Saturday, December 3, 2011

CT Column 10/08/2011: 8 Wired a champion

LAST week on the eve of Beervana the brewing industry gathered at the town hall to celebrate excellence in brewing. In the week leading up to the event a judging panel made up of Australasian brewers, and the odd beer specialist like myself, judged our way through 468 beers from around New Zealand and the world. Notable results this year included trophies going to Tuatara for Ardennes and Hefe, Emerson’s for Oreti Red and their festive brew Black Op, Harrington’s for Pig & Whistle, Three Boys for Oyster Stout, McCashins for Stoke Amber, Epic for Armageddon and 8 Wired for The Big Smoke, and Barrel Aged Big Smoke.
I had my own success achieving a Silver medal for Emerson’s Regional Special Bitter.
Champion Brewer this year was a very close call with 8 Wired just edging out Emerson’s Brewing Co to take out the over all trophy. This is a huge achievement for 8 Wired Brewer Søren Eriksen who was a home brewer three years ago and has since built up an impressive range of intense and flavourful beers that he contract brews at his employer Renaissance in Blenheim. Søren was visibly stunned and later posted on twitter that winning was surreal and that words failed him.
This years results show a New Zealand brewing scene that is rich in diversity both in the beers brewed and the types of companies that are producing them. I for one will be raising a glass to that. Cheers!
Full results can be found at

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