“My Precious!”…

…shrieked Greg Wieder as Greg was awarded the coveted SABC Brewer of the Year trophy.

Saturday, November 29, 2014 will go down in SABC brewing history as the crowning of the first SABC Brewer of the Year. Simon Rofe and Greg Wieder were locked on 23 points each for the SABC Brewer of the Year award. After 5 competitions, the SABC committee could not split these fantastic brewers. To determine the “One Beer To Rule Them All”, a brew off was decided to be held. Each brewer would brew a (Not-So) Ordinary Bitter (in accordance with the BJCP guidelines) for presentation to the SABC members. Judging was to be Subjective. Members were presented with a sample of both beers and a single vote to decide which beer they liked the most. The beer with the most votes was to win the brewer the title of SABC Brewer of the Year.

SABC members arrived to a balmy evening at the Barossa Valley Brewing for the SABC Beer Degustation event. Tension was in the air and first order of the event was to decide the SABC Brewer of the Year. Both brewers presented their beer while members eagerly awaited a Sample ‘A’ and a Sample ‘B’. When ice cold, Sample ‘B’ was thought to match the style, especially with colour and aroma. As the beer warmed up a bit, Sample ‘A’ was awoken form its slumber and released its malty notes and slight fruity aroma. The bitterness of Sample ‘B’ slightly seemed to increase, somewhat altering the balance between the hops and the malt. Sample ‘A’ beer was slightly dark for strict style guidelines but was very balanced. Both beers were very similar and excellent examples of an Ordinary Bitter. As low alcohol beers these were a great contrast to the hoppy BVB beers.

A hush went over the crowd as votes were cast, counted, checked and double checked before Brad announced the winner of the SABC Brewer of the Year 2014 was Greg Wieder. As SABC brewer of the year, Greg was awarded the trophy and will participate in a brew day at Big Shed Brewing. Greg’s advice was straightforward. His advice was to keep the brew simple and to not over complicate it.

Following the competition, head brewer at Barossa Valley Brewing James Collision lead a tour of the brewery and a discussion of the transition from homebrewer to commercial brewer. This provided an excellent opportunity for SABC members to talk to James and pick his brain about all aspects of brewing.

SABC members were then treated to a feast for the senses with the SABC Around the World Tour:
· Tomato, Basil & Anchovy Bruschetta Canape’s paired with a Pilsner

· Chicken Kransky in a Baby Bun with Mustard & Sauerkraut paired with an Oktoberfest

· Beef Rib with Chimichurri paired with the award winning Organic Ale

· Pork with Jungle Curry & Pickles paired with the Canis Majoris DIPA

· Afrogato enjoyed with the Milk Stout

All members in attendance had a good time and thoroughly enjoyed the night. Good food, good beer, good friends = good times!

Thanks to:
· Simon Jones for the fantastic trophy (can we order turned handles from you now?)

· Simon and Greg for brewing the competition decider.

· James C for the brewery tour and openly sharing with SABC members.

· All members for making the night a fantastic success!