BALLARAT’S beer culture has attracted international experts in the lead-up to the Melbourne Good Beer Week.
Nine local and international judges who will sit on a panel of 40 at the Australian International Beer Awards tasted the city’s brew on Tuesday night as part of a Meet the Judges dinner.
American beer writer – one of the world’s most sought-after jobs – Jay Brooks was among the judges tasting Ballarat’s Red Duck beer at Mitchell Harris Wines.
“You want it (the beer) to do what it is advertised to do, taste good. I have a range of favourites. There’s maybe one or two I don’t enjoy,” Mr Brooks said.
He said Australian craft beer was getting a decent run in the United States.
“I like hobby beer ... I’ve had a quite a few over the years, and I judge the World
Beer Cup,” he said.
“We taste them all blind of course, but I assume a healthy percentage is from Australia.”
Mr Brooks said to win a beer competition, brewers should keep things simple.
“We are generally looking for a beer that meets the criteria for that particular style. It leaves a slight disadvantage to beers that are very unique and don’t fit into style parameters.”
FedUni food science senior lecturer Peter Aldred said Ballarat had strong ties to the international awards which stemmed from the first brewing course in the country at FedUni.