Two non-alcoholic and a low carb beer have been judged as some of New Zealand’s finest drops while a wheat beer was crowned the inaugural “Supreme Winner” as the New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30 were announced this week.

Marking the eighth staging of one of New Zealand’s most prestigious beer and cider awards, this year’s event received almost 700 local and international entries with the top 30 placegetting beers, ciders and a single ginger beer to be stocked nationally in major sponsor New World’s supermarkets.

This year was the first time all of the 30 winners were locally produced while the Weissbier from pioneering New Zealand craft brewery Emerson’s was named the competition’s overall champion – the first time such an accolade has been awarded.

Among many of the notable takeaways from this year’s Top 30 was the announcement Garage Project’s Tiny and Bach Brewing’s All Day – both non-alcoholic IPAs – were among the winners, making them the first alcohol free beers to make the list. Meanwhile, Epic Brewing’s Epic Blue became the first low carbohydrate beer to make the cut as well.

Chair of judges Michael Donaldson (pictured at the top) said: “Creating a full-flavour beer without the alcohol is no easy feat. These winning breweries have met the challenge and led the market with stunning results that even the most beer-loving consumers can enjoy pulling from the fridge.

“To make the Top 30, an entry has to not just impress, but must reach the threshold of being a world-class example of its style, and these certainly do. Both are non-alcoholic options that don’t make you feel as if you’re missing out on anything.”

In reference to Epic Blue he added: “We judged the low carb entries alongside their peers in each style class, and it’s a real credit to the skill of the Epic team to have created such a full-flavour competitor.”

In other results, Burkes Brewing – one of New Zealand’s most isolated breweries – proved their standout success last year was no fluke as their #Fakenews hazy IPA once again ranked among the country’s best; Garage Project secured four Top 30 places – an Awards’ record; and Beer Baroness, Bootleg, Morningcider, Ranga, Rhyme X Reason, Southpaw, The Theoretical Brewer and Volstead all made the list for the first time.

“This Top 30 is a showcase of some of the best brewing talents and innovators in the country,” Michael said. “It’s great to be able to celebrate these new and less-widely known names alongside heritage brands like Steinlager, and popular craft breweries like Panhead and Sawmill, who continue to experiment and perform at the top of their game.”

A full list of the Top 30 is below. All winners, as well as the 70 Highly Commended brews, can also be found on the New World website at newworld.co.nz/Top30

2022 New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30  

Brewery/Brand Region Winning Beer/Cider name Style 
8 Wired Brewing Warkworth/Matakana 8 Wired A Fistful of Raspberries Wheat, Saison, Sour 
8 Wired Brewing Warkworth/Matakana 8 Wired iStout Stout 
Bach Brewing Co. Auckland Bach ALL DAY Non-Alcoholic IPA Non Alcoholic 
Bach Brewing Co. Auckland Bach PEACH PUCKER Berliner Sour Beer Wheat, Saison, Sour 
Beer Baroness Christchurch (central) Beer Baroness Sunshine & Spaceships Hazy 
Behemoth Brewing Company Auckland – Mt Eden Behemoth Brewing Hop Buddies Homer and Marge Hazy IPA Hazy 
Bootleg Brewery Ltd Hamilton – Matangi Bootleg T-Straight Burnout Smokey Stout Stout 
Brave Brewing Co Hawke’s Bay – Hastings Brave Brewing Co Bottle Rocket Extra Pale Ale Pale Ale  
Burkes Brewing Co Tekapo Burkes Brewing Co #Fakenews Hazy IPA Hazy 
Emerson’s Brewery Dunedin Emerson’s Weissbier Wheat, Saison, Sour 
Epic Beer Auckland – Onehunga Epic Blue Low Carb Pale Ale Pale Ale 
Epic Beer Auckland – Onehunga Epic Cryopop IPA 
Garage Project Brewery Wellington Garage Project Hatsukoi Lager Lager & Pilsner  
Garage Project Brewery Wellington Garage Project Pernicious Weed IIPA IPA 
Garage Project Brewery Wellington Garage Project Proper Crisp IPA IPA 
Garage Project Brewery Wellington Garage Project Tiny Non-Alcoholic Hazy IPA Non Alcoholic 
Morningcider Auckland – Morningside Morningcider Strawberry Rosé Cider Cider & Alcoholic Gingerbeer 
Mount Brewing Co Mount Maunganui Mount Brewing Co Golden Hour Hazy XPA Hazy 
North End Brewery Kapiti Coast/Waikanae North End Bones of the Land Saison Wheat, Saison & Sour 
DB Breweries Ltd Nelson Orchard Thieves Rose Cider & Alcoholic Gingerbeer 
Panhead Custom Ales Wellington – Upper Hutt Panhead Port Road Pilsner Lager & Pilsner  
Ranga / Brand Evolution Gisborne Ranga Alcoholic Gingerbeer Cider & Alcoholic Gingerbeer 
Rhyme X Reason Brewery Wanaka Rhyme X Reason Space Monkey Lager & Pilsner  
Sawmill Brewery Matakana Sawmill Extra Pale Ale Pale Ale  
Sawmill Brewery Matakana Sawmill West Coast IPA IPA 
Southpaw Brewing Company Christchurch – Hornby Southpaw Brewing Say Hey Kid IPA IPA 
Lion Auckland Steinlager Pure Lager & Pilsner  
The Theoretical Brewer New Plymouth, Taranaki The Theoretical Brewer Mad Hatter Hazy 
Urbanaut Brewing Co Auckland – Kingsland Urbanaut Hacienda Disco Beer Lager & Pilsner  
Volstead Brewing Company Christchurch – Riccarton Volstead Brewing Company Riwaka Hazy Hazy 

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