(This story updates the original post about Deep Creek winning the award.)
Deep Creek Brewing have handed back the trophy they won for Champion Large International Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards after discovering they accidentally entered the wrong category.
Deep Creek, based in Auckland, posted a statement on Instagram and Facebook on May 28, acknowledging they had made a mistake and apologising for the error.
“We were as surprised as anyone to be awarded the trophy for Champion Large International Brewery at the AIBAs rather than for Medium category,” they said.
“On Monday we realised an incorrect unit of measure for brewery volume had been used by our brewers in the entry form.
“After discovering out mistake, we contacted AIBA organisers immediately to begin the process of handing back the trophy so it could go to the rightful winner.”
On the night of the awards, co-founder Scott Taylor admitted he was “surprised” the brewery had won the Champion Large title and after a weekend of celebrating in Melbourne, something didn’t sit right when he and fellow founder Paul Brown got back to New Zealand.
Taylor said the mistake came down to the way the entry form was submitted. AIBA asked for production volume in hectolitres but Deep Creek entered their volume in litres, accidentally multiplying their volume by 100.
“When we got back went through our stuff and found the mistake,” Taylor told Brews News.
He said it took a few days of back and forth with AIBA officials to confirm the mistake and figure out what to do about it.
“We caught it on Monday, we tried to give AIBA a call on Tuesday – they got back to us on Wednesday and said they needed a couple of days to investigate it themselves. They got back to us late Thursday and on Friday we put up a press release.”
The response to Deep Creek’s honesty has been overwhelmingly positive on social media and Taylor said he was still hugely proud of their achievements and is wondering what might have been had they entered the correct Medium category.
The Champion Medium International Brewery title went to Nbeer, from Sichuan, China. The champion brewery titles are based on a brewery’s best four scoring beers and Deep Creek won five gold medals at the event, including two trophies.
Sauvage, a barrel-aged saison, won a gold medal and trophy for best wood-aged beer and was also named Champion International Beer. They also won gold medals for Redwood APA, Kahuna Feijoa Pear Sour, their 2021 fresh hop release, called Fresh Hop!, and Monsoon Double Hazy IPA, which is available only in China and Australia.
Deep Creek had previously won the Champion Small International Brewery title (under 500,000 litres annual production) and Champion Medium International Brewery (500,001 litres up to 2.5 million litres) in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
There were other outstanding successes for New Zealand last week.
Gisborne’s Sunshine Brewing won six gold medals for their Gisborne Gold Lager, Mexican Lager, Pilsner, Stout, No Access Hazy IPA and Stockies Sessionable Hazy IPA. They added five silvers and eight bronze medals for a shiny night.
Waipu-based McLeod’s scored golds with their fresh hop star 802 Series #33, Traders Scotch Ale, Bourbon barrel-aged milk stout and Peach and Feijoa Sour.
New Plymouth’s Shining Peak got golds for their Little Fake (lower ABV), Vintage Stout and Skunk Juice. Taupo’s Lakeman double-dipped with their Hairy Hop IPA and Hairy Craic Irish Cream Stout. And Kereru won gold for their Feijoa Weisse.
Deep Creek Sauvage is a barrel-aged saison, brewed with 100 per cent Brettanomyces yeast. It’s got flavours of pineapple, baked stonefruit and coconut and finishes super-dry.