Producers have until Friday 23 July to enter their wine, spirits, beer, cider, non-alcoholic and alternative beverages into the 2021 Drink Easy Awards.
“As well as the culture that surrounds brewing, distilling and fermenting,” says Drink Easy managing director Tamrah Petruzzelli.
“We’re seeing some extremely exciting entries across all categories – and from all over the country – as part of this year’s awards.
“If you’re a producer who wants your drinks judged alongside some of the best brands and makers in the country, you’ve still got time to enter and be part of the 2021 Drink Easy experience.”
The awards give consumers a “relevant and accessible” collection of results in lists – no medals and no scores.
Mike Bennie says Drink Easy’s lists represent ‘best ofs’ in various categories, elevating collections of drinks that represent not only the notion of ‘high quality’, but the development and creativity found within their community.
“Drink Easy was the first and most significant drinks awards to combine the varied streams of wine, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks – the impact was immediate, drawing gaze for consumer cut-through, relevancy and potency of results, diversity of judges, and a general feel of change and evolution in the often-staid landscape of show judging,” Mike says.
“It’s an exciting, different, high water mark for the appreciation of drinks in Australia.”
Wine Head Judge Emma Farrelly says: “Drink Easy is an incredibly significant program within the landscape of Australian beverages.”
Drink Easy rewards those at the apex of their craft in the following categories: Wine, Spirits, Beer + Cider, Non-Alcoholic and Alternative with an overall Top 10 rewarding the best of the best.
Producers who enter are in the running for some awards and they will also receive feedback and tasting notes from judges, including this year’s Young Gun of Wine winner Charlotte Hardy (Charlotte Dalton Wines), Fred Siggins (Pith + Vinegar), Sharon Romeo (Fino), Liam Pereira (Batch Brewing), Harriet Leigh (Archie Rose) and Nick Stock.
“You’ll get some really honest and genuine feedback about whether your drink was successful on its own merit and not on the basis of whether or not it fits into a particular style guide,” says Spirits Head Judge Fred Siggins.
“We don’t care if your gin isn’t juniper-y enough or your rum isn’t old enough… we’re interested in tasting what you’ve got.”
“For me, judging Drink Easy is simple: is it a great beer to drink?” says Beer + Cider Head Judge Liam Pereira.
“It’s about the overall finesse and is where smaller and more experimental breweries know their products will be judged according to how good it tastes in the glass.
“You only have to look at the results from 2019 to see this, as Wildflower’s St Phoebe wild ale was awarded Best in Show over wines, spirits, beers and non-alcoholic beverages from all over the country. A monumental achievement. I encourage all brewers who are producing great beers and ciders to enter.”
For the inaugural awards, judges from around the country travelled to Hobart for three days of judging at Mona while the awards were held at Melbourne’s Paradise Alley where the aforementioned wild ale, Wildflower’s St Phoebe 2019, was crowned Australia’s best drink over a Victorian skin contact Pinot Gris from Oakridge Wines (2019 Pinot Gris) and Sullivans Cove’s XO Double Cask Tasmanian Brandy.
The University of Adelaide’s historic Bonython Hall will host the judging (from 11-13 August) as well as a gathering of national food and drink identities and VIPs for the awards party on 15 October.
Another element to Drink Easy is Easy on the Eye, where a panel of distinguished graphic and packaging design professionals will recognises brands with exceptional design and the people behind the designs.