The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Entries for the NZ Spirits Awards close tomorrow: Q+A with Robert Brewer, Chief Executive, Spirits New Zealand

Entries for the fourth annual New Zealand Spirits Awards close this Friday, April 15.

Presented by Spirits New Zealand Inc. and Distilled Spirits Aotearoa (NZ) Inc, the New Zealand Spirits Awards feature 15 categories with Gold, Silver, Bronze and Double-Gold medals, plus category trophies up for grabs.

As the Awards’ media partner for the second year, The Shout NZ is excited to see which spirits take out the top awards and we asked Robert Brewer from Spirits New Zealand to share his insights on this year’s competition.

Robert Brewer

What’s different about this year’s NZ Spirits Awards?
“We’ve made a number of exciting changes which reflect our philosophy of constant improvements and mirror the growth of the sector and the Awards themselves. The most noticeable change is the introduction a number of new categories to this year’s awards. For example, Gin now has London Dry, Contemporary and Navy Strength and Flavoured and Aged Gin categories for distilleries to enter.”

What are the benefits of companies entering their spirit/s?
“There are a wide set of benefits ranging from getting direct feedback from the judges via their notes on the quality of your product, through to the ability to promote a medal or trophy winner as having that extra bit of quality.”

What spirits have you seen become more popular in the last year?
“Gin is still very popular and this trend will likely continue for some time. However, we are seeing a lift in some of the darker spirits as they both mature and are marketed from New Zealand distilleries and as global trends take hold.”

How important is innovation in the Kiwi spirits industry?
Hugely important. It’s what sets New Zealand apart from a whole lot of other countries. Our innovation comes through in the vibrancy and taste profiles of our spirits as well as in the way we brand and market our New Zealand products.

What doors will winning a medal or trophy in the NZ Spirits Awards open for spirits producers?
“We’ve had feedback from so many of our medal and trophy winners about how having the recognition of excellence on their product has been hugely beneficial to marketing and sales. It’s a simple formula – make a great product, win a medal or a trophy and stand out from the rest.”

To enter your spirit/s in the 2022 New Zealand Spirits Awards, click here.

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