Emerson's wins national awards

Southern breweries are fizzing after again gaining several awards in the 2014 Brewers' Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards.

Emerson's Brewing Company, of Dunedin, won the European lager styles category with its Gladiator Bock, and the other European ale styles category with its JP 2014.

Invercargill Brewery founder Steve Nally won the Morton Coutts innovation trophy for packaging low carbonated draught beer in 20-litre bags, which can be used in bars with traditional English-style hand-pumps.

The awards were announced at a ceremony in Wellington, last night.

Nelson brewery Townshend was named New Zealand's champion brewery.

Townshend beat stiff competition. A record 670 beers from 84 breweries were entered across 15 different categories this year.

In total, 74 New Zealand breweries entered the awards.

Founder and brewer Martin Townshend said the award was ''the icing on the cake'' in what had been an excellent couple of years for the brewery.

''Being named New Zealand's champion brewery is a massive accolade.

''It seems like only yesterday that I created my first brew in the shed.

''Like most things in life, the secret to success is passion, hard work and dedication to the task.

''That said, it's huge to be recognised and this award is the best possible recognition a brewer could get.''

Competition manager Craig Bowen said all beer entries were rated against a style guide for each category, for its aroma, colour, bitterness, flavour and presentation.

Each beer's overall balance of characteristics was judged by a panel comprising 25 national and internationally qualified judges.

''Whether it's a one-man band or the larger more established breweries, New Zealand is enjoying a golden period in terms of the variety and quality of beers produced.''

Category winners

European lager: Gladiator Bock, Emerson's Brewery (Dunedin); International lager: Monteith's Black, DB Draught Brewery (Timaru); British ale: Tornado Strong Ale, Wigram Brewing Company (Christchurch); other European ale: JP 2014, Emerson's Brewery (Dunedin); US ale: Bloody Dingo, ParrotDog (Wellington); international ale: Boss Hog, Panhead Custom Ales (Upper Hutt); stout and porter: Oyster Stout, Three Boys Brewery (Christchurch); wheat and other grain: Black the RIPA, Renaissance Brewing Ltd (Marlborough); flavoured and aged: Captain Cook Spruce Beer, Wigram Brewing Company (Christchurch); New Zealand specific: Oldhams Tap Riwaka Pilsner, Townshend Brewery (Nelson); specialty, experimental, aged, barrel, wood-aged: Black Sabbath, Panhead Custom Ales (Upper Hutt); cider and perry: Slack Ma Girdle Cider, Zeffer Cider Company (Auckland); cask conditioned: Five Hop Handpull, Moa Brewery (Marlborough); packaging: Delicious Neck, Tuatara Brewing (Kapiti); festive brew: Brave Bikkie Brown Ale, Behemoth Brewing Company (Auckland).

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