The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Local breweries come out on top in New World Beer & Cider Awards

Some of New Zealand’s newest, smallest and most remote craft breweries have won a place in the New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30 for 2023.

More than 700 beers, ciders and other brews from all around Aotearoa and the world entered this year’s competition, judged by an independent panel of 29 expert judges over two days.

“There are always a few surprises in the Top 30, but in nine years of this competition, there’s never been a year quite like 2023,” says Chair of Judges Michael Donaldson.

“The beauty of judging entries ‘blind’ – without any branding, labelling or description – means it’s all about what’s in the glass on the day.

“It puts every entry on an even playing field, giving small, unheralded breweries the same shot at showcasing their work as established beer brands.”

Alongside global brands such as Asahi and Tiger; and homegrown names including Mac’s, Monteith’s and Steinlager, the 2023 Top 30 includes a number of local craft brewers and first-time winners.

New to the Top 30 this year are:

  • Ruapehu Brewing Co’s Unlimited Vis Hazy IPA – one of the first beers off their new production line in Ohakune.
  • Martinborough Brewery’s IPA Hop Elixir
  • Shining Peak’s Petite Pegasus Session Hazy
  • Three Sisters’ Rumours in the Dark
  • Double Vision’s Mouth Party
  • Plus, Otago Brew School – a hands-on learning environment for students at Otago Polytech Te Pūkenga brewing school – joined the list with their classic dark wheat beer, Klassenbester Dunkelweizen.

“Many of these breweries have remained relatively unknown outside their local regions, until now,” says Donaldson.

“These wins will give these brew businesses an audience with beer-lovers all across New Zealand and a great opportunity to grow their fan base.”

Top in the rankings as the 2023 New World Beer & Cider Awards Supreme Winner is Taupo’s Lakeman with the Primate Pilsner.

“This win in a great story of Kiwi can-do attitude,” says Donaldson. “Despite their remote location, rural farm setting and small team, Lakeman has gone from beginner to absolute winner in just 10 years.

“There isn’t anything to hide behind in a crisp, light pilsner, and they’ve created a pitch perfect New Zealand style pilsner that beer fans are sure to love.”

Kingland’s Urbanaut brewery has three wins in the Top 30 for its Silver Palace Citra Hazy IPA, Newtown Hazy IPA and Bronx Double IPA, each showing off different hop varieties.

Bootleg Brewery from Matangi, Waikato won two places in the Top 30, for its flagship Apehanger IPA and a Belgian-style quadruple.

In ciders, Hawkes Bay’s Paynter’s Cider was recognised The Pilgrim – a super dry cider with Chardonnay characteristics.

Zeffer, also from Hawke’s Bay, took two spots with its alcoholic ginger beer and a new 0% Passionfruit cider; and while Morningcider’s Cherry Bomb Cider and Mount Brewing’s Tart Rhubarb Cider round out the style in the Top 30.

For the full New World Beer & Cider Awards 2023 Top 30 list, click here.

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