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September 24, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Beer Awards

The lovely city of Wellington recently hosted what is possibly the world’s most important awards ceremony. It had more artistic merit than the MTV Awards because Britney Spears did not attend, far less “perform”, and while there was all the pomp and ceremony of the Oscars, this event was thankfully a full 11 hours shorter. For many in attendance, the evening’s urbane Master of Ceremonies reminded them of a young Ryan Seacrest – if Ryan Seacrest had any talent.

It was the BrewNZ 2007 Beer Awards and the panel of international and local beer judges had sipped and sampled their way through over 180 entries. They bestowed 81 medals including 17 prestigious golds.

Here are the results and some personal recommendations from the awards:

Class 1: Classic hybrid New Zealand style beers

Best in class – Mac’s Gold
One to try – Harrington’s Finest Lager

Class 2: Amber and dark lagers

Best in Class – Black Magic from Sunshine Breweries in Gisborne
One to try – Moa Noir

Class 3: International golden lager styles

Best in Class – Limburg Czechmate Pilsner
One to try – Vailima from Samoa Breweries

Class 4: French and Belgium style ales

Best in Class – Emerson’s JP
One to try – Tuatara Ardennes

Class 5: New World/American style ales

Best in Class – Cock and Bull Monk’s Habit
One to try – Epic Pale Ale

Class 6: UK and other European style ales

Best in Class – Tuatara IPA
One to try – Admirals India Pale Ale from KEA Breweries in the Hawke’s Bay

Class 7: Stouts and Porters

Best in Class – Three Boys Oyster Stout (made with real oysters)
One to try – Pitch Black from Invercargill Brewery

Class 8: Strong ales and lagers

Best in Class – Renaissance Stonecutter Scotch Ale
One to try – Haagen Gold

Class 9: Wheat (and other grain) beers

Best in Class – KEA Admirals Weisse Beer
One to try – Redback Original from the Matilda Bay Brewery in Australia

Class 10: Fruit, spiced or herbed beers

Best in Class – Smokin’ Bishop from Invercargill Brewery (a smoked bock)
One to try – Emerson’s Taieri George (tastes liquid hot cross buns)

Class 11: Packaging Award

Best in Class – The quite stunning Renaissance bottle range

The judges did not award any medals in the low-alcohol/experimental class this year. Finally, some personal awards:

Best beer name – Squatters Chasing Tail Ale from the Utah Brewers Cooperative, USA

Hardest gold medal to believe – my beer nemesis Ginger Tom from the otherwise excellent Dux de Lux brewpub

Best reason to read your invite fully – wearing a tuxedo when the dress code was “smart casual”

Biggest cheer – The ever popular Steve Nally from the Invercargill Brewery receiving his trophy for Smokin’ Bishop.

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