The New World Beer & Cider Awards have finished and winners have been drawn from a massive pool of talent. While the competition wasn’t limited to New Zealand breweries our kiwi craft beers dominated the charts. Belgium took only 2 awards from the 12 classes, This was for their european-style ale Delirium Nocturnum and the speciality beer Petrus Aged Pale.
Most of the competition was waged over the IPA sector, where over 70 entries from 45 breweries were vying for the top spot. In the end it came down to nuanced technical excellence.
Chair of the Independent judges, beer writer and author Michael Donaldson talked about the difficulties of selecting the top brews.
“When it came to selecting the Champion from our five finalists, what stood out for the judges was the technical excellence of Epic’s Armageddon IPA. And it’s not for the first-time Armageddon has triumphed. This is the second year running that Armageddon has won best IPA in this competition… It’s now the benchmark for quality in the IPA category.”
“We’ve got long-established brewers such as Hawke’s Bay Independent, whose Pure Lager was a revelation in the lager class, craft darlings ParrotDog, who produce a gem of a pilsner to win that class as well as relative newcomers such as Spark’s Brewing, whose Outlander Extra Stout has only been around for a couple of years but has already made a name for itself as one of the best in the country.