The Lion team collecting their award

Lion Breweries has been named New Zealand’s Champion Brewery at the 2015 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards, held at a gala dinner at SkyCity in Auckland.

Lion beat 93 other New Zealand breweries win the Gladfield Malt Champion Brewery Award at the country’s biggest and most prestigious beer awards.

“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,” said Lion national operations director Paul Woods.

“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.”

In total, Lion beers won 28 medals across 10 categories and won International Lager and Flavoured Cider categories for Beck’s and Isaac’s Berry Cider respectively.

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 its 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.

The 2015 Awards featured a record-breaking 858 entries with a total of 59 Gold Medals, 159 Silver and 243 Bronze awarded.

The 14 beer category winners are:

International Lager styles (O-I) – Beck’s, Lion

New Zealand Lager styles (Cryer Malt) – Port Road Pilsner, Panhead Custom Ales

British Ale styles (Leading Label Co.) – Organic Ale, Mike’s Organic Brewing

European Ale styles (BeerNZ) – Tournesol, Garage Project

US Ale styles (Australian International Beer Awards) – Duskrider Red IPA, Bach Brewing

Pale Ale styles (Weyermann) – Godzone Beat, Fork Brewing

Strong Pale Ale styles (Red Kegs) – Armageddon, Epic Brewing Company

Stout and Porter styles (Kegstar) – Singularity Imperial Stout, Raindogs Brewing Company

Wheat and Other Grain styles (Beer & Brewer) – Black Dog – Blizzard, Dominion Breweries

Flavoured & Aged Styles (Excel Digital) – Blueberry Gose, Good George Brewing

Specialty, Experimental, Aged (Plant & Food Research) – Wabi Sabi, Garage Project

Cider and Perry styles (Profruit) – Simply Apple Cider, Forbidden Brewing Company

Fruit or Flavoured styles (Brewers Guild of New Zealand) – Issac’s Berry Cider, Lion

Packaging (Jenkins Labels) – Stoke Amber 300ml 6 Pack, McCashin’s Brewery

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