Brewers Guild NZ International Beer Awards 2015

Lion Breweries has been named New Zealand’s Champion Brewery at the 2015 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards.

Lion beat 93 other New Zealand breweries to be crowned New Zealand’s best brewery at the gala awards ceremony in Auckland last night, also heading off six international breweries.

Lion national operations director Paul Woods said the Gladfield Malt Champion Brewery award capped a big year for Lion.

“It’s a huge honour to be named New Zealand’s Champion Brewery.  It’s the best possible recognition any brewery can get, large or small.

“We’ve enjoyed a good deal of success with our growing range of beers.  There’s more variety and styles than ever before. That’s great for consumers and for the New Zealand brewing industry as a whole.

“For all brewers the secret to success is passion, hard work and dedication to the task.  We still enjoy brewing now as much as we ever have and most brewers will feel exactly the same way.”

Lion produces and markets six of the country’s top 10 beer brands, including Speight’s, Steinlager and Mac’s, regional brands such as Waikato Draught and a growing range of craft and international beers including Emerson’s, Corona, Stella Artois and Guinness.

Earlier this year, Lion’s Speight’s 5 Malt Old Dark was named Best Amber/Dark Ale at the world-renowned Australian International Beer Awards.

In addition to being named Champion Brewery, Lion also won the International Lager and Fruit or Flavoured categories for its Beck’s and Issac’s Berry Cider respectively.  In total, Lion beers won 28 medals across 10 categories.

The 14 beer category winners are:

Category (sponsor)



International Lager styles (O-I)

Lion (national)


New Zealand Lager styles (Cryer Malt)

Panhead Custom Ales (Wellington)

Port Road Pilsner

British Ale styles (Leading Label Co.)

Mike’s Organic Brewing (Taranaki)

Organic Ale

European Ale styles (BeerNZ)

Garage Project (Wellington)


US Ale styles (Australian International Beer Awards)

Bach Brewing (Auckland)

Duskrider Red IPA

Pale Ale styles (Weyermann)

Fork Brewing (Wellington)

Godzone Beat

Strong Pale Ale styles (Red Kegs)

Epic Brewing Company (Auckland)


Stout and Porter styles (Kegstar)

Raindogs Brewing Company (Christchurch)

Singularity Imperial Stout

Wheat and Other Grain styles

(Beer and Brewer)

Dominion Breweries (national)

Black Dog - Blizzard

Flavoured & Aged Styles (Excel Digital)

Good George Brewing (Hamilton)

Blueberry Gose

Specialty, Experimental, Aged (Plant & Food Research)

Garage Project (Wellington)

Wabi Sabi

Cider and Perry styles (Profruit)

Forbidden Brewing Company (Auckland)

Simply Apple Cider

Fruit or Flavoured styles (Brewers Guild of New Zealand)

Lion (national)

Issac’s Berry Cider

Packaging (SATO)

McCashin’s Brewery (Nelson-Tasman)

Stoke Amber 300ml 6 Pack

Brisbane-based Castlemaine Perkins was named NZ Hops Champion International Brewery, while DB’s Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation or Achievement went to Gladfield Malt for for their development and expansion of New Zealand-based malting and specialty malting.

Steam Brewing was named ENPAC Champion Manufacturer while the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Media/Beer Writer of the Year award went to Fairfax's Jono Galuszka.

Brewers Guild chairman Bob King said the awards capped another vintage year for New Zealand brewing.

“Each year, more New Zealanders get into beer and cider brewing.  And, each year, the task of judging at these awards becomes much harder. 

“Whether it’s a one-man band or the larger more established breweries, New Zealand is enjoying a golden era in terms of the variety and quality of beers produced.  That’s what the awards are about – recognising and celebrating excellence in our profession.”

Now in its ninth year, the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards is an international competition, with entries from throughout New Zealand and the world.  All beer entries were rated against a style guide for each category for its aroma, colour, bitterness, flavour and presentation.  A beer’s overall balance of characteristics was judged by a panel comprising 25 national and internationally qualified judges.

A total of 59 gold, 159 silver and 243 bronze medals were awarded this year. Entries from Wellington breweries picked up 17 of the top trophies and gold medals awarded.

The 2015 Catalogue of Results provides a full list of trophy and medal winners.

The Guild's facebook page has an album of all photos taken on the night.

The 2015 Awards Ceremony can be viewed HERE

For all Media Enquiries, please contact: John Mitchell, 027 975 4094


Brewers’ Guild NZ International Beer Awards 2015

The NZ International Beer Awards is a competition organised annually by the Brewers’ Guild to celebrate excellence in the brewing industry, which includes beer, innovation/achievement and beer writing.  

The Awards are held in esteem worldwide due to the reputations of all involved in organising, staging and judging the event, with a world class selection of judges from New Zealand, Australia, America and beyond. This diversity of background and quality of judge ensures that the Awards have a huge reputation across the globe as one of the most prestigious accolades a brewer can win.

Beer Awards

Now in its ninth year of operation, this globally recognised, world-class beer competition is open brewers of all production sizes in NZ and from overseas for packaged and draught beer. Local and international beers will be judged over a three-day period by a panel of selected experts from New Zealand and globally.



Morton Coutts Trophy:

This award recognises innovation and/or outstanding achievement in the brewing industry.  Full information on the Morton Coutts Trophy and the entry criteria can be found HERE.

Beer Writer of the Year Award:

This award recognises excellence in the art of beer writing.  Full information on the Beer Writer of the Year Award and entry criteria can be found HERE.

Awards Dinner: Saturday 19 September 2015

The 2015 Awards Ceremony can be viewed HERE:


  • 8 Wired Brewing
  • Cassels & Sons Brewery
  • Aotearoa Brewery
  • Brew Moon Brewing Company
  • DB Breweries
  • Emerson's Brewery
  • Mikes Organic Brewing
  • Dales Brewing Co
  • Golden Bear Brewing
  • McCashins Brewery
  • Mussel Inn
  • Renaissance Brewery
  • Three Boys Brewery
  • Tuatara Brewing
  • Jabberwocky Brewery
  • Wigram Brewing Company
  • Yeastie Boys
  • Sprig & Fern
  • The Twisted Hop
  • Golden Eagle Brewery
  • Valkyrie Brewing Co
  • ParrotDog
  • Liberty Brewing
  • Kereru Brewing
  • The Sawmill Brewing Company
  • Waiheke Brewery
  • Steam Brewing
  • Raindogs Brewing Co
  • Bulmer Harvest
  • Founders Organic Brewery
  • Hawkes Bay Brewing Co.
  • Boundry Road
  • Zeelandt Brewery
  • Townshend Brewery
  • Funk Estate - Wellington
  • Harringtons Breweries
  • Baylands Brewery
  • Deep Creek Brewing Co
  • Garage Project
  • Schippers Bitter
  • Fork & Brewer
  • Hancock & Co
  • Hop Federation Brewery
  • Fitzpatrick's Brewing Co Ltd
  • Regent 58 Brewery
  • Two Thumb Brewing Co Ltd
  • Behemoth Brewing Company
  • Croucher Brewing Co
  • Queenstown Brewers
  • Hot Water Brewing
  • Invercargill Brewery
  • Wild & Woolly Brewing


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