Vintage Cellars

The Best Of Beer Category Winners VIC

Each year, the annual Vintage Cellars Best Of awards brings together leading industry insiders and experts to taste their way through the worthy entries from across Australia in order to determine the drinks worth your dime and time.

This year, in Victoria, the blind testings were held at the modern and stylishly appointed Deeds Brewery in Glen Iris, Melbourne, and brought together experts such as Coopers’ Lain Cooper, Bright’s Evin Craney and Beermatters’ Sophie Goldsmith for a day of blind testing the best beers the state has to offer. 

“[The best of beer awards] was a chance for me to judge beer according to consumers’ tastes. Usually, I’m judging beer according to style guidelines, so it was great to step into the consumer’s shoes and know the results of this judging would get the best beers into their hands,” said Goldsmith of the day. 

According to Craney, the awards confirmed that “the Australian craft beer landscape only keeps getting better and better. Each year you question just how much higher the quality of the beer entries can get, only to once again be blown away.”

The Category Winners

Non-Alcoholic: Deeds Zero

“A great example of a zero-alcohol beer with gravitas. There’s a lot of fantastic, dedicated work being done on no and low-alcohol beers by the brewing industry, and they just keep getting better and better. It’s great that when it comes to beer, Australians have so many unique and delicious options for moderation. ” – Iain Cooper 

Better For You: Tradie Zero Carb Lager Can

“The quality of the Better for you category was a true stand out, this year’s entries showcased such bold flavours and high-quality brewing that if you hadn’t been told beforehand you could easily have assumed they were much stronger beers.” – Evin Craney

Lager: Boatrocker Monk Lager

A crisp, clean and easy drinking Lager best enjoyed while fishing for dinner on your best mate’s boat.

XPA: Stingrays XPA

A stunningly simple brew with a soft haze and gentle bitterness to round it out. 

Pale Ale: Mosaic (Pale Ale) 5.1%

A very distinctive flavour with delicate sweetness offset by a hint of hot spice.

Hazy Pale: Deeds Castle In The Sky

A surprisingly sour hazy pale featuring a not-insignificant loading of Strata, Mosaic and Lotus hops. 

“Deeds Brewing also hosted the judging event; Patrick Alé and David Milstein have a beautiful taproom and brewery, with great beers and food, that’s absolutely worth checking out if you’re in Melbourne.” – Iain Cooper  

IPA: Stomping Ground Hop Stomper Can IPA 335ml

“A wonderfully drinkable, balanced IPA, with beautiful bright pineapple and citrus aromas.” – Iain Cooper 

Ginger Beer / Flavoured: Boatrocker Miss Pinky

Stunningly vibrant pink, with beautiful raspberry aromas and flavours up front and a tart finish.

Hazy IPA: The Matriarch NE IPA

A bright and foamy beer that pairs beautifully with some fresh Asian dishes loaded full of chilli. 

Dark: Hop Nation Karma Oatmeal Stout 355mL

Smooth and creamy on the palette, it’s got hints of chocolate and coffee and a toasty profile.