A record number of entries for the 2022 New Zealand Spirits Awards will be judged in Auckland this week.

With 468 entries – 124 more than last year and 214 more than the first Awards in 2019 – Distilled Spirits Aotearoa Chair, Dr Sue James, says organisers are “delighted and happily amazed”.

“With the impact of COVID on business and the wider sector we had tempered our expectations a little but I guess this shows the resilience – and the continued growth – of the spirits industry in New Zealand,” she says.

As in previous years, gin features strongly this year with 235 entries.

“The continued popularity of gin remains a highlight and reflects the international trend for this category,” says Spirits NZ Chief Executive, Robert Brewer.

“New Zealand as well as international entries have both grown this year showing the Awards are developing a solid reputation with all producers – domestic and international.”

Judging will take place over three days in Auckland with other categories including whiskey, vodka, rum, brandy/cognac, liqueurs and tequila.

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