Singapore will see a new regional beer awards competition debut at upcoming craft beer festival CRAFT Singapore this coming March.
Aimed at highlighting and celebrating the strength and depth of beer brewing in the Asia region the Asian Beer Medal awards program also looks to foster greater collaboration among regional brewers and breweries.
Asian Beer Medal, which is open to both craft and commercial breweries based in countries within Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia, and Northeast Asia, will be judged in Singapore by a panel of professional brewers and certified beer judges; we understand that organiser Craft Festivals Pte Ltd – who are also behind the CRAFT Singapore beer festival this coming March – are looking to invite the likes of Michael Jordan of Shanghai’s Boxing Cat Brewery and Brian Fitzgerald of Artisan Brewing from Western Australia (he’s also Australia’s first-ever fully certified cicerone) to judge the awards. Judges will taste the beers ‘blind’ in accordance to the US Brewers Association 2015 beer style guidelines.
There will be twelve categories in total:
- Wheat Beer
- International Lager
- Dark Lager
- Golden Ale
- Pale Ale
- India Pale Ale
- Strong Ale
- Flavoured Beer
- Open Category
“We wanted to highlight the growing strength and depth of brewing in the Asian region and we felt it would be a great compliment to our upcoming festival CRAFT Singapore,” shares Charles Guerrier, Festival Director at Craft Festivals Pte Ltd. “In markets such as the US, Europe and Australia, beer award programmes play a strong role in highlighting the standard of beer being produced in the respective regions; they help beer drinkers recognise the quality of the products they are drinking and breweries to promote their beers as award-winning beers coming from an award-winning brewery.”
Singapore’s leading incumbent beer festival Beerfest Asia used to hold the Asia Beer Awards where the beers showcased at the event pitted against each other for prominence, but that awards competition was mysteriously put on hold after its 2013 edition.
But Guerrier says Asian Beer Medal is different from Beerfest Asia’s now-defunct Asia Beer Awards in that only beers brewed within the Asian region are invited to enter the former; Asia Beer Awards used to be open to any beer from any region as long as it is featured at Beerfest Asia. “Only professional brewers and certified beer judges will be on the judging panel,” Guerrier confirms. “We are also in the process of registering the competition to be sanctioned by the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Programme), an industry-recognised beer judging organisation.”
As for why breweries from Australia and New Zealand have been left out, Guerrier shares that with the number of breweries rapidly growing within the region the organisers felt it was time for an Asia-only competition to highlight the quality of beer being produced here. “The Asian premium beer market is quite young compared to the more mature markets of our neighbours in Australia and New Zealand, that was why it was decided at this time to focus on mainland Asia – but who knows, in time they may also be invited to join,” he says.
Asian breweries interested in submitting their beers for Asia Beer Medal 2016 are advised to download the Competition Entry Information document here.