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Sprig and Fern Brewery scoops up awards


Sprig and Fern Brewery scoops up awards


The Sprig and Fern Brewery has scooped up the biggest medal haul of any New Zealand brewery at the 2011 BrewNZ International Beer Awards.

From a total of 465 entries, only 172 received medals and ten of these were awarded to the small Nelson craft brewery. Sprig and Fern¹s head brewer and co-owner, Tracy Banner, says for them to get the biggest medal haul was truly fantastic.

³These medals rate at an international level and to win is a phenomenal feeling - you know you must be doing something right,² she says. ³We are only a small team and bringing home these awards really cements what we do, especially for brewers Gary Giblin and Rik Valentine who are out the back of the brewery in the engine room!²

The BrewNZ International Beer Awards use World Beer Cup style descriptors, which lay down very clear descriptions of what is expected for each style of beer. Tracy puts the Sprig and Fern¹s success down to its consistency in following the guidelines and entering the beers in the right class.

³There are a lot of categories and beer styles and I spend a great deal of time matching up our styles with the right categories,² she says. ³The beer awards are stylistic and think Sprig and Fern beers are a good benchmark for some of the different styles.²

The Sprig and Fern¹s biggest selling beer, a Pilsner, picked up a gold medal as a premium lager: ³It shows that even when they are up against the giants, small craft breweries can make good lagers,² Tracy says. ³Gold is great but I am thrilled with all the medals we won, as I know how high the standards are to win a medal.²

The Sprig and Fern Brewery has 17 core products, and usually has a limited release on offer to introduce their customers to new styles.

³The theme for this year¹s beer awards¹ Festive Brew was ŒLet¹s goŠblack¹ and brewers were encouraged to create a new black beer by thinking outside the square of conventional dark beer styles - we created our Black Bruges and won a bronze medal with it.²

The breweryŒs four limited release beers all won medals this year. They plan to release one a week, every Thursday, starting with the barrel-aged Ruby Ale, then the Harvest Pilsner, followed by the Bush Honey Strong Ale, and the Black Bruges will be launched on 8 September, the day before Rugby World Cup 2011 starts.

Tracy and her team are already working on the next limited release for after the world cup.

The Sprig and Fern Brewery won 10 medals at the 2011 BrewNZ International Beer Awards held in Wellington, earlier this month.

GOLD: Pilsner SILVER: Harvest Pilsner, Scotch Ale, Best Bitter, Fern Lager, Fern Draught, Aged Ruby Ale.

BRONZE: Doppelbock, Bush Honey Strong Ale, Black Bruges.

Ends

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