May 24th, 2013, the 21st annual Australian International Beer Awards results were announced. The Oude Gueuze brewed by Oud Beersel won a gold medal in the ‘Lambic’ category and was awarded the trophy for ‘Best Belgian & French Style Ale’. The top accolade ‘Champion International Beer’ also went to Oud Beersel Oude Geuze.
The Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), organized by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, continues to grow in both entry numbers and world wide reach, firmly establishing itself as the pre-eminent showcase of beer and brewing excellence in the Asia Pacific region and as one of the most important beer competitions in the world. A record number of entries were received in 2013. Over 1,480 beers were received from more than 230 brewers in 35 countries.
Gert Christiaens of Oud Beersel brewery was taken by surprise when he heard the news: “In the past our Oude Geuze, as well as some of our other beers, has won several awards in international beer competitions. However, it is the first time that apart from the title in a particular category we are also awarded an international top award. This recognition shows that the traditional lambic beers from the Payottenland and the Senne Valley belong to the league of the world’s best beers.”
When Gert re-opened in 2005 the brewery that had closed down a few years earlier, his aim was to safeguard the traditional lambic beers for future generations. The past years, he invested a significant amount of money and time in the quality of the Oud Beersel beers. This year, Gert acquired 55 oak barrels of 600 litres and three massive wooden barrels of 3,800 litres each. Oud Beersel will also take a new barrel maintenance system into service.
The traditional lambic beers are in high demand, both in Belgium and on the other side of our planet. "It is heartwarming to see that our commitment to the lambic beers is appreciated and that Oude Gueuze is named as the best beer across all beer styles worldwide. This is a tribute to all lambic brewers who have made from their passion their life's work," says Gert.
Oud Beersel, located in Beersel (near Brussels, Belgium), was founded in 1882. Late 2002, the brewery was threatened in its survival by a lack of succession in the family enterprise. In 2005, Gert Christiaens took over Oud Beersel and resumed the brewing activities with respect for tradition and craft. Nowadays, Oud Beersel is producing Oude Lambiek, Oude Geuze, Oude Kriek, Bersalis Tripel, Bersalis Kadet and Framboise. Since 2006, Oud Beersel is a member of HORAL (High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers).
In 2009, the brewery won the ‘Ambacht in de Kijker’ (craftsmanship award) and ‘Ultimate SME Makeover’ competitions. In 2007, Oude Geuze Oud Beersel was named by Beers of the World Magazine ‘The World's Best Gueuze’. A year later the Oude Geuze took silver at the World Beer Cup 2008 and won a RateBeer 2008 Gold Medal for its Oude Kriek. In 2009, Beers of the World named the Oude Kriek Oud Beersel ‘The World's Best Kriek’ and the Oude Geuze Oud Beersel ‘The World's Best Gueuze’. In 2011, Oude Kriek Oud Beersel was voted 'Best Belgian Ale at the Australian International Beer Awards. Last year, Oud Beersel won four medals at the AIBA: Bersalis Tripel and Bersalis Kadet were awarded a silver medal, and the Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek won a bronze medal. At the Brussels Beer Challenge 2012, Oude Kriek Oud Beersel took gold and Bersalis Tripel silver.