The New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30 has been announced, following the independent expert judging of nearly 700 entries from around New Zealand and the world.
For the first time in the awards’ eight-year history, the Top 30 winner list is made up entirely of New Zealand brands, including nine first-time winners from all corners of the country.
In another first for the awards, two non-alcoholic beers made the Top 30: ALL DAY Non-Alcoholic IPA from Auckland’s Bach Brewing; and the Garage Project ‘Tiny’ Non-Alcoholic Hazy IPA.
Chair of Judges for the New World Beer & Cider Awards Michael Donaldson says the wins are great news for beer drinkers of all persuasions.
“Creating a full-flavour beer without the alcohol is no easy feat,” he says. “These winning breweries have met the challenge and led the market with stunning results that even the most beer-loving consumers can enjoy pulling from the fridge.
“To make the Top 30, an entry has to not just impress, but must reach the threshold of being a world-class example of its style, and these certainly do. Both are non-alcoholic options that don’t make you feel as if you’re missing out on anything.”
This year also saw the first low-carb beer, Epic Blue, making it into the Top 30.
Other debuts in the 2022 Top 30 include:
· Beer Baroness, a 100% female owned brewery in Christchurch.
· Bootleg Brewery Company, located in the historic Matangi Dairy Factory near Hamilton.
· Morningcider, of Auckland’s Morningside, creators of the city’s first urban orchard.
· Ranga Alcoholic Gingerbeer, from the original alcoholic gingerbeer brewers located in Gisborne.
· Rhyme X Reason of Wanaka, where they also design and manufacture their own canning lines.
· Southpaw Brewing, founded by a team of beer-fan friends in Christchurch.
· The Theoretical Brewer of Taranaki, which has quickly grown from a garage passion project to one of the region’s favourite craft brewers.
· Volstead Brewing Company, also of Christchurch, which made the Top 30 on their first try.
“This Top 30 is a showcase of some of the best brewing talents and innovators in the country,” says Donaldson.
“It’s great to be able to celebrate these new and less-widely known names alongside heritage brands like Steinlager, and popular craft breweries like Panhead and Sawmill, who continue to experiment and perform at the top of their game.”
For the first time the New World Beer & Cider Awards, judges also awarded a Supreme Winner – tasting and re-tasting the best-scoring entries to find a stand-out champion and discovering what Michael Donaldson has called “a classic masterpiece” in Emerson’s Weissbier.
A reincarnation of a wheat beer Emerson’s founder Richard Emerson first brewed in 1995, the traditionally cloudy German-style beer is described as fruit-driven with a hint of “banana lollies”, full and creamy but clean and coherent.
“For those less taken by trends, the Top 30 is equally full of ‘classics’ to explore,” says Donaldson. Including two Belgian style beers: a saison called Bones of the Land from North End Brewery and a lambic-style brew called Fistful of Raspberries from Matakana’s 8 Wired.
The Top 30 has modern classics and Kiwi-born legends too, such as Garage Project’s Pernicious Weed, which is one of four Top 30 wins from the brewery – an Awards’ record.
“Whether you are keen to try a perfect example of your favourite style of beer, explore something new, or just sample something from another part of the country, the Top 30 is a go to list that you can be confident choosing from,” says Donaldson.
For the full list of the Top 30 winning beers and ciders, click here.
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