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Townshend Brewery crowned New Zealand’s Champion Brewery


21 08 14

Townshend Brewery crowned New Zealand’s Champion Brewery

Nelson based Townshend Brewery has been named New Zealand’s Champion Brewery. The announcement was made at the 2014 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards held last night (Thursday, 21 August) in Wellington.

Townshend beat stiff competition, with a record 670 beers from 84 breweries entered across 15 different categories this year. In total, 74 New Zealand breweries entered the awards.

Founder and brewer, Martin Townshend, said the award was the ‘icing on the cake’ in what’s been an excellent couple of years for the brewery.

“Being named New Zealand’s Champion Brewery is a massive accolade. It seems like only yesterday that I created my first brew in the shed.”

“Like most things in life, the secret to success is passion, hard work and dedication to the task. I still enjoy brewing now as much as I ever have and I think most brewers will tell you the same. That said, it’s huge to be recognised and this award is the best possible recognition a brewer could get.”

Founded in 2005, Townshend Brewery remains a one-person operation, producing approximately 50,000 litres of beer per year. The 650 litre brewery is still located at the Townshend family home in Rosedale, near Nelson.

In addition to being named Champion Brewery, Townshend was also awarded the Champion New Zealand Manufacturer trophy and won the New Zealand Specific Style category for his Oldhams Tap Riwaka Pilsner. 12 of his other brews also earned medals.

The fifteen other beer category winners were:

CategoryBrewery Beer
European Lager StylesEmersons Brewery (Dunedin)Gladiator Bock
International Lager StylesDB Draught Brewery (Timaru)Monteith's Black
British Ale StylesWigram Brewing Company (Christchurch)Tornado Strong Ale
Other European Ale StylesEmersons Brewery (Dunedin)JP 2014
US Ale StylesParrotDog (Wellington) BloodyDingo
International Ale StylesPanhead Custom Ales (Upper Hutt)Boss Hog
Stout and Porter StylesThree Boys Brewery (Christchurch)Three Boys Oyster Stout
Wheat and Other Grain StylesRenaissance Brewing Ltd. (Marlborough)Black the RIPA
Flavoured & Aged Styles (incl. Fruit/Spice/Herb/ Honey/Smoke)Wigram Brewing Company (Christchurch)Captain Cook Spruce Beer
New Zealand Specific StylesTownshend Brewery (Nelson)Oldhams Tap Riwaka Pilsner
Specialty, Experimental, Aged, Barrel, Wood-Aged StylesPanhead Custom Ales (Upper Hutt)Black Sabbath
Cider and Perry StylesZeffer Cider Co. (Auckland)Slack ma Girdle Cider
Cask ConditionedMoa Brewery (Marlborough)Moa Five Hop Handpull
PackagingTuatara Brewing (Kapiti)Delicious Neck
Festive Brew Behemoth Brewing Company (Auckland)Brave Bikkie Brown Ale

The Boston Beer Company claimed the Champion International Brewery award while the Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation or Achievement went to Steve Nally from Invercargill Brewery. Nally conceived the idea of packaging low carbonated draught beer in 20 litre bags to be used in bars with traditional English style hand-pumps. Media/Beer Writer of the Year went to Wellington’s Neil Miller.

Competition Manager, Craig Bowen, said the Awards capped another vintage year for New Zealand brewing.

“Each year, more New Zealanders are getting into beer and cider brewing. And each year, the task of judging at these Awards becomes much harder.

“Whether it’s a one man band or the larger more established breweries, New Zealand is enjoying a golden period in terms of the variety and quality of beers produced. That’s what the Awards are about – recognising and celebrating excellence in our profession,” he said.

Now in its eighth year, the Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards is an international competition, with entries from throughout New Zealand and the world. All beer entries were rated against a style guide for each category for its aroma, colour, bitterness, flavour and presentation. A beer’s overall balance of characteristics was judged by a panel comprising 25 national and internationally qualified judges.

A total of 61 gold, 121 silver and 169 bronze medals were awarded this year.

For more information including a list of all medalists visit


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