The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The hunt is on for NZ’s best brews

rsz_new_world_beer__cider_awards_2016_2Entries are now open for 2017 New World Beer & Cider Awards, searching for the best brews from around the country.

This unique competition celebrates beer and cider brewing perfection, putting award-winning classic ales and extraordinary experimental brews right at the top of New World customers’ shopping lists.

Boutique breweries were the big winners of the 2016 Awards with some relative newcomers taking home several of the Best in Class Awards across the 12 different categories. Race Louden, CEO of Good George Brewing and the brewery behind the Doris Plum Cider, a 2016 Best in Class winner, said they saw an immediate boost in sales.

“The New World Beer & Cider Awards are unlike any other awards because they are designed with consumers in mind. They help people to distinguish which brews are special and then make it easy to purchase up and down the country,” says Louden. “The opportunity to get our Doris Plum Cider onto New World shelves and into shopper’s trolleys has driven a substantial growth in sales for Good George.”

Louden says the icing on the cake of winning an award is when it has a direct effect on sales and visibility nationwide. “That support just isn’t available through other competitions as they don’t have the established distribution and retail networks,” he says.

Now entering its third year, the 2017 competition is expected to exceed 2016 levels. Chair of Judges, beer writer, and author Michael Donaldson says the New World Beer & Cider Awards are establishing themselves as the annual fixture in the awards calendar because the competition speaks to consumers in a diverse and growing market. The credibility of the Awards and the commercial benefits to breweries are driven by the consumer-focus.

“With so many new beers available as the craft beer segment grows at an astonishing rate, it’s sometimes hard to appreciate a truly excellent brew,” Donaldson says. “The New World Awards help the shopper by putting the focus on drinkability and technical excellence. Plus, we add extensive tasting notes to help people understand what’s on offer.”

“The in-store layout and presentation help New World customers navigate the beer selections, allowing them to make informed choices, knowing all medal-winning beers and ciders are both technically excellent and, most importantly, delightful to drink,” he says.

Breweries do not need to be an existing New World or Foodstuffs supplier, although product availability is a key criterion. Entrants are required to have enough stock available to be promoted in New World supermarkets nationwide, ensuring all award-winning brews are accessible for beer and cider enthusiasts, even if only for a short time. All Gold Medal-winning brews will be guaranteed distribution in 133 New World stores nationwide.

An independent panel of 18 beer and cider experts will judge entries over two days in Wellington. Each entry will be blind-judged and assessed on its merits using a collaborative approach based on technical excellence, balance and, most importantly, drinkability.

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to the entries judged to be the finest in their respective style and the coveted Champion will be awarded to the top entry in each class.

Judging will take place early in 2017, with results announced later in the year. Entries close on the 13th January 2017. Details can be found at