Australian International Beer Awards: 2023 Judging Panel announced

With judging of the 2023 Australian International Beer Awards’ having taken place at Melbourne Showgrounds from 15 – 18 May, Melbourne Royal was thrilled to welcome the return of international judges, some from as far away as Spain and the United States of America.

The panel of more than 70 judges featured ten judges from New Zealand, including industry veterans such as David Nicholls and Kelly Ryan, as well as beer educator and certified Cicerone Shane McNamara from the USA, and brewer and beer writer David Castro from Spain. Other notable judges include Michael Comerton from Vietnam, Sam Fuss from Bali, and Tracy Banner from New Zealand.

The panel aims to represent all corners of the brewing industry with each judge bringing unique skills, industry perspective, sensory strengths, and a positive willingness to both improve and impart their own knowledge. With such a diverse group of judges, the Awards are sure to receive a wide range of perspectives and opinions on the entries. This promises to make for an exciting and well-rounded competition that truly represents the international beer community.

See below a full list of international judges who attended the Showgrounds from 15-18 May.
o David Castro, Spain
o Shane McNamara, USA
o Michael Comerton, Vietnam
o Colin Mallon, NZ
o David Nicholls, NZ
o Kelly Ryan, NZ
o Mason Pratt, NZ
o Matt Warner, NZ
o Shane Morley, NZ
o Tracy Banner, NZ
o Sam Fuss, Bali


Head Judges

The team who oversaw the panel in their capacity as rotating Head Judges were industry veterans Tina Panoutsos, Warren Pawsey, and Justin Fox.
• Tina Panoutsos from CUB and Asahi brings over 30 years of experience in various roles across the beer industry, including sensory, quality assurance, and marketing.
• Warren Pawsey, the Head Brewer for Little Creatures in Geelong, has over 35 years of experience in brewing and has worked with various breweries across the industry.
• Justin Fox, a brewing consultant and Australian agent for Bespoke Brewing Solutions, has a decade's worth of experience in beer judging and technical roles with breweries of all sizes.

Together, these head judges ensure the competition runs smoothly and fairly, upholding the highest standards in beer judging.

Industry Advisory Group

In addition to the panel of judges and Head Judges, the Australian International Beer Awards also welcomed Jayne Lewis as a member of the Industry Advisory Group.

Jayne is the former brewing half of Two Birds Brewing and has over 17 years of experience in the beer industry. She is a pioneer for female beer professionals and founded the Pink Boots Society Australia to advance their careers through education. Jayne has completed a Diploma in Brewing through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in the UK and is also a part of Beer Agents for Change, an organisation promoting diversity and inclusion in the brewing industry. Her expertise and contributions will undoubtedly be valuable to the success of the AIBA.


Join the waitlist today for the 2023 Australian International Beer Awards’ Presentation Night, being held on the 25 May 2023 at Victoria Pavilion.