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Craft Beer Online Australia: India Pale Ales clean up at New Zealand beer and cider awards
New Zealand breweries continue to amass a string of accolades, with IPAs seemingly becoming the country’s hottest brewing style.
Homegrown suds have been crowned class champion in 10 out of 12 categories at the New World Beer & Cider Awards 2017, with the other two victors hailing from Belgium.
There were 519 entries this year, with IPAs (Indian Pale Ales) taking home nearly 20 per cent of the awards’ gold medals.
Auckland’s Epic won the best IPA title for their much-feted Armageddon, for an unprecedented second consecutive year.
First conceived in 2009, the brew has already won multiple awards, including overseas in Australia and Sweden.
“NZ Craft Beer is doing well in awards as craft brewers in this country look to make flavour-forward beers that really stand out,” said Epic founder Luke Nicholas.
“There is no point in trying to copy what is already available.”
Amy Paisley, one of the 18 independent judges, is a sensory scientist formerly of Plant and Food Research (PFR), where she specialised in hops and currently works with boutique craft spirit producer Karven.
“We taste around 120 beers over two days. Each table is served a beer which each judge tastes while writing notes on appearance, aroma, flavour, balance and mouthfeel,” explains Paisley.
“Then that beer is discussed until a consensus is reached between all judges as to whether it is a medal contender or not.
“New Zealand hops [make the beer great]. During my research at PFR… I discovered the huge variety of hops and their amazing, complex flavours and aromas.
“Their potential to create unique flavours in local and international beers was really exciting.”
The cider champions this year were Scrumpy Apple Cider from Gisborne and Hamilton’s Good George Drop Hop Cider.
Cider expert Gabe Cook, who judges competitions across the globe said “these are exciting times for cider in New Zealand”.
“I believe we will see a real growth in the profile of cider and an ever-expanding number of producers creating innovative, craft blends.
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