The Australian International Beer Awards were first established as a national competition in 1987 by The Ballarat College of Advanced Education, when Food Sciences Lecturer Neville Gow, along with Australian Secretary of the Institute of Institute of Brewing, John Harvey, set up the first competition: “The National Beer and Brewing Exhibition”. In its first year, 35 entries were received and judged by just three judges.
In 1993, The Ballarat University College together with The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) joined to conduct the first international beer and brewing competition in Australia, with RASV taking the lead role in the event management of the ‘Australian International Beer Awards’. RASV continues to present the Awards with valuable input from the Australian beer Industry Advisory Group. Federation University Australia are a major sponsor of the Awards.
Today the AIBA is the largest annual beer competition in the world assessing both draught and packaged beer, attracting 1,699 entries from more than 311 breweries in 35 countries in 2015.
Categories and awards have been added to the programme over its 24-plus year history as an international competition, with 30 Champion and Major Trophies on offer in 2016, reflecting the burgeoning industry and evolving changes in production techniques, flavour profiles and popular beer styles.
Attracting highly regarded expert industry professionals from Australia and around the world to the judging panel each year, the AIBA format has been continuously improved to maintain the integrity of the awards and relevance to industry.