The Australian International Beer Awards was 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 Brewing, John Harvey, set up the first competition.

‘The National Beer and Brewing Exhibition’ in its first year saw 35 entries received and assessed by just three judges. 

In 1993, The Ballarat University College together with Melbourne Royal joined to conduct the first international beer and brewing competition in Australia, with Melbourne Royal taking the lead role in the event management of the Awards.

Today the Awards is the largest annual beer competition in the world assessing both draught and packaged beer, attracting more than 2800 entries from more than 400 breweries in 21 countries.