Reinvigorated after a long hiatus, the Royal Queensland Beer Awards invited the top Aussie brewers to compete for national recognition in 2022. Supported by a team of brewers, beer writers and industry figures, the competition has become a trusted guide for beer drinkers. Queensland breweries put on a good show this year, taking home 14 of the 17 trophies.
Hop Products Australia (HPA) were particularly proud to award Moffat Beach Brewing Co the HPA trophies for Champion Small/Medium Brewery and Champion IPA for their Trilogy Best Coast IPA. The local legends were also awarded trophies for Champion Session Beer for their Moffs Summer Ale and Champion Pale Ale for their Passenger Pale Ale. After a well earned week off, we got in touch with co-owner and head brewer Matt Wilson to congratulate the team and ask a few questions about how living the good life leads to brewing great beer.
Q: Congrats on your recent success at the 2022 Royal Queensland Beer Awards. We’re glad to be able to sponsor your success by sponsoring the trophy for Champion Small/Medium Brewery and Champion IPA. What was it about Moffs that made you realise it was the perfect place to bring your brewing dream to life?
A: There’s something pretty magical about Moffat Beach and the Sunny Coast. My wife Sharynne and I moved here ten years ago from Sydney, looking for an escape from the city and the chance to start something of our own. And while it hasn’t been without hard work and challenges, the lifestyle feels a lot more balanced, and of course it’s great for the kids. There’s also a wonderful sense of community, where locals support locals, and get behind people willing to give it a crack.
Q: You obviously live and work in a sensational part of the world. How often do you draw inspiration from the surrounding mountains, forests and beaches when crafting a new beer recipe?
A: Our beer recipes are guided both by personal preference (we do love hops here at Moffat Beach), and also by the occasion we’re brewing the beer for. Our Champion Session Beer – Moff’s Summer Ale – was designed to quench a salt-driven thirst after a day spent surfing Moffat Beach’s famous point break. We reckon our Champion Pale – Passenger Pale Ale – pairs perfectly with watching the stunning sunsets we get.
We’ve recently rebranded all of our can designs, and took a lot of inspiration from the people and places of the Sunny Coast, from the glorious beaches to the stunning hinterland and everywhere in between. For us, our beer is a canvas that reflects the lifestyle we enjoy in this little slice of paradise.
Q: It was an extraordinary year for local breweries at the Royal Queensland Beer Awards. What do you think is driving the ridiculously high quality of beer coming out of your state in recent years?
A: We’ve been asked this question a bit lately! I’d actually argue that Queensland has been producing quality beer for quite a while now. Look at Balter, Green Beacon, Newstead, 10 Toes, Brouhaha, Range…you’ve got a lot of trophies across various competitions there. Regardless, it’s great to see more attention on Queensland’s brewing history and credentials.
Q: Entries were up 14 percent on the previous Awards. What is the main motivation for entering your beers in competitions like this?
A: When we started entering competitions, our aim was really just to see how our beers were going. I had never worked (or trained) as a commercial brewer before starting out, so it was a fantastic opportunity to have beer experts assess our range and provide valuable feedback to use in improving our recipes and processes. As we grew, I became further involved as a judge, and find that judging process a great opportunity to learn from industry leaders and further hone my skills.
Q: You describe your award-winning Trilogy Best Coast IPA as a beer for the adventurous. What’s the most adventurous way you’ve used hops in a beer?
A: I’m not sure if it would be called ‘adventurous’ – more likely ‘fiscally irresponsible’ – but our much anticipated annual release, Iggy Hop Double IPA, uses an obscene hop regime that makes for a fun conversation with Sharynne when the bill comes in.
Q: And finally, describe the first adventure you’ll be going on once border restrictions become a thing of the past?
A: Funnily enough, while we love the beach, we really love hitting up the ski fields when on holiday. Japan has been burning a hole in my mind throughout the pandemic, so is high on the wishlist.