What's New in 2024

In 2024, the Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards welcomes a number of refinements to the program.

Updates to the 2023 US Brewers Association Edition Beer Style Guidelines

Two major additions were made to the Beer Style Guidelines in 2023, West Coast-Style India Pale Ale and Dessert or Pastry Stout. The additions of both styles represent significant changes in commercially available beers in the United States. In the early days of craft brewing, many American brewers drew inspiration for their American-Style India Pale Ale from British-Style India Pale Ale. These beers typically would have a noticeable malt character. Over time, in order to emphasize the hop character, some American brewers began to brew their India Pale Ales with more pronounced hop character and less focus on the malt. The result is a beer lighter in colour and drier in its finish with a high to very high hop aroma and flavor. While some brewers still brew the original version of the American-Style India Pale Ale, the category has diverged into two distinctly different styles. Both brewers and consumers have adapted the moniker “West Coast” for this divergent style as a nod to both the perceived area of origin as well as the location in the U.S. where the hop varieties typically used in this beer are cultivated. The addition of Dessert Stout, or Pastry Stout to the Beer Style Guidelines reflects the increased commercial availability of these beers. Strong, sweet beers with a dark beer base, these beers incorporate culinary ingredients to create sweet flavor profiles that mimic the character of desserts or pastries. Widely consumed as a digestif, this style of beer is perfect for generating conversation at the end of a meal. Along with the new style additions this year, minor revisions and clarifications were made in several categories including European Dark Lager and American-Style India Pale Lager. Release, May 23, 2023. To read the full Press Release, click here.

Updates to AIBA introduced Classes

Split of New World Lager class into Modern Lager and Modern Pilsner

Class 3D – New World Lager (Best International Lager) will be renamed 3D – Modern Lager (Best International Lager) and will have traditional Pilsner beer base styles moved out into a new class 4F – Modern Pilsner in the Best Pilsner category. 

Discontinuation of Modern Pale Ale class

Updated in the US BA style guidelines and the introduction of new Juicy or Hazy and New Zealand-Style Pale Ale have now made class 7A – Modern Pale Ale redundant.

Enhanced entry portal functionality

This year, Melbourne Royal has implemented a number of refinements and enhancements to the online entry portal, including the hosting of US BA Beer Style Guidelines for ease of use. These upgrades have been made to ensure the entry process is more seamless and user-friendly.