44 DRINKtech APRIL 2017 NEW ZEALAND NZ BREWS DOMINATE NEW WORLD BEER & CIDER AWARDS Kiwi breweries and India Pale Ales (IPA) have emerged as big winners at this year’s New World Beer & Cider Awards…in fact, New Zealand breweries won 10 of the 12 classes, while IPA took home nearly 20% of the awards’ gold medals. More than 500 beers and ciders were entered by 81 local and international breweries for this year’s event, which were blind-judged by a panel of 19 independent expert judges using a collaborative method based on technical excellence, balance, mouthfeel, and most importantly, drinkability. Judging panel chair Michael Donaldson says with so many strong entries, selecting a champion in each class was difficult for the judging panel. A standout was the hotly contested IPA class with more than 70 entries from 45 breweries, which finally came down to technical excellence. “IPA is the fastest-growing sector in the brewing industry, so it’s a highly competitive class in any awards,” he says. “There are so many techniques to brewing an IPA, different ways to use hops, malt structure, bitter-sweet balance, level of alcohol…all of these create varied flavour profiles which the judges have to assess. When it came to selecting the champion from our five finalists, what stood out for the judges was the technical excellence of Epic’s Armageddon IPA. And it’s not for the first-time Armageddon has triumphed. This is the second year running that Armageddon has won best IPA in this competition, not to mention their other local and international awards. It’s now the benchmark for quality in the IPA category.” Donaldson says the diversity of the winners illustrates the strength of the local brewing industry. “We’ve got long-established brewers such as Hawke’s Bay Independent, whose Pure Lager was a revelation in the lager class; craft darlings ParrotDog, who produce a gem of a pilsner to win that class; as well as relative newcomers such as Spark’s Brewing, whose Outlander Extra Stout has only been around for a couple of years but has already made a name for itself as one of the best in the country.” He reserved special praise for Bach Brewing and Good George Brewing, who both took two champion titles this year. “Bach Brewing’s Witsunday Blonde IPA is a complex but approachable beer, while their Driftwood Pale Ale packs in great flavour without being too high in alcohol. Good George showed there are plenty of ways to use hops, with a restrained dose in their very approachable Amber Ale to something different in their Drop Hop Cider.” Foodstuffs managing director Steve Anderson says the New World Beer & Cider Awards are the only New Zealand awards that can give winners an instant boost in sales and brand visibility. THE 2017 NEW WORLD BEER & CIDER AWARDS CLASS CHAMPIONS ARE: Class Brew Origin IPA Epic Armageddon IPA Auckland Pale Ale Bach Brewing Driftwood Pacific Pale Ale Auckland Lager Hawke’s Bay Pure Lager Hawke’s Bay Pilsner ParrotDog Pandemonium Wellington British-style Ale Good George Amber Ale Hamilton American-style Ale Deep Creek Dusty Gringo India Brown Ale Auckland European-style Ale Delirium Nocturnum Belgium Wheat & Other Grain Beer Bach Brewing Witsunday Blonde IPA Auckland Stout, Porter & Black Beer Sparks Brewing Outlander Extra Stout Auckland Speciality Beer Petrus Aged Pale Belgium Apple & Pear Cider Scrumpy Apple Cider Gisborne Fruit & Flavoured Cider Good George Drop Hop Cider Hamilton To see all medal winners, go to www.newworld.co.nz/goodstuff.
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