The New Zealand Beer Awards 2023 winners have been announced, at a gala dinner held in Christchurch on Saturday, the 5th of August.
Judging of the 825 entries took place in Christchurch in late July, and Executive Director of the Brewers Guild Melanie Kees said they were thrilled with the number and the quality of entries.
"Considering the challenges the industry has faced over the past few years, we were pleased to receive such a high number of entries," said Kees.
Kees continued that the quality was also improved from last year's competition, with the success rate of gaining a medal up 11 percent, where 69 percent of all entries gained a medal. This is a testament to the quality of the beer being brewed, which is terrific news for both brewers and consumers.
Across the two and half days of judging, 25 stewards, 30 judges and six support staff worked together to pour around 400 litres of beer and serve nearly 4000 glasses to the team of judges. New Zealand Styles and Juicy and Hazy continued to be the largest classes, with Speciality and Experimental, followed by the Fruit and Flavoured category. These popular categories show creativity is alive and well in New Zealand brewing.
This year's celebration was at the Wigram Airforce Museum, where over 300 individuals from across the industry gathered to celebrate.
"It is the first time our industry has been able to celebrate together since 2019, which made the evening even more special."
Chairman of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand, Brian Watson, said it was an honour to put the awards together and to have people from across the entire supply chain come together, celebrating as a collective what the brewing industry has achieved, as well as celebrating the beers, breweries and individuals who received awards on the night.
The big winners on the evening included 8 Wired Brewing, who took out both top gongs, the Overall Champion New Zealand Brewery Trophy and the Champion New Zealand Beer, with their Wild Feijoa 2022.
The Awards also celebrate the wider brewing industry and include awards for Beer Tourism, Sustainability in Brewing, the Packaging Award and the Morton Coutts Award for Innovation, which Simon Ross of Wanaka won.