstandingly well at the Royal Adelaide Beer & Cider Awards at the Adelaide Showground over the weekend.
With 196 entries from 42 brewers across four states, it’s not like there wasn’t some stiff competition. And while there was no separate category to celebrate Man of Spirits’ on tap Espresso Martini (that was an achievement unto itself really) or the brilliant beers being tapped by Regency TAFE aspiring brewers, the cream that rose to the top of the categories were a veritable who’s who of Australian craft brewing, headlined by some of our locals who continue to punch well above their weight.
The big award was taken home by the team at Smiling Samoyed Brewery who won the Best Beer in Show, Champion South Australian Beer and Dark Ale classes. Pirate Life Brewing, who entered for the first time this year took home Champion India Pale Ale and Champion American Style Pale Ale trophies, the Chief Judges Award for Best New Exhibit (Pirate Life IPA) and the Champion Large Brewery trophy. Not a bad year for those guys!
Of course, you cannot talk about SA beer without taking Coopers, who took out the Champion Australian Style Lager, Champion Traditional Australian Style Pale Ale and Champion Reduced Alcohol Beer trophies. Goodieson Brewery from McLaren Vale, who we’d never tried before the weekend, also swept three trophies; Champion Wheat Beer, Champion Porter and Champion Small Brewery.
Other winners included the Woolshed Brewery from Renmark took out the Judas the Dark (Champion Hybrid Beer), Prancing Pony Brewery (Champion Pilsner) and Vale Brewery Vale Amber (Champion Other Lager). Meanwhile, flying the flag for the rest of the country was New South Wales’s Modus Operandi Brewing Co. taking out the Champion Medium Brewery class.
SA kept up it’s winning streak with the ciders as well as The Hills Cider Company Apple Solera series won two trophies – Best South Australian Cider Exhibit and Best in Show, while The Barossa Valley Cider CO. won the Best Perry (pear cider) trophy for their Squashed Pear Cider.
For the thousands who made it their mission to try everything in the main shed, well played. It was certainly a out standing weekend showcasing craft beer and cider at it’s very best!