This year, in Queensland, the judges – including Sealegs Brendan Stanley, Moffat Beach’s Sharynne Wilson and Heads of Noosa’s Evan Browning – partook in a day of blind tastings, a process that Stanley said “really showcased how high the calibre of brewing in QLD has come in recent years”.
“Blind tastings are a great way to judge each beer against the criteria without bias. I’d even recommend everyone to try a blind tasting at home with some similar style beers, it’s a great way to find out what hop characteristics you prefer,” said Stanley.
What stood out most to Browning from the day? “The quality of the beer being produced is continually improving, and the market is as competitive as ever so breweries really need to be on their game to stay relevant, which is a good thing, this ultimately drives quality.”
Or, as Wilson stated simply, “there’s a beer for everyone.”
Non-Alcoholic: Hiatus Beers Non-Alcoholic Pacific Ale Can 375mL
An indulgent and invigorating experience, with hits of passionfruit, guava, and mango.
Better For You: BrewDog Valley Draught – Session Brisbane Lager
A mid-strength, but surprisingly full-flavoured lager that will leave you feeling ready for anything, even if you’ve had a few.
“Sunny Coast heroes Heads of Noosa proved you can’t go wrong with the simple styles. Their Japanese Lager is a perfect example of this and shows that lagers are back and better than ever.” – Brendan Stanley
XPA: Range Sunshine XPA
A clean and crisp pale ale that will play nicely with soft goat cheese, white meat skewers, fish and charcuterie.
Pale Ale: Affinity Pale Ale
A wonderful fruity character, balanced out by a slightly tart lychee hop bitterness, this pairs perfectly with seafood and pasta dishes.
Hazy Pale: BrewDog Hop Fiction – Hazy Pale Ale
An unusual but not unappetising flavour that features notes of resin, lemon, lots of melon and white bread.
“The Tinnies IPA was fantastic, so well balanced and full of bright hop character.” – Evan Browning
Ginger Beer / Flavoured: Aether Brewing Blackberry Sour
Pouring a beautiful and dramatic purple, this is the perfect mash-up of sour and sweet.
Hazy IPA: G.O.A.T. Hazy IPA
Candied oranges and ripe rockmelon aromas make this an intense and interesting hazy.
Dark: White Lies Maple Espresso Imperial Stout Can 375mL
Thick, rich and chocolaty, with a full palette cover, this is the kind of beer that feels like dessert.