The New Zealand Beer Awards 2023, was held in Christchurch over the weekend to determine exactly who brews the best beverage in Aotearoa.
8 Wired Brewing, a North Island brewery based in Warkworth, emerged triumphant, securing top honours, claiming both the Overall Champion New Zealand Brewery Trophy and the prestigious Champion New Zealand Beer award for their Wild Feijoa 2022
The awards ceremony took place at Wigram Airforce Museum and saw over 300 industry professionals congregate to commemorate the occasion.
Judging for the event occurred in late July in Christchurch. The high turnout and quality of entries were impressive Executive Director of the Brewers Guild Melanie Kees told Newshub, especially considering the recent increase in alcohol excise tax on Kiwi brewers.
The improvement in entry quality compared to the previous year was notable, with an 11 percent increase in the success rate of winning medals. 69 percent of all entries secured a medal, underlining the excellence of the beer produced and consumed.
The judging phase spanned two and a half days and involved 25 stewards, 30 judges, and six support staff. During this period, around 400 litres of beer were poured and nearly 4000 glasses were served to the judging team. Notably, New Zealand Styles and Juicy and Hazy remained prominent categories, reflecting the thriving creativity within the country's brewing landscape.
The awards night also saw several other breweries emerge victorious. Wellington's Garage Project claimed the Champion Large Brewery award, while Napier's bStudio secured the Champion New Zealand Manufacturer title.
Workshop Brewing in Raglan won the Champion Micro Brewery category, Shining Peak Brewing in New Plymouth earned the title of Champion Small Brewery, and Behemoth Brewing Company in Auckland was named the Champion Medium Brewery.
While these awards were only judged based predominantly on the taste of the beverages provided if you're looking to save a couple of bucks next time you hit the bar, check out where some of the most affordable pints can be found across the country.
For more information and the full list of winners head to brewersguild.org.nz/nzba/.