Beer awards: New Zealand's best beer revealed

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A North Island brewery has taken out the top gongs at the beer awards held on Saturday night. 

Warkworth company 8 Wired Brewing was the big winner at the New Zealand Beer Awards 2023 held in Christchurch, taking out the top gongs - Overall Champion New Zealand Brewery Trophy as well as the Champion New Zealand Beer, with their Wild Feijoa 2022. 

The winners were announced at a gala dinner held at the Wigram Airforce Museum in Christchurch, where over 300 individuals from across the industry gathered to celebrate.

"It's the first time our industry has been able to celebrate together since 2019, which made the evening even more special," executive director of the Brewers Guild Melanie Kees said. 

Judging of the 825 entries took place in Christchurch in late July, with Kees saying they were thrilled with the number and the quality of entries. 

"Considering the challenges the industry has faced over the past few years we were really pleased to receive such a high number of entries," Kees said. 

"The quality was also improved on from last year's competition with the success rate at gaining a medal up 11 percent from last year, in fact, 69 percent of all entries gained a medal. This is testament to the quality of the beer being brewed, which is of course wonderful to news - for both brewers and consumers." 

Over the course of the judging period, which spanned two and a half days, 25 stewards, 30 judges and six support staff poured around 400 litres of beer and served nearly 4000 glasses to the team of judges. 

"NZ Styles and Juicy and Hazy continued to be the largest classes, with Speciality and Experimental and Fruit and Flavoured the next most popular classes, a sure sign that creativity is alive and well in the New Zealand brewing sector," Kees said. 

Other winners on the night included the Garage Project in Wellington who claimed the Champion Large Brewery award, bStudio in Napier won the Champion New Zealand Manufacturer. 

Workshop Brewing in Raglan won the Champion Micro Brewery award, Shining Peak Brewing in New Plymouth won Champion Small Brewery and Behemoth Brewing Company in Auckland won the Champion Medium Brewery.

"It is always an honour to put these awards together and to have people from across our entire supply chain together celebrating what we as a collective have achieved, as well of course, the beers, breweries and individuals who receive awards on the night," Chairman of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Brian Watson said.

All the other winners can be found here