Food & Wine

2023 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Awards prove quality beer is on the rise.

Australian beer just keeps getting better! That is the consensus from this year’s Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show, with today’s announcement of results revealing a record number of 155 gold and silver medals awarded.

Coming out on top was 4 Pines Brewing Co, with the Northern Beaches based brewery taking out Champion Packaged Beer for their Japanese Style Lager, while their Extra Special Bitter was awarded both Champion Draught Beer, and Best NSW Beer, supported by The Star Sydney.

Blue Mountains brewery, Mountain Culture Beer Co, also performed superbly, with an impressive haul of 18 medals in addition to being crowned Champion Experimental or Specialty Beer, supported by The Star Sydney, for their ‘Hill People’ – an Oat Cream Hazy India Pale Ale.

Small Acres Cyder was the top performer in the Cider categories, with their Small Acres Cyder Pink Lady taking home Champion Cider.

Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show Chair of Judges, Ian Kingham, said the overall quality of this year’s entrants was exceptional.

“The Sydney Royal is one of the toughest beer and cider competitions in Australia, and yet we have seen an outstanding quality of entries this year that have been more than deserving of the high-level of medals awarded,” Kingham said.

“Over the past decade, the Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show has seen a steady increase of entries and a steady increase in medals, which I believe is reflective of the growth and quality of the Australian beer and cider industry. Back in 2013, we were handing out 1 gold medal, ten years later we’ve awarded 42 gold medals – it’s a completely different game now. 

“Some of the standout classes included stout, which was a particularly strong category this year, with every entry achieving either gold, silver, or bronze status. Equally impressive is the diversity of location, we have medal winners in six of the eight states and territories, and twenty-seven percent of exhibits are from regional areas.”

Interstate brewer’s ACT’s Bentspoke Brewing Co and regional brewer’s Jervis Bay Brewing Co were two breweries that impressed the judges, receiving 15 and 14 medals, respectively.

Diversity in the judging panel was also a key highlight this year, with the competition welcoming a variety of Judges who brought a range of backgrounds and industry experience to the table, including brewers, media personnel, sensory experts, and those with commercial experience and skill.

“There was an incredible array of experience on the judging floor this year, including a world beer judge, previous Chair of Judges, and even some of Australia’s best distillers. The judging process is meticulous, and judges must have a qualification or track record of high sensory taste to be considered for the panel, so you are really getting the best of the best in the industry,” Kingham said.

All exhibits in the Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show are judged blind, with gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded on merit alone, according to a points-based system.

This year’s Show awarded a grand total of 253 medals, with several breweries securing medal standard across a range of categories.

Final standouts included Sydney Brewery, which picked up 19 medals from 19 entries and Esker Beer Co., which claimed 12 medals from 12 entries.

For the full list of results, please visit the website: HTTP://