The fifth year of the New World Beer and Cider Awards saw over 630 entries from 100 breweries and cider houses from around New Zealand and overseas. Craft breweries took out 28 of the top 30 spots.
The independent panel of 24 judges was in awe of the high-quality product that was presented at the awards, with Michael Donaldson, one of the lead judges, saying, “Easily the best quality across the board that we’ve seen… Any one of the top 100 you could regard as a gold medal-winning beer.” Judges had the task of finding drinks that had a high level of “drinkability”, as the top 30 beers will be distributed to 135 New World stores. “They need to be flavoursome and good quality, but also approachable. You might have a really good, strong beer, but not everyone’s looking for a festival-type beverage. It’s quite a tricky balance.”
A wide range of beers and ciders impressed the judges, who tasted everything from feijoa ales, to dark beers, etc. According to Donaldson, Liberty Brewing had the most beverages in the top 100, with several breweries squeezing two of their products into the top 30, such as Three Boys Brewery, Behemoth Brewing Company, Epic Brewing Company, Sawmill Brewery, Panhead Custom Ales and Sprig and Fern Brewery.
To find out more about the winners, and to view the tasting notes, please visit www.newworld.co.nz/wine-and-beer/beer-and-cider-awards-results/.