The winners of Vintage Cellars Best of Beer Awards 2023 have been decided for the sunshine state. “The calibre of beers tasted on the day was phenomenal,” says Four Pines’ Sarah Turner. “We sampled upwards of 80 beers, across numerous categories, giving each entry a score out of 20. The overall sentiment was the beers were great-tasting and a good representation of what the brewer intended for them.”
Big winners were BrewDog, which scooped three awards, while White Lies, from the Brisbane suburb of Sumner, impressed with quirky offerings that were packed with flavour.
Find us someone who doesn’t like a half day Friday and we’ll give them a Heaps Normal Half Day Hazy. That’ll change their mind. Dedicated to those who love to start the weekend early, Heaps Normal delivers a fruity punch and leaves you fresh for the weekend ahead.
A beautifully-balanced ferment, with rice playing a superhero role, makes the lager from this Noosaville-based outfit a refreshing character. There’s a crispness present that most seasoned Japanese brewers would be happy to call their work.
Tartness be thy middle name… Or something like that. The raspberry aroma and flavour may dominate your impression of White Lies’ sour but it’s the smooth-drinking sensibility and zingy pop that provide the finishing strokes on this Brisbane masterpiece.
A tangy tonic befitting the dedication to one of Australia’s deadliest snakes (and the iconic Brisbane River), BrewDog’s Ginger Beer could be a session favourite or a varietal. Buderim ginger provides the backdrop. “We wanted this ginger beer to be strong on the nose, and easy on the palate; not overly sweet, and with the right amount of spice from the ginger,” says BrewDog’s head brewer Tim Radjenovic, who developed the recipe from scratch. “It was important to us that the recipe leaned heavily into the Sunshine State, so our sugar cane is from far North Queensland and the ginger is from the Sunshine Coast (Buderim).”
The golden child of the BrewDog stable, their much-loved Punk XPA grabs Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops and delivers a tropical fruit smash. “When bringing the IPA to Australia initially, we discovered it wasn’t cutting through given the density of the Pale Ale market here,” explains Tim. “Our XPA was born off the back of a few conversations to fill a gap in our product portfolio. In doing so, we wanted to create something that paid tribute to the original IPA but also put our own local touch on the recipe.”
“The XPA boasts a heavy dry hop and tropical fruit aromas, which we feel really nicely reflects Queensland,” says Tim. “We like to call it, ‘as bright and tropical as a Queensland summer morning’.”
Aussie Galaxy and Kiwi Wai-iti hop varieties form the Trans-Tasman backbone of this wonderfully sessionable, delicious, summer ale. You’ll get the fruits of summer – mango, kiwifruit and white peach – all delivered over a balanced wheat and malt combination that packs as well as a Bledisloe test scrum.
A newcomer on the company’s roster of beers, BrewDog says the Hazy Jane has been an instant success due to its ‘fun feel’. To make it, the brewers took the bones of their decorated Punk XPA and turned up the fruitiness with extra Cascade hops for a tropical fruit feel and grapefruit undertones. There’s a gentle malt goodness via torrefied wheat and malted oats, which round off the hoppiness.
The darkest beer in the White Lies stable, the Imperial Stout boasts an ABV of 8% and hazelnut flavours in its profile. Eight types of malt go into creating this delicious beast, boasting a rich and rewarding feel, where coffee and chocolate tones swirl through every mouthful.
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.