The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Industry insights: Kiwi brewers win Gold in Australia

Martin Craig.

New Zealand brewers shone at the world’s largest annual beer competition, held in Melbourne in May.

The Australian International Beer Awards describes itself as the ‘largest annual beer competition in the world’, and attracted 2042 entries in this, its 25th year.

The most-highly decorated New Zealand winner was Deep Creek Brewing from Silverdale, which won the Trophy for Champion Small International Brewery.

Deep Creek won this accolade by collecting a suite of medals for its beers – two Gold, four Silver and three Bronze.

It’s a small brewery, but the beer itself has been making some noise. Alongside its core range, it produces three special projects: Steam Funk (experimenting with fermentation); Nero (experimenting with dark malts); and my personal favourite, Lupulin Effect (emphasising hops and IPA styles).

These limited-release ranges let the brew team break loose and have some fun, but also demonstrate their brewing chops to beer fans and brewers alike. To put the win into perspective, ParrotDog won the same Trophy in 2015. Since then it’s gone from strength to strength, raised $2 million through crowdfunding, and is currently commissioning a large new brewing facility.

Deep Creek Brewing co-founder Jarred Maclachlan is ecstatic about the win. “It is such a great feeling to have our beer recognised and awarded amidst such a strong panel of brewers,” he says. “It is an incredible international platform for Deep Creek and we’re so excited to continue taking our products to the world.”

Auckland’s Bach Brewing brought home the Major Trophy for Best Scotch Ale/Barley Wine for Seamaster Imperial Ale, a velvety and warming American-style Barley Wine with 10.5% ABV.

In total, 12 Kiwi brewers brought back at least one Gold medal: Deep Creek, Bach, Epic, Founders, Galbraiths, Lakeman, Black Dog, Sunshine, Mikes, Craftwork, Kereru, and Boundary Rd for packaging.

The range of established and new breweries bringing back medals is testament to the quality, calibre and international standing of the New Zealand brewing industry.

Written by Martin Craig on behalf of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand. Martin Craig is a beer writer, journalist and publisher of www.Beertown.NZ