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Dates set for beer celebration

Media Release Attn: Chief Reporter

18 June 2001

Dates set for beer celebration

New Zealand’s new national beer event -- BrewNZ, Celebrating Great Beers -- will be held in Wellington between May 21 and May 25 next year.

Event director Kerry Tyack announced the dates in Wellington this week, along with the establishment of the New Zealand Beer Cup, a national competition for the best beer available in New Zealand. The Cup will be presented at a special event as part of BrewNZ.

Tyack said that BrewNZ will become the focal point of the brewing year and establish an important date in the international brewing calendar. It will feature four days of events across the capital and will enjoy the support of the capital’s tourism organisation Totally Wellington.

The time of year would suit brewers after their busy summer schedule and would encourage participation by local bars, restaurants and businesses in the capital. “It’s a terrific opportunity for restaurants and cafes to show how beer and food can surprise and delight in their variety,” he said.

His comments were backed up by acclaimed chef Chris Green, of Wellington’s Boulcott St Bistro. “Beer and food make a wonderful match - the Belgian combination of beer and mussels works brilliantly. This event will help show how well beer can go with food -- and bring a bit of Europe to our doorstep.”

The event will concentrate a number of activities that involve beer and brewing and invite publicity, and public participation. It presents an opportunity for brewers and the beer industry to communicate with their existing and potential customers and those with an interest in beer.

The activities will include:

- a new competition for large, small, indigenous and imported beers and brewers

- production of specialty beers for the event

- beer and food partnerships

- displays of brewing equipment, history and paraphernalia

- promotions in restaurants, cafes, delis and supermarkets

- seminars on beer, microbrewing and homebrewing

- seminar on beer retailing

- brewers conference

Technical Director Luke Nicholas says the New Zealand Beer Cup will be held over three days during BrewNZ 2002. The winners will be announced at an evening function for participants and the public Friday 24th May.

“The objective of the NZ Beer Cup is to celebrate and reward excellence in brewing and beer. We want to use the results of the competition to educate beer drinkers about the diversity and quality of beers available in this country,” said Nicholas, a former national champion brewer.

Prominent Craft Brewer Richard Emerson from Dunedin says he is fully supportive of the New Zealand Beer Cup. “The public has become more interested in new brews from brewers both large and small, but we need to move ahead. With its commitment to highlighting beer according to style The New Zealand Beer Cup is well positioned to create a real impact in the public arena.”

Nicholas says the organisers have put in place other guidelines for entry: “Only beer available for sale in New Zealand will be eligible to enter the Cup. That means all New Zealanders will have the opportunity to sample the beers. It is very important that this event is as transparent and professional as possible.”

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