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Tuatara toasts Champion Brewery success for a second time


8 October 2016

Tuatara toasts Champion Brewery success for a second time

Tuatara Brewing Company has become New Zealand’s first two-time Champion Brewery after picking up the top gong at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand 2016 Beer Awards tonight (Saturday).

The country’s best brewery in 2008, Paraparaumu’s Tuatara dominated the 10th year of the country’s most prestigious brewing awards, collecting three of 14 category trophies and a total of five gold, five silver and four bronze medals for its beers.

Tuatara founder Carl Vasta, who started the brewery in the backyard of his Waikanae home in 2000, said winning the Champion Brewery award for a second time was a huge honour.

“I started out brewing just to make good beer that my mates and I enjoyed, so to see how things have grown to this point is pretty remarkable. The reason we’ve been able to achieve the success we have is because we’ve got a tremendous team of people who are really passionate about beer and brewing, and we haven’t lost sight of the simple reason Tuatara started in the first place – to brew good beers that we enjoying drinking as fans of beer.”

Tuatara’s volumes run at about two million litres a year and it is a leading light in the booming New Zealand brewing industry. With sales growth continuing in New Zealand, Tuatara has cracked important export markets in Australia, Britain, Ireland, Scotland, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia.

“New Zealand beer is hugely respected overseas and the Brewers Guild awards is a highly recognised international competition,” said Vasta. “That recognition is as important and sought-after internationally as it is here at home.”

Tuatara won trophies (best in category) for best New Zealand lager (Mot Eureka), best pale ale (Sauvinova) and best wheat and other grain beer (Weiz Guy).

This year’s Brewers Guild awards saw 946 beers from 98 breweries entered across 14 beer categories. A total of 88 New Zealand breweries were entered, joining 10 breweries from Australia, Germany and the United States.

American brewery Boston Beer Company was named Champion International Brewery and Auckland contract brewery Steam won the Champion Manufacturer award.

Low alcohol beers were also notable winners, with DB Brewing’s Heineken Light awarded the trophy for best international lager and Croucher Brewing’s 2.5% low alcohol Lowrider earning the Rotorua operation the trophy for best specialty beer.

New Zealand brewing legend John Harrington, of Harrington’s Brewing in Christchurch, won the prestigious Morton Coutts Trophy for brewing innovation and contribution to the industry, with New Zealand Hops chief executive Doug Donelan being honoured by the Brewers Guild with the industry achievement award.

Brewers Guild president Emma McCashin the 2016 awards capped another stellar year for New Zealand brewing.

“Brewing in New Zealand has grown into an innovative, sophisticated and valuable sector. Our breweries are producing amazing beer with a uniquely Kiwi flavour and vision, and it’s being sought out by more drinkers here and overseas.

“It’s a sector that’s chock-full of talented and passionate people, from small operations right the way through to the biggest.”



Gladfield Malt

Champion Brewery

Tuatara Brewing Company (Paraparaumu)

Champion Manufacturer

Steam Brewing (Auckland)
New Zealand Hops

Champion International Brewery

Boston Beer Company (Massachusetts, US)

Trophy winners

O-I New Zealand

International Lager

DB Breweries (Auckland)Heineken Light

New Zealand Lager

Tuatara Brewing Company (Paraparaumu)Mot Eureka
Brewers Guild of NZ

British Ale

Sprig & Fern Brewery (Nelson)Best Bitter

European Ale

Moa Brewing Company (Blenheim)Moa St Josephs

US Ale

8 Wired Brewing (Warkworth)Tall Poppy

Pale Ale

Tuatara Brewing CompanySauvinova
Red Kegs

Strong Pale Ale

Epic Brewing Company (Auckland)Epic Armageddon IPA

Stout and Porter

Emerson’s Brewing Company (Dunedin)Emerson’s Phantom Lord
Beer & Brewer Magazine

Wheat and Other Grain

Tuatara Brewing CompanyWeiz Guy
Excel Digital

Flavoured and Aged

Choice Bros (Wellington)Reet Petite
Plant & Food Research

Specialty, Experimental, Aged, Barrel, Wood-Aged

Croucher Brewing (Rotorua)Lowrider
Convention Management NZ

Cider or Perry

Zeffer Cider Co. (Silverdale)Cidre Demi-Sec
Label &Litho

Fruit or Flavoured Cider or Perry

Zeffer Cider Co.Apple Crumble Cider
Massey University


Moa Brewing CompanyMoa NZ Gold Ale 375ml retail (Bottle/Cork/Muselet/Label)

Special awards

DB Breweries Morton Coutts TrophyJohn Harrington (Christchurch)
Brewers Guild Honorary FellowDave Logsdon (Missouri, US)
Brewers Guild Honorary MemberJohn Harrington
Brewers Guild Life MembershipSimon Taylor (Auckland)
Brewers Guild Industry AchievementDoug Donelan (Nelson/Tasman)
Brewers Guild Beer Writer of the YearMichael Donaldson (Auckland)
Brewers Guild President’s AwardPhillippa Boa (Christchurch)

For the full list of medal winners visit


About the Brewers Guild of New Zealand

The Brewers Guild is a membership-based organisation established to grow the value and quality of New Zealand’s $2.2 billion beer sector. It operates as a collective voice for more than 80 commercial brewers in New Zealand. The Guild works with Government on legal, licensing, fiscal and excise issues. It delivers education programmes to its members and helps promote the value of the sector to the public. The Guild organises New Zealand’s most prestigious annual beer awards, the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards. For more information, visit

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