Tuatara tops NZ Brewers Guild Awards 2016

10 October 2016 - Best Beer HQ

Tuatara tops NZ Brewers Guild Awards 2016

Tuatara has become the first brewery to take out the top gong at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand 2016 Beer Awards for the second time.

The Paraparaumu brewery won three of the awards’ 14 category trophies, as well as a total of five gold, five silver, and four bronze medals for its beers, claiming the Champion Brewery award for best brewery overall.

Despite the editor of Best Beer HQ’s own misgivings that the Champion Brewery award favours larger breweries with bigger stables of beer – i.e. it’s awarded to the brewery with the most wins, meaning that a brewery with only two or three beers entered can’t be expected to compete with some of the bigger ones – Tuatara is a deserving winner.

The brewery has come a long way from its humble origins in 2000, based in founder Carl Vasta’s Wakanae backyard, to produce around two million litres of beer in the past year. Meanwhile, the company’s sales continue to grow in NZ, as well as in export markets in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.

Vasta commented: “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.”

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.

In other results, American brewery Boston Beer Company was named Champion International Brewery, DB’s Heineken Light took out the title of best international lager, and Croucher Brewing’s 2.5% low alcohol Lowrider won the award for specialty beer.

Meanwhile, New Zealand brewing legend John Harrington – founder of Harrington’s Brewing in Christchurch – won the prestigious Morton Coutts Trophy for brewing innovation and contribution to the industry.


Champion NZ Brewery: Tuatara

Champion Manufacturer: Steam Brewing

Champion International Brewery: Boston Beer Company

International Lager: DB (Heineken Light)

British Ale: Sprig & Fern (Best Bitter)

European Ale: Moa (Moa St Josephs)

US Ale: 8 Wired (Tall Poppy)

Pale Ale: Tuatara (Sauvinova)

Strong Pale Ale: Epic (Armageddon IPA)

Stout and Porter: Emerson’s (Phantom Lord)

Wheat: Tuatara (Weiz Guy)

Flavoured and Aged: Choice Bros. (Reet Petite)

Specialty/Experimental: Croucher (Lowrider)

Cider/Perry: Zeffer (Cidre Demi-Sec)

Fruit or Flavoured Cider: Zeffer (Apple Crumble Cider)

Packaging: Moa (NZ Gold Ale)

Morton Coutts Trophy: John Harrington, Harrington’s

Beer Writer: Michael Donaldson

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