MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) has kicked off its annual search for the world's best beers, with South American brewers encouraged to enter the second largest beer competition of its kind, joining the global battle for beer supremacy.
The AIBA offers South American exhibitors the chance to test their brewing skills against the best brewers in the world. In 2009, a record 1,140 entries were received, including 72 entries from South American nations such as Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Brazil - the fourth biggest producer of beer in the world*. Brazil and Chile were particularly strong in 2009, with entry numbers rising 225 percent and 300 percent respectively on 2008 figures.
Award organisers expect the number of entries from these and other Latin American countries will continue to increase in the coming years, assisted by greater expansion in the local market. Largely attributed to Brazil, the region has enjoyed a strong resurgence in beer production in recent years, recording a three per cent increase in beer sales in 2008*.
"Since its inception in 1993, the AIBA has grown in stature to become one of the most highly regarded awards of its industry, attracting a remarkable number of high quality and innovative beers from around the world," said AIBA Chairman Peter Manders. "We expect South American breweries to attract strong attention from the judges once again in 2010, with two major trophies at the 2009 AIBA awarded to a brewery from the Central/South American region, namely Cerveceria Hondurena SA de CV. The brewery was awarded the Champion Lager Trophy for their Imperial lager and took out the Champion Large Brewery Trophy."
The annual AIBA judge beers in a variety of classes. In addition to awarding the coveted gold, silver and bronze medals in each class, judges award 16 prestigious Championship Trophies, including a new Champion Gluten Free Beer Trophy.
Presented annually by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria in conjunction with the University of Ballarat, the event will culminate in a gala awards presentation dinner at Crown Palladium, Melbourne, Australia on Thursday, 20 May 2010.
Entries close 29 January 2010. For details visit www.beerawards.com.
* Beer market grows despite economic crisis. Canadean. October 2009.
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SOURCE Australian International Beer Awards