The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Entries open for New World Beer & Cider Awards

The New World Beer & Cider Awards are back with more chances for local breweries and cidermakers to get their best brews on the supermarket shelf and to the very top of shopping lists.

In an exciting change for the fifth year of competition, an expanded panel of expert judges will sniff, swirl and sip their way through hundreds of entries to discover the Top 30 beers and ciders on behalf of thirsty New World customers.

Making sure these top-notch brews are easy for shoppers to find and explore, the Top 30 winners will be rewarded with prime space and promotion in New World stores nationwide. The next 70 highest ranked beers and ciders will be Highly Commended. Together they will be celebrated in a Top 100 list featured on the New World website.

Returning Chair of Judges, beer writer and author Michael Donaldson says he’s looking forward to seeing which beers and ciders come out on top in the new competition format.

“New Zealand is full of great beer and cider-making talent, but that means there is a lot for consumers to choose from and it’s often hard to know where to start.

Chair of Judges Michael Donaldson.

“Putting the best 30 beers and ciders in the spotlight, with the endorsement of experienced judges, makes it easy for people to explore new products and find a new favourite.”

He says a top placing in the awards can be a game changer for entrants: “These awards are an unmatched opportunity for local beer and cider businesses to build their brand and following, with the chance to showcase their product in 135 stores across the country and get in front of thousands of potential new customers.”

New Kiwi brewery Fortune Favours knows just what a New World Beer & Cider Awards win can do for a fresh name in the business. The first-time entrants experienced an immediate boost after they struck gold in 2018 with their American Amber Ale, ‘The Oregonian’.

“The New World Beer & Cider Awards provided a great springboard for us as a new brewery,” says Fortune Favours CEO Shannon Thorpe. “Fortune Favours was only a few months old at the time and we entered with some of our very first batches of packaged beer. The win was a massive achievement and helped make so many more people aware of our brewery and our beers.”

The company has continued to make the most of their accolade, using the added awareness to grow their retail customers, including around 60 New World stores, and the clientele of their ‘spiritual home’, their Wellington-based brew bar.

Open to breweries and cidermakers, large and small, from around New Zealand and the world, entrants do not need to be an existing New World or Foodstuffs supplier to put their best brews forward.

Most important is the ability to supply enough stock for the beer and cider drinkers who eagerly anticipate the results instore each year, with minimum stock requirements set for each class.

Entries close on Friday 15 February 2019. All entry details can be found here .

An independent judging panel of 24 experts from across the industry, as well as 8 associate judges in training, will put their palates to the test over two days of judging in Wellington in March.

Each entry will be judged blind and assessed on its merits using a collaborative approach based on technical excellence, balance and, most importantly, drinkability.

The Top 100 results will be released later in 2019.