The ninth annual New World Beer & Cider Awards were announced today, with the Top-30 featuring a raft of newcomers to the big stage and Lakeman, from Taupo, taking out the Supreme Champion award with their Primate Pilsner. Here’s a summary of what the judges found:


Lakeman Primate Pilsner

Lakeman have built a cult following but are now ready to break out on to the national stage with this absolute belter of a New Zealand-style pilsner that is also the champion beer of the event. Described as “vibrant and bright” by the judges, it has delicious hop aromas and flavours that swivel between zesty citrus and deeper, dank, herbaceous notes. It pushes close to pale ale territory but remains a pitch-perfect example of a modern NZ pilsner. 

New World Beer & Cider Awards


Double Vision Mouth Party

Delivered with in-your-face can art that’s backed up by complementary in-your-mouth flavour. Well-executed hop additions bring apricot, diesel, and lime zest flavours on a lithe malt base — like a sun-shower of fruit drizzled on your tongue. It’s an agile easy-drinker, with the judges saying it “invites you in — rather than jumping at you”.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Ruapehu Brewing Unlimited Vis

The name references the often-wrong mountain forecast which promises good conditions “unlimited visibility]” but when you get there it’s cloudy. This is a robust hazy IPA, with a creamy, lush body overlaid with an assertive hop-driven flavour that comes with a raunchy bitterness, not always found in hazies, which makes it quite memorable.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Shining Peak Petite Pegasus

New Plymouth brewery Shining Peak love telling local stories with their beers and Petite Pegasus is a great name for a beer that’s as light as air on your palate. Petite when it comes to ABV (at just 4.2 per cent) this has a big engine when it comes to flavour. The judges loved it: “Pineapple and lime aroma, light in body but still lush and juicy. Vibrant and smashable hazy, nice!”

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Urbanaut Newtown Hazy Pale Ale

This is a rambunctious hazy, with a creamy, thick body which delivers a whoosh of tropical hop-notes. To pack this much flavour into a sub-5 per cent beer is no mean feat — making it balanced and drinkable is another level of skill. There’s pineapple and sweet orange hops but also some honey malt character underpinning it. “Big and juicy,” said the judges.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Urbanaut Silver City Citra

The cryo Citra hops, without the astringency and bitterness Citra is known for, creates a study in the hop variety’s essential oils. Our judges got mango and passionfruit as well as some edgy lime character, declaring the hop aroma “banging”. The bulging aroma compounds transfer over into a smooth and fruity palate with lots of “juice”.  

New World Beer & Cider Awards


Urbanaut The Bronx Double IPA

Bronx Double IPA is all about Mosaic, the uber-popular hop of the moment. It delivers a river of nectarine and blueberry with some savoury undertones. It’s a truly three-dimensional beer this one, with the 8 per cent alcohol not reflected in the athletic, lean body.  There have been some great double IPAs some through this competition over the years and this is up there with the very best.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Baylands Skull Cracker

Baylands Brewery are making a name for themselves for bold, hoppy beers. This double IPA lives up to its name, drinking deceptively smoothly, with a punchy diesel nose followed by a sweet-resinous flavour that has peach and nectarine in the wings before finishing clean and balanced, the bitterness just edging the sweet malt and alcohol.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Bootleg Apehanger

Apehanger was the champion IPA at the NZ Beer Awards in 2017. Six years later, they’ve proved this beer is as good as ever with a Top 30 appearance. The name is a reference to the 1970s-style apehanger motorcycle handlebars and this is one revved-up beer the judges said, praising the “great intensity of tropical/diesel NZ hop flavour” in a “well-balanced, nicely made beer.”

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Martinborough Brewing Hop Elixir

Martinborough’s first appearance in the Top 30 shows brewer Eugene Black, who learned his craft at Wellington’s Occasional Brewer, is on the right track. This spectacularly bright IPA is light and spritzy with grapefruit and rockmelon characteristics. The judges loved the good looks, silky mouthfeel and building bitterness, calling it “very drinkable”.

New World Beer & Cider Awards


McLeod’s Paradise Pale Ale

A hugely popular beer that pops up in this competition on a regular basis and has won any number of gold medals and popularity contests. A sweet, juicy hop aroma bursts out of the glass and blends seamlessly with the light caramel malt to produce a resinous and smooth drinking experience before the bitterness and minerality sneak up to create a dry, moreish finish. An absolute classic.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Monteith’s Tight Lines

One of the biggest developments in the beer industry in the past few years is the growing strength of “mainstream craft” — beers from big brands that offer the kind of flavour normally associated with hip craft breweries but for a lower price.  The judges raved: “Tropical mandarin aroma, hoppy but well integrated with clean biscuity malt flavour, super-drinkable.”

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Panhead Supercharger

A force nature in the Kiwi craft beer scene. And the judges couldn’t stop raving about it: “Great looking colour and foam. Nice hoppy-malty beer. Nice body and mouthfeel. A good hoppy pale ale and a great example of a drinkable beer.”  In the pantheon of New Zealand craft beers this is one of the greats.

New World Beer & Cider Awards


8 Wired Baltic Smoke

Made in the Baltic porter style, with the addition of beechwood smoke. Sweet black coffee and smoke takes centre stage with aroma. Sweet maple-syrup malt flavour is the first cab off the rank flavour-wise with the tangy smoke sliding in before building towards a gentle, just-bitter, warm finish aided by some alcohol heat. A journey of your palate’s sensory capabilities.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Burkes Brewing Unforgiven Porter

After two years in the Top 30 with their hugely popular #FakeNews Hazy IPA, Tekapo-based Burkes Brewing are back for a third year on the trot but this time with Unforgiven Porter. Named New Zealand’s Champion Beer at the 2021 NZ Beer Awards, Unforgiven is an awesome showcase for the beauty of dark malts, said the judges. Think chocolate-coated coffee beans.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Sprig + Fern Norty Porter

Sprig & Fern’s Tracy Banner celebrates 40 years in brewing this year and this could be the base of celebratory chocolate cake! A light and supple porter brewed with cacao nibs to create a beer that’s like the liquid form of a chocolate cake. Forget any notions you have of dark beers being too heavy or charry-bitter; this is elegant, feather-light and smooth.

New World Beer & Cider Awards


Parrotdog Sundog

Parrotdog have just come off their third round of crowd-funded capital raising, getting an injection of $2.35 million from investors who believe they are set to grow even bigger. Sundog Pilsner has loads of passionfruit and white grapes. It’s vibrant and bright and bursting with hop aroma. The flavour remains hoppy-sweet but buttons off to a snappy finish.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Mac’s Gold

You could call Mac’s Gold the original New Zealand craft beer. After all it was the beer that the late Terry McCashin first brewed in 1981 when he launched Mac’s, the first in a wave of independent microbreweries that started to pop up in the 1980s and 1990s. Four decades later, and with the brand now owned by Lion, Mac’s Gold remains a steadfast part of our beer culture.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Steinlager Pure

The only returnee from last year’s Top 30 which tells you all you need to know about the consistency and quality from New Zealand’s biggest brewery, Lion, and its most popular brand. Crystal clarity and the finest of bubbles. The malt expresses the crust of just-baked bread, with a light apple note that gives way to a gentle floral-citrus hop note.

New World Beer & Cider Awards


Bootleg Late Night Monk Fight

Superbly-named hat-tip to Belgium’s Trappist monks this quadruple is a beer for savouring and sharing — and cellaring if you’re patient enough. Hold this one up to the light to appreciate the bright ruby colour before diving into a long-lasting flavour that’s all raisins and berries with alcohol warmth and a light spice balancing the sweeter malts.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Three Sisters Rumours In The Dark

New Plymouth brewery Three Sisters have been on a tear in the past three years. Champion microbrewery in 2021, champion small brewery in 2022 and now a debut in the New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30. Rumours In The Dark is a classic German beer, a Munchner Dunkel or Munich Dark, with flavours of dark rye bread, chocolate, toffee. It’s lush and malty and a must-try.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Otago Brew School Klassenbester

Otago Brew School started in 2018, training brewers at the Otago Polytech campus in Cromwell. They aim to brew “true-to-style” beers that they sell on campus and in bars around the local area. It’s a fantastic programme and the proof is in the pudding here: a marriage of chocolate biscuit malt characters to the traditional banana and clove aromas created by specialist yeast.

New World Beer & Cider Awards


Asahi Super Dry 0%

You may need some convincing this 0% version of Asahi Super Dry is alcohol-free. It’s so close to the real thing you’ll wonder how they did it. Our team of judges were blown away: “Good body, clean, drinkable and basically tastes like a normal strength macro lager. Very well made.”

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Tiger Crystal Ultra Low Carb

A low carb category was introduced for the first time to mark the giant growth of this “lifestyle” sector. This, at 4.2%, has 70% fewer carbs than 5% Tiger Crystal and it impressed the judges: “Nice malt body considering it’s low carb. Well-made.”

New World Beer & Cider Awards


Deep Creek Aloha Guava & Passionfruit

Deep Creek, on Auckland’s North Shore, are one of the industry leaders when it comes to fruited sours. The real fruit flavours are elegant, offering a harmonic contribution to the overall package. A good sour is about the balance between sweet and acid — and judges said Aloha nailed it.

New World Beer & Cider Awards


Zeffer Passionfruit 0

The passionfruit pops but is underpinned by a clean and fresh apple cider with the judges enjoying the surprising heft to the mouthfeel. “Ripe passionfruit, hint of baked apple on the nose. Lots of flavour. Actually quite full in flavour for a non-alc.”

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Morningcider Cherry Bomb

Morningcider and food-upcycler Citizen have created a cider is made with “rescued” Central Otago cherries. Laced with a touch of cinnamon and a sprinkle of brown sugar, it’s sugar and spice and cheery nice.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Mount Brewing Tart Rhubarb

A rhubarb bonanza, with an almost dessert-wine quality to it. The judges were in love: “Very attractive rhubarb aromas. Beautifully balanced with sweetness. Lovely depth and length. Very enjoyable. Impressive fruit expression.”

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Paynters The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim is made at Linden Estate Winery, in Esk Valley, where Cyclone Gabrielle wreaked havoc in February. This has many chardonnay characteristics, thanks to French oak and a malolactic fermentation. Funky nose and baked apple sweetness and a dry finish.

New World Beer & Cider Awards

Zeffer Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Fresh and dried ginger, kawakawa and chilli deliver a balance of heat and sweet. “Clean aroma of ginger and pepper. Ginger and kawakawa are both present on the palate with a lovely fresh chilli kick.”

New World Beer & Cider Awards