2022 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Awards

Rebecca Varidel
6th Aug 2022

New South Wales breweries have cemented their place as the best in Australia, taking home 4 out of 5 Champion Trophies at today’s 2022 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Awards.

Sydney Brewery, based in Hunter Valley and Surry Hills, was awarded Champion Draught Beer and Best NSW Beer, supported by The Star Sydney, for their Sydney Brewery Speak Easy Black IPA.

"The Sydney Brewery Speak Easy Black IPA demonstrates an excellent use of malt and hops, lovely balance and is a beer packed with flavour that is readily drinkable," said Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show Chair of Judges, Ian Kingham.

"Sydney breweries have a strong legacy with this competition, and it is very deserving of New South Wales to have taken out four of the top awards. It is also a credit to the brewers for firstly producing products of such a high standard and for making sure the samples entered are in top condition and entered into the right styles."

Camperdown’s Wayward Brewing Co also impressed judges with their Wayward Raspberry Berliner Weisse and were awarded Champion Packaged Beer, while Australian Brewery’s Reign Of Darkness took out top honours in the Experimental or Specialty Beer category, supported by The Star Sydney.

"Fruit based beers are on the rise and it’s good to see them doing well here. Getting fresh fruit expression, while balancing the acidity and sourness of this style is very difficult to get right."

The Barossa Valley Cider Company also picked up a Champion Trophy for their Squashed Pear Cider.

With a record 347 entries, and a total of 267 Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals awarded across the competition, judges were impressed with the strength of the competition this year.

"The Sydney Royal has a reputation as Australia’s toughest beer and cider competition. Medals are awarded on merit only, and the judging process is meticulous" Ian Kingham continued.

"This year we saw a variety of styles and a broad spread of medals across different classes. These medals are a symbol of quality, hard work, and consistency. All beers are judged blind and only great beer stands out at the judging table."

This year’s competition also broke new ground, introducing four new classes for reduced and no alcohol, including the first ever stand-alone, alcohol-free cider class in any beer and competition in Australia.

Ian Kingham said the spread of medals in these new categories was fairly consistent with other results across the competition.

"For a category which requires excellent technical ability and can often present styles that have been lowered in flavour thresholds, it was great to see that the beer character of the classes was preserved."

A diverse panel of judges oversaw the competition this year, spanning a range of roles within the industry, a broad age range, and a healthy balance of expertise. For the first time, there was also a fifty-fifty gender split, based solely on merit.