NZ Beer Awards 2012

NZ Beer Awards 2012

August 17th, 2012 by Crafty Pint

There was an emotional finale to the New Zealand Beer Awards last night as Christchurch brewery Harrington’s took out the title of Champion Brewery. Like many others, the stalwarts of the Kiwi beer industry had been badly affected by the earthquakes that struck the city in 2011 and there were tears on stage as the owners and brewers collected their trophy.

The Sutton Group Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards were celebrating their 11th year and the dinner in Wellington saw many awards go to brewers from the host city. Newcomers Garage Project and ParrotDog, both of whom have been in operation for less than 12 months, took out three between them. Garage Project won the Flavoured and Aged Styles and Festive Brew (beers brewed specially for the Beervana festival that starts today) while ParrotDog’s BitterBitch was named Best International Ale.

A host of names familiar to Australian drinkers also fared well, with Tuatara, 8 Wired and Emerson’s picking up trophies. There was also a new award presented, that of Beer Writer of the Year. The Crafty Pint was invited to be on the judging panel and also got to present the award on the night. It went to Phil Cook, writer of the Beer Diary blog. It’s a highly original, hugely entertaining, Gonzo read from someone who deserves a big audience. As Phil is also part of the Garage Project, we’ll have to see if he has enough time to write about beer as well as brew it…

The awards attracted its highest number of entries, with 460 beers being judged by an international team led by Brian Watson. They awarded golds, silvers and bronzes in each category with the highest scoring beer in each taking out the trophy. All trophies, other than the Champion International Brewery, which went to the Boston Beer Company, are only given to Kiwi breweries.

Many of the winning will be on show at Beervana, which takes place at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington today and tomorrow. The Crafty Pint’s Auld Bulgin' Boysterous Bicep, brewed last month with Murray’s, goes up against beers from the likes of Epic, Emerson’s, Renaissance and the Garage Project in the Media Brew competition brew.

The list of Trophy Winners is:

New Zealand Champion Brewery
Harrington’s Breweries

Champion International Brewery
Boston Beer Co

European Lager Styles
Wigram Brewing Company
Munchner Dunkel

International Lager Styles
Tuatara Brewing Company
Tuatara Pilsner

British Ale Styles
Emerson’s Brewery
Regional Best Bitter

Other European Ale Styles
Golden Bear Brewing
Pirate Peach Saison

US Ale Styles
Liberty Brewing Co
Yakima Monster

International Ale Styles

Stout & Porter Styles
Wigram Brewing Company
The Czar

Wheat & Other Grain Styles
Tuatara Brewing Co Ltd
Tuatara Hefe

Flavoured & Aged Styles (incl. Fruit/Spice/Herb/ Honey/Smoke)
Garage Project
Dark Arts

New Zealand Specific Styles
Boundary Road Brewery
NZ Pure

Specialty, Experimental, Aged, Barrel & Wood-Aged Styles
8 Wired Brewing
Grand Cru 2011

Cider & Perry Styles
Bulmer Harvest
Harvest Pear Cider

Cask Conditioned
Townshend Brewery
HM’s Black Strap Porter

Tuatara Brewing Company
Tuatara Range

Festive Brew
Garage Project
Ziggy’s Carrot Cake

Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation James (Jim) Pollitt

Brewers Guild New Zealand Beer Writer of the Year 2012 Phil Cook

(Photo at top by Jed Soane)

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