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15 September 2016 - Best Beer HQ

Entries Open for “Tainted” Brewers Guild of NZ Awards 2016

The search is on for New Zealand’s next champion brewery as entries open for this year’s Brewers Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards.

However, it must be said that the reputation of the awards, which are now in its tenth year, took a battering among craft beer aficionados when corporate-owned Lion took out the top award last year – beating out nearly 800 beers from 100 other New Zealand and international breweries.

But Brewers Guild chairman Jonathan Alve says the awards remain the “ultimate accolade” for New Zealand’s $2.2 billion beer industry. “They celebrate and reward talent for brewing quality beer that people throughout New Zealand and the world enjoy.”

The New Zealand Beer Awards judging panel comprises of 25 national and international judges, who will judge the entries over two days from 23 September 2016.

All beer entries will be rated against a style guide for each category for colour, aroma, bitterness, flavour and presentation. Judges take a beer’s overall balance of characteristics into consideration and then decide whether it is worthy of a gold, silver or bronze medal.

The brewery with the most number of medals is crowned Champion New Zealand Brewery, which must be how Lion won last year’s event – it simply entered more beers into the competition than most of its competitors. In fact, I had a good little  discussion with the editor of  Beertown, who contested this point. See what he had to say in the comments section below.

Anyway, winners of the 2016 Brewers Guild Awards of New Zealand will be announced on Saturday 8 October at the Langham Hotel in Auckland.

Alve commented in the event’s media release: “Kiwi brewers are continuing to excel in terms of the taste, quality, and originality of brews produced. That’s reflected in strong sales growth in New Zealand and offshore as well as the performance of our breweries in international competitions.

“We’re also seeing a huge amount of innovation in the sector as brewers respond to consumer preferences, whether it’s for lower alcohol beer or the stronger tasting ales. That bodes well for another stellar year in New Zealand brewing excellence.”

Previous Brewers Guild of New Zealand Beer Award winners:

2015: LION

2014: Townshend’s

2013: Harrington’s

2012: Renaissance

2011: 8 Wired

2010: DB

2009: Tuatara

2008: Emerson’s

2007: No award

Edited: 16/9/2016

News beer awards / New Zealand /


  • Martin Craig says:

    “Lion simply entered more beers into the competition than its competitors” No sorry, that’s not how it works.

    • Best Beer HQ says:

      So you’re saying to me that Lion (and DB, the other elephant in the room) can only enter as many beers as the rest of the competition? Then Lion will have as many international lagers, New Zealand lagers, British ales, European ales, US ales, pale ales, ciders et al. in this competition as, say, North End Brewery or even Good George? Then you factor in the 53% pass rate as you pointed out in your article… the little guys don’t have a chance to be crowned Champion Brewery!

      However, if anything, it shows how shit the big breweries are if they can’t win the whole thing ever year by swamping the comp with their wares 😉

  • Martin Craig says:

    The little guys don’t have a chance? They don’t come much smaller than Townshend. If you really believe the only way to win is by swamping the entries, then you’d have to explain how smaller indy breweries won 75% of the time.
    It comes down to each brewer’s top medals. As Kerry Gray (Choice Bros Brewing) said last year, he entered five entries and if they’d all won gold he would have beaten Lion. I think the Awards are structured to prevent swamping very effectively, and the success of smaller brewers shows that.
    And as for ciders, that’s (literally) another story.

    • Best Beer HQ says:

      But just because both of the big players have each been crowned Champion Brewery only once each doesn’t mean that the competition is fair. Like I said, that these two haven’t managed to dominate with all their resources and beer brands, goes to show that they’re hardly “Champion” material to begin with 😉 I mean, Lion submitted nine medal-winning lagers last year! Nine! How many breweries, besides DB, even have nine different brands of lager to submit for competition!

      Anyway, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Thanks for the good discussion, though. I really like your website 🙂

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