The award for Australia’s top beer was decided by a panel of experts in Brisbane today.

Some might think it’s just a drink to wash down a meat pie, but according to the judges at Brisbane’s inaugural Beer Competition, they couldn’t be more wrong.

Amy Stewart reports.

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Beer! It’s an Australian icon and Queensland’s finally giving it the pomp and ceremony it deserves.

Ian Chant, Chief Judge: “Often people look down at beer and thought it was, you know, just something you swill. It’s not. It’s something you savour.”

The RNA show grounds hosted Queensland’s first ever beer awards.

With about fifty entrants in eight different classes, the competition aims to provide the drinking population with a guide to Australia’s best beers.

And it’s a very technical process.

Otto Haag, Judge: “Appearance, carbonation, foam stability, brightness, wholesome balanced flavour and no objectionable flavours in there then we’ve got the start of something wholesome that we can enjoy.”

Winners collected gold medals for their beers and a place in the “judges six-pack”.

Ian Chant, Chief Judge: “If you’re going to a party for instance and you want to be able to impress some people you know that you can get that six pack and you’ve got all the gold medal choices.”

While Australia’s best brewers are battling it out for the top spot at the food and wine show, Queensland’s got another beer war on its hands.

Beverage giant Fosters is launching a new sunshine state-only brand in a bid to knock the head off Queensland’s favourite four-ex.

Matt Kirkegaard, Editor of Australian Brews News: “Fosters has always found it difficult to really penetrate into the mainstream Queensland beer market and so this is a play to get the mainstream beer drinkers, the big volume beer drinkers.”

Called the Great Northern Brewing Company, the new beer is set to rival four-ex’s summer bright and will be launched later next month.

But whether it’ll win an award at next year’s beer awards is anyone’s guess, for now the taste is being kept a secret.

Amy Stewart, QUT News.