BREWNZ 2007 HAS JUST WOUND UP with the realisation that the New Zealand craft beer scene has just come of age.
The last few years have been dominated by Lion Nathan, Emerson's and Steam Brewing (of Cock & Bull, Limburg and Epic fame). This year the spread of medals and 'Best in Class' trophies was spread as far and wide as were my eager eyes on Day One, and by my at liver by week's end.
- Sunshine Brewery - best known for Gisborne Gold - had their Black Magic judged best 'Dark or Amber Lager'.
- Hawkes Bay's K.E.A. brewing, one of New Zealand's youngest breweries, picked up trophy as best 'Wheat and other grain beer' for their outstandingly fresh German-style Admiral's Weisse Bier.
- The Christchurch-brewed Three Boy's Oyster Stout took out 'Stouts and Porters.'
- And Wellington's only microbrewery - Tuatara - was awarded best 'UK or European-style ale' for their well-known Tuatara IPA.
- Meanwhile Blenheim's Renaissance scored another big coup with their Stonecutter Strong Scotch Ale being judged best in the 'Strong ales and lagers' class.
In amongst it all, the usual suspects still managed to shine.
- Emerson's limited-edition JP won best in class for 'French & Belgian-styles.'
- Steam's Cock & Bull Monk's Habit was the best 'New world / American-style ale.'
- Limburg's Czechmate won in the 'International-style golden lager' class.
- And the ever consistent Mac's Gold beat off the bulk standard kiwi brown's and golds to become the best 'Classic hybrid New Zealand style beer.'
Meanwhile... A final call to all SOBA members to get yourself down to Bar Edward at 11am tomorrow 9Saturday) and have your say at our 2007 AGM. There will be a couple of special surprises for the members attending (hint: one of them is a 26% special surprise!). If you're not already a member, then come along and join up.
Slainte mhath, Stu