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Beer judges fizzing to find New Zealand’s champion brewery

6 August 2014

Beer judges fizzing to find New Zealand’s champion brewery

A record number of New Zealand breweries are vying to be crowned beer champion at New Zealand’s prestigious beer awards, the 2014 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Awards.

Now in its eight year, entries for the beer awards officially closed last week with more than 670 beers from 82 breweries being nominated across fifteen beer categories. A total of 72 breweries were nominated from New Zealand.

Brewers Guild Chairman, Craig Bowen, said New Zealand breweries had been performing well in international competitions. He was looking forward to seeing this level of quality and success translated to the New Zealand stage.

“Beer brewing has exploded in recent times – amongst hobbyists and professional brewers alike. In the last two years, the number of professional brewing operations in New Zealand has increased by more than a third.

“That confirms that New Zealand is enjoying a golden period for brewing in terms of the variety and quality of beers produced. These Awards are the epitome of the $2.2 billion beer industry, and reward those who are especially talented at brewing quality beer,” he said.

The Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Awards is an international competition, with entries from throughout New Zealand and the world. Judging will take place over three days from 8 August with the judging panel comprising 25 national and internationally qualified judges.

All beer entries will be rated against a style guide for each category for its aroma, colour, bitterness, flavour and presentation. A beer’s overall balance of characteristics, with all those factors taken into account, is then rated and judges decide whether it’s worthy of a gold, silver or bronze medal.

Winners of the 2014 Brewers Guild Awards of New Zealand will be announced at a gala dinner on 21 August at Shed 6, Wellington.

This year, Auckland has the most number of breweries vying for awards, with 16 breweries entered. Last year, Marlborough-based Renaissance Brewing was crowned 2013 New Zealand Champion.

For more information including a list of all categories and beers nominated for the Awards, visit www.brewersguild.org.nz/awards

2014 Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards FAQs

What are the Awards?
The Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards is New Zealand’s pre-eminent beer awards. They celebrate and reward excellence in brewing and all local and international brewers can enter regardless of size.

How long have the Awards been running?
The inaugural awards were first held in 2006 with 170 nominations. 2014 will be its eighth year, with more than 670 nominations from 80 breweries.

What beer categories are being judged?
There are 15 different beer categories with a winner chosen for each. Those categories are:

European Lager StylesStout and Porter StylesCask Conditioned
International Lager StylesWheat and Other Grain StylesPackaging
British Ale StylesFlavoured & Aged Styles (incl. Fruit/Spice/Herb/ Honey/Smoke)Festive Brew
Other European Ale StylesNew Zealand Specific Styles
US Ale StylesSpecialty, Experimental, Aged, Barrel, Wood-Aged Styles
International Ale StylesCider and Perry Styles

Awards will also be offered for:
• New Zealand Champion Brewery
• Champion International Brewery
• New Zealand Manufacturer Champion
• Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation
• Media/Beer Writer of the Year

How is beer judged?
Blind judging will take place over three days from 8 August with the judging panel comprising 25 national and internationally qualified judges.

All beer entries will be rated against a style guide for each category for its aroma, colour, bitterness, flavour and presentation. A beer’s overall balance of characteristics, with all those factors taken into account, is then rated and judges decide whether it’s worthy of a gold, silver or bronze medal.

How is New Zealand’s champion brewery determined?
Points are awarded per medal and the beer with the most number of medals is crowned The Champion New Zealand Brewery, and The Champion International Brewery.

Scoring is as follows: gold medal = 3 points, silver medal = 2 points, bronze medal = 1 point.

When are the winners announced?
All category winners will be announced at 2014 Brewers Guild Awards of New Zealand Awards evening on 21 August at Shed 6, Wellington.

Who was last year’s Champion New Zealand Brewery?
Marlborough-based Renaissance Brewing was crowned 2013 New Zealand Champion. The full winners list from last year’s awards can be accessed at http://brewersguild.org.nz/awards/2013

Why is beer and brewing important to New Zealand?
Beer brewing is enjoying a golden era in New Zealand with more variety and better quality than ever before. Beer is a $2.2 billion industry, which includes ingredients (hops, malt and grain), manufacturing and packaging, commercial property leases, transportation and professional financial services.

• Brewing directly contributes $722 million to NZ’s GDP
• $55 million worth of beer is exported to more than 90 countries.
• There are 120 brewing operations across New Zealand
• Breweries directly employ a total of 1,800 people nation-wide
• In 2012 the value of the retail beer market was $941 million, from sales in supermarkets and bottle-stores, and $1.23 billion for pub, bar, cafe and restaurant sales.
• In 2012 tourists spent about $240 million on beer.

ENDS

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