This year, in Western Australia, the judges – including Rocky Ridge’s James Milton and Cheeky Monkey’s Ashely Allen – gathered at South Fremantle’s Running With Thieves for a day of blind testing the state’s best beers.
“The camaraderie among the panel and the shared passion for amazing beer made the process not just a judging comp, but a celebration of the work behind each brew. The quality and calibre of the liquid was quite impressive,” remembers Allen, who recently spent ten weeks in the US and Europe visiting well-known breweries and says the beers being produced in WA could stand their own against them. “We are very fortunate to have such great beer in our backyard!”
For James Milton – whose Rocky Ridge Pilsner took the top prize for lager – the experience only confirmed the huge role craft breweries have to play in both the local and wider market, “especially as they continue to be at the forefront of 3 key category drivers: sustainability, adaptability and creativity”.
Non-Alcoholic: Heaps Normal Quiet XPA Non-Alc Can 375mL
Tropical and citrus aroma with a lingering and unmistakably beery finish.
Better For You: Dingo Lager Mid 3% Can 375mL
A refreshingly simple beer with an ever-so-subtle sour note.
“I’m a lager guy, and without being biassed, our Pilsner won best lager (again), to take out back-to-back wins in this category. Pilsners truly are the kings of lagers” – James Milton
XPA: Phat XPA
“The boys at Phat Brew Club are producing some fantastic beers at the moment. The Xtra Phat Ale XPA went down very well, thanks to the superstar hop combo.” – James Milton
Pale Ale: Innate DDH American Pale Ale
A really clean, smooth and pale beer that provides plenty of taste in the finish without being bitter.
Hazy Pale: Phat Brew Club Hazy Sesh Can 375mL
A citrusy and tropical 4% Pale Ale that pairs well with margarita pizza or Bajan fish tacos.
A big citrus-heavy IPA with a heavy grapefruit punch on the finish.
Ginger Beer / Flavoured: Tasty Pop – Blackcurrant and Vanilla Gose 5.4%
An easy drinking IPA which doesn’t give off a great deal of bitterness, but allows for great sessionability.
Hazy IPA: Phat Culture of Good Times Hazy IPA
Coming in at a sizable 7.1 per cent ABV, this is a well-balanced but heavy-hitting hazy.
Dark: Beerfarm Milk Stout
A deep smoky roasted malt flavour brings this beer to life, and makes it one you will come back to when you’re looking for something rich and rewarding.