As seems customary at this time of year, SydneyBeer takes a look back at the highlights at 2015.
While these are meaningless gongs (that exist in no physical form), I hope it’s a way of celebrating some of the achievements we’ve seen in the Sydney craft beer scene over the last twelve months.
Criteria for these awards is fairly simple. The focus is on craft (however we define that) and winners will be local to Sydney.
Winner: Wayward Sour Puss Raspberry Berliner Weisse
The overall standard of beers being brewed in Sydney has never been higher. The diversity in styles makes this one of the most exciting times ever for beer lovers.
My stand out beer this year is one I’ve returned to again and again, Wayward’s Sour Puss. It’s a lightly tart, fruity berliner weisse that has some sherbet to its taste.
Commended: Merchant Brewing Earl Pear, Shenanigans White Sky
This was incredibly hard to choose. There’s never been such a strong brewing scene in Sydney and I could never pick an absolute favourite.
Winner: Batch Brewing
Batch have consistently impressed me this year with their raw creativity, exceptional execution and general kick-arse approach to brewing and embracing all things craft.
There are a number of breweries producing beer of phenomenal quality and places that are taking the tap room experience to new levels and really embracing both beer geeks and their local communities. There’s great things to be said about nearly every Sydney brewery.
This was difficult. I played with the idea of splitting it into two categories; brewery tasting rooms and all other pubs/bars but I simplified it. This award is for anywhere you can get good craft beer poured, regardless of where the beer comes from or how many taps they have.
Winner: Wayward Brewing Co. tasting room
I can’t stop waxing lyrical about the Wayward venue. Not only does it look spectacular, it’s huge and serves fantastic beer. It’s going to get busier and busier and it’s going to get increasingly popular with non-beer nerds, simply because of how cool it is.
As with breweries, Sydney has seen fantastic growth in the number of pubs and bars serving craft beer and serving it well. From trendy bars to brewery tap rooms and from up-market gastro pubs to down to earth, old school boozers, 2015 has been a great year for beer lovers in Sydney.
Commended: Bitter Phew
Stand Out Moment
Winner: GABS Sydney 2015
While Sydney Craft Beer Week 2015 was bigger and better than ever, and had more than its share of moments which could be considered as the best of the year, the stand out winner has to be GABS.
It was its first year in Sydney and I don’t think anyone could have imagined just how successful it would be. With a venue providing both the space and the local heritage that GABS requires and an incredible range of beers and spectacular organisation, it was a brilliant inaugural year and leaves craft beer lovers thirsty for GABS 2016.
Cheers to 2015! Here’s to 2016!
I could write for ages about the quality of beer and venues in Sydney but with the pace at which things are evolving, it’d soon be out of date.
So cheers to 2015 and all those who have made Sydney a fantastic place for craft beer drinkers, and here’s to the next twelve months and whatever it might bring.
Leave a comment and let me know who your award winners would be.