The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Judging takes place for the New World Beer & Cider Awards

Last week brewers, sensory analysts and hop experts came together to find the best brews from more than 500 hopeful entries.

They debated over 2,500 glasses of beer and cider across 12 categories to decide the very best brews at the 2017 New World Beer & Cider Awards.

Held to international standards at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, the panel of 19 independent expert judges blind-tasted each entry to determine which brews stand out from the crowd in technical excellence, balance, mouthfeel, and most importantly, drinkability.

Chair of independent judges, beer writer and author Michael Donaldson says the New World Beer & Cider Awards bring together some of the most reputed experts in the business, with judges carefully selected to reflect the diversity of this growing sector.

“It’s a testament to the credibility of the New World Beer & Cider Awards that it has been able to attract some of the most respected names in the brewing industry, along with some exciting new talent. When their combined expertise tells you a brew is worthy of a gold medal, you can be assured its well-made and highly drinkable,” he says.

“All the judges have highly trained palates and their job is to swirl, sniff and sip the beer before deciding if it’s worthy of a medal. They will discuss the technical merits but the focus is on the most basic requirement of a medal-winning beer: great flavour.”

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to suitably worthy entries, with the Champion awarded to the top entry in each category. Shoppers will be soon able to enjoy the Gold medal winners of the 2017 awards in New World stores.

Steve Anderson, Managing Director of Foodstuffs New Zealand says: “It’s our job to put the spotlight on the very best brews available in New Zealand. The New World Beer & Cider Awards are unique as they have been specifically designed with the consumer in mind, making it easier for New World shoppers to purchase with confidence.”

“We know from previous experience there is always a huge demand for winning beers and ciders,” he says. “For a smaller brewery, the chance to be stocked at New World stores is an incredible opportunity to grow their business and reach beer and cider drinkers across the country.”

Entries were received from breweries large and small throughout New Zealand and abroad, with the criteria that the brew is available in cans and bottles, and brewers can deliver the required volume to satisfy the thirst of New World shoppers nationwide.

Michael Donaldson, beer writer,author and judge (Chair)

New World Beer & Cider Awards 2017 Judges:

  • Michael Donaldson, beer writer and author (Chair)
  • Alice Galletly, beer writer and author
  • Amy Paisley, sensory analyst and hop expert
  • Brian Watson, Good George Brewing
  • Colin Mallon, The Malthouse
  • Geoff Griggs, beer writer, NHC chief judge
  • James Rowan, West Brook Winery
  • Joe Wood, Liberty Brewing
  • Jono Galuszka, beer writer
  • Justin Oliver, Free Range Wines
  • Kelly Ryan, Fork & Brewer
  • Kieran Haslett-Moore, North End Brewing
  • Matt Warner, ParrotDog Brewery
  • Mike Neilson, Panhead Custom Ales
  • Sam Williamson, Sawmill Brewing
  • Shane Morley, Steam Brewing
  • Stephen Plowman, Hallertau Brewery
  • Tracy Banner, Spring and Fern Brewery
  • Wendy Roigard, Valkyrie Brewing Co

Alice Galletly, beer writer, author and judge.

New World Beer & Cider Awards 2017 Classes:

  1. Lager
  2. Pilsner
  3. Pale Ale
  4. IPA
  5. British-style Ale
  6. European-style Ale
  7. American-style Ale
  8. Stout, Porter & Black Beer
  9. Wheat & Other Grain Beer
  10. Speciality, Experimental, Aged, Wood-aged and Flavoured Beer
  11. Apple & Pear Cider
  12. Fruit & Flavoured Cider