Vintage Cellars

Best of Beer 2023: NSW

We reveal the beers that impressed the judges in the 2023 Best of Beer Awards in NSW, including hero brews from locals Grifter, Yulli’s and Young Henry’s.


The results are in and the NSW category winners decided in Vintage Cellars’ Best of Beer Awards 2023. “The overall quality of craft beer keeps getting better each year, which made the table’s job of picking the standout even harder,” says BentSpoke Brewing’s Evan Cray, who sat on the judges’ panel.


“With such strong competition, freshness and good process are more important than ever to make sure customers are picking up the beer tasting as it should. The winning beers were all well deserving and fantastic examples of the style.”

Winner No alc (0.5% and below) – Lowlander Wit

Dutch brand Lowlander takes a zero waste approach to making great-tasting alcohol-free beer, packing extra flavour into its Lowlander Wit using reclaimed orange and lemon peel. Made in a hoppy pilsner style at just 0.01% ABV, there’s also lemongrass in the brew for extra zing.

Winner Lager – The Grifter Serpent’s Kiss

Sydney favourite The Grifter has turned summer’s favourite fruit – watermelon – into a lager with an incredible rosiness and distinct style. Serpent’s Kiss is refreshing, light on the palate and boasts a sessionable ABV.

Winner Summer/Pacific – Akasha Brewing Company Super Chill

Released just before last summer, the bright, tropical notes of Akasha Brewing’s Super Chill stem from its balancing of Galaxy and Mosaic hops. Super Chill delivers passionfruit, mango, mandarin and pineapple in a super-sessionable drop.

Winner Sour – The Grifter Pink Galah

With a nod to everyone’s (second) favourite cockatoo in its name, The Grifter’s Pink Galah is a pink lemonade sour that takes full advantage of an unholy union of Australian lemons and raspberries. A citrus swish and delightful raspberry tartness provide the backdrop to what is a very amenable sour that can go the distance.

Winner Ginger Beer – Yulli’s Brews Colin Ginger Pale Ale

Unlike Kim Gyngell’s iconic 90s comic character Col’n Carpenter, Yulli’s Colin Ginger Pale Ale is subtle and anything but dense. This English-style pale ale enjoys gentle ginger infusions at various points in the brewing process to produce a slightly heady palate and spicy zing.

Winner XPA – Akasha Brewing Company Canada Bay XPA

Akasha’s Canada Bay XPA has become a venerable mainstay of the market thanks to its mega fruitiness and bright nature. Expect orange, grapefruit and passionfruit to get the party started. Easier on the ABV, the Canada Bay XPA throws in a little added bitterness to keep things lively further along in a session.

Winner Pale/Hazy Pale – Young Henry’s Hazy Pale

Having become a staple of the Young Henry’s lineup this year, the Newtown crew’s Hazy Pale boasts Topaz, Mosaic, Idaho-7 and Calypso hops that pack a powerful stone fruit and citrus punch. The finish is smooth and the mouthfeel will make you come back for seconds… Thirds… And more.

Winner IPA/Hazy IPA/NEIPA/IIPA – Range Glow Up

The folks at Range want you to break out the glow sticks and enjoy the party with a big juicy hit that comes via three different types of Citra hops. Their Glow Up Citra IPA gives you melon, lychee and passionfruit and leaves you glowing!


“The number one thing that we’re looking for in our IPA’s (and all beers) is balance,” says Range Brewing co-founder Matt McIver. “There’s a very delicate line to tread with IPA in balancing the profile of the hops and the body and sweetness of the malt.”


“At Range our motto has always been ‘Forever Exploring, Forever Evolving’. We’ve experimented with over 450 different beers in the last four years and this has allowed us to find new and unique ways to brew our beers,” says Matt. “We’re constantly fine-tuning our process to give us a beer that has a subtle malt profile which allows the hops to shine in all their juicy glory.”

Winner Dark – The Grifter Omen Oatmeal Stout

Coffee and chocolate tones combine with a delightful mouthfeel to set The Grifter’s Omen Oatmeal Stout apart. Finished in a traditional stout style, The Grifter’s dark offering won’t weigh you down, bridging the gap between ‘old-world’ stouts and new.


Products featured are available from 01/02/23 to 07/03/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.