A large panel of judges carefully worked their way through a record number of entries and handed out a number of medals (gold, silver and bronze) and decided who would win the best in class trophies.  Those results were then used to select the New Zealand and International Champion Breweries. 

The full list is up on the Brewers Guild website (link below) but here are the Class Trophy Winners:

Class C: European Lager Styles – DB Breweries –  Monteith’s Black
Class D: International Lager Styles -The Croucher Brewing Company – Pilsner
Class E: European Ale Styles -Steam Brewing Company – Cock and Bull Fuggles
Class F: New Zealand, US and International Ale Styles – Steam Brewing Company – Cock and Bull Monks Habit
Class G: Stout and Porter Styles – Three Boys Brewery – Three Boys Oyster Stout
Class H: Wheat and Other Grain Styles – Emerson’s Brewery – Emerson’s Dunkelweiss
Class I: Flavoured and Aged Styles (including Fruit/Spice/Herb/ Honey/Smoke) – 8Wired Brewing – The Big Smoke
Class J: New Zealand Draught – DB Breweries – Tui
Class K: New Zealand Lager and Premium Lager Styles – DB Breweries – Tui Blonde
Class L: Reduced Alcohol, Reduced Carbohydrate  and Gluten-free Styles – DB Breweries – Export 33
Class M: Specialty, Experimental, Aged, Barrel and Wood-Aged Styles – Epic Brewing Company – NZ – Epic Barrel Aged IPA
Class N: Cider and Perry Styles – Bulmer Harvest Cidery (Foster’s NZ Ltd) – Bulmers Original Pear Cider (Perry)
Class O: Packaging – Aotearoa Breweries NZ Ltd – Mata
Class P:  Festive Brew- Three Boys Brewery – Three Boys Pineapple Lump Porter
Class Q: Cask Conditioned- The Twisted Hop – Nokabollokov

Class A: New Zealand Champion Brewery – DB Breweries
Class B: Champion International Brewery – Boston Beer Company

At the same ceremony, the Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation went to Independent Liquor NZ Ltd for a new pasteurisation process for PET bottles, and Logan Brown won the Beer and Chefs Challenge for matching a rosewater panna cotta with Mussel Inn Captain Cooker.

Beervana is getting underway with big crowds expected at the Wellington Town Hall for all four sessions.  The larger and easier to find Malthouse stall will be serving a range of domestic and international beers.  Here is the remainder of the line-up:

Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre (USA) –Sam Calagione set up his brewery with the express intention of makes beers outside the standard styles. *  His website describes Raison D’Etre as “a deep, mahogany Belgian-style brown ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins, and Belgian-style yeast.”  At the beer awards he joked “some people told us it was the worst raisin beer they had ever tried.  We always replied it was still also the best raisin beer they had ever had.”

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (USA) – A bronze medal winner at this year’s BrewNZ Beer Awards, the brewery describes this brew as “a full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar.  We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices.”  This is a very rare chance for Kiwi drinkers to get a taste of the peculiarly American obsession with pumpkin beers, possibly under the watchful eye of Mr Calagione himself.

White Rabbit Dark (AUS) – From an “imaginative brewery in the hills” of Healesville, this beer gains character from the use of open fermenters, a hop-back and generous dry hopping.  The result is a dark beer which the brewers describe as “malt-driven but with the aromatic lift of generous doses of hops.”

The White Rabbit White was also ordered but it appears to have gone through the looking glass or down the rabbit hole as it seems to have disappeared in transit. 

Bridge Road Biere de Garde (AUS) – Based on the traditional farmhouse ales of the Low Countries, this beer is the biggest seller in the Chevalier range.  It is an authentically complicated brew with notes of toffee, dried fruits, spices, sugar and earthy yeasts.  Personally, I am delighted they haven’t tried to ‘clean it up’ for the modern palate.  A Biere de Garde without funk is like blue cheese without mould – pointless.

Bridge Road Beechworth Pale (AUS) – This is the flagship beer of the Bridge Road range and was a firm favourite of mine while it was on tap at Malthouse earlier in the year.  It is based on the hugely popular American Pale Ale style and uses American and New Zealand both in the boil and for dry hopping.  It is tweaked for each hop harvest but always bursts with aromatic hops.  

Bridge Road Chestnut Lager (AUS) – The brewery describes this beer as “a unique Australian Pilsner, brewed in Beechworth, from chestnuts grown locally in the Beechworth and Stanley hills.  The Chestnut Pilsner also uses Galaxy hops from the Rostrevor Hop Garden in the nearby Ovens Valley.  This unique lager is very pale and presents a crisp ‘pilsner’ like profile combined with a distinct nutty character owing to the use of Chestnuts in the mash.” 

Bridge Road founder and head brewer Ben Kraus – the man behind the @nakedned handle on Twitter – will also be at Beervana.

Hallertau 1 – Luxe Kolsch – (NZ) – The Naked Brewer Steve Plowman’s stream of consciousness description of this brew reads “snappy, bright, chatty, sunlit, lush, passionfruit, blueberries, sparkling, refined, considered, dry and, frankly, refreshing.”  Steve scandalously admitted he was only an occasional reader of this fine blog.  I asked if he ever wondered why people suddenly started pestering him about whether he really brewed in the nude. ** His response was “did you start all of that?”

Hallertau 2 – Statesman Pale Ale – (NZ) – The second Hallertau offering is a fine beer in its own right but is also the base for the famous Stuntman and La Stuntman beers.  Here is some more from the brewer on this excellent ale – “Yowza!  This character’s outspoken.  Bursting with opinions.  Arrives with a floral bouquet.  Hoots.  Honks. ***  Hops.  Charasmatic.  Honey.  Bombastic.  Citrus.  Distinguished.”  There may be a chance to ask him in person to justify all that at the festival.

So, Beervana 2010 – it’s on like Donkey Kong.  ****

* A quote from his speech at the awards: “We are not afraid to paint outside the lines – to fly our freak flag.”
** See our April Fools blog below.
*** First recorded instance of ‘honks’ appearing in beer tasting notes.
**** It is not known who coined this phrase but it was popularised by then-gangsta rapper Ice Cube on his 1992 album Predator. 


Neil Miller
Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine

2010 BrewNZ Beer Awards – http://brewersguild.org.nz/sites/brewersguild.org.nz/files/Liquorland%20BrewNZ%20Awards%202010%20Catalogue%20of%20Results.pdf
Beervana – http://brewersguild.org.nz/beervana2010/
Dogfish Head – http://www.dogfish.com
White Rabbit Brewery – http://www.whiterabbitbeer.com.au/
Bridge Road Brewery – http://www.bridgeroadbrewers.com.au/
Hallertau Brewpub – http://www.hallertau.co.nz/
April Fools – http://www.themalthouse.co.nz/index.php/blog/130-exclusive-the-two-biggest-beer-stories-of-2010
Malthouse on Twitter – http://twitter.com/malthouse
Malthouse Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wellington/Malthouse/7084276173
Real Beer – http://www.realbeer.co.nz 
Beer and Brewer Magazine – http://www.beerandbrewer.com/