Don’t wait ‘til last call! The New World Beer & Cider Awards are back for 2024 and breweries and cideries from around Aotearoa and the world are invited to enter now.
Up for grabs is the chance to earn a winning spot in the awards’ prestigious Top 30 beers and ciders, and with that, the opportunity to be named the Supreme Winner.
In addition to bragging rights and shiny gold stickers, the Top 30 winning brews will be rewarded with shelf space in 140+ New World stores nationwide as well as comprehensive promotional support instore and out.
The next 20 Highly Commended entries will also be recognised in an overall Top 50 list, published on the New World website for beer and cider-lovers to explore.
Rachel Carter, who leads the categories for Foodstuffs North Island, says the competition’s unique consumer focus has made it a popular fixture in the brewing calendar as well as a hotly anticipated announcement among beer and cider fans each year.
“Combining an independent and professional judging event with a retail opportunity makes the New World Beer & Cider Awards a win-win for brew brands and their fans.”
Now in its tenth year, it has become one of New Zealand’s most popular beer and cider competitions, regularly attracting upwards of 700 entries from more than 100 local beverage-makers and importers.
“For beer and cider makers, the benefits of a Top 30 win at the New World Beer & Cider Awards provide an unmatched opportunity to boost brand awareness and grow sales across the country.
“And for our beer and cider-shopping customers, the Top 30 list has become a trusted, ‘go-to’ guide – whether they’re new to it all and just want the confidence to try something different or keen fans eager to explore the best of the best.”
As the competition has grown over the past decade, the New World team have seen many of New Zealand’s most-loved brew brands grow with it.
“It’s a real privilege to be able to support and celebrate New Zealand businesses making great products and we’ve seen many brands springboard into nation-wide awareness off the back of their win.”
Just last year, small regional breweries and first-time winners like Shining Peak, Ruapehu Brewing and Martinborough Brewery shared the shelves with craft favourites like 8 Wired, McLeod’s, Parrotdog, Panhead and Zeffer, and well-known names like Mac’s, Monteith’s and Steinlager.
Lakeman took the Supreme win for their Primate Pilsner – a beer the small family business had been perfecting over the past ten years from a converted shed on a Taupo dairy farm.
“It was a standout for the judges and the win was met with heaps of enthusiasm from the full spectrum of beer fans as well as the local and national media.”
The awards are also an opportunity for new styles and offerings in beer and cider to shine.
“We work together with the judging and wider beer and cider category teams to respond to the innovations the industry is making and to consumer trends.
“In addition to the usual classes for everything from Ale to Stout, we’ve recently introduced dedicated classes for no and low alcohol beers (under 1.15% ABV) and unusual brews like sour beers, barrel-aged beers and ciders with spices, botanicals or honey.”
Key entry details
All entry details can be found at newworld.co.nz/nwbca.
Submissions close on Friday 16 February 2024, and judging samples are due Friday 1 March with some flexibility to Thursday 7 March by arrangement.
The key entry requirements are the ability to provide supermarket compliant product and supply minimum stock amounts to ensure New World can meet customer demand for the winning brews.
Entrants don’t need to be an existing New World or Foodstuffs supplier and new entrants are actively encouraged.
The New World Beer & Cider Awards judging will be held in mid-March 2024 in Auckland. A 29-strong panel of beer and cider professionals will make up the independent panel of judges led by Chair of Judges Michael Donaldson and Deputy Chair Kelly Ryan. Together, they will taste, debate and score each entry based on technical excellence as well as balance and, most importantly, drinkability, with taste off rounds to determine the Top 30 and Supreme Winner.
Results will be released later in 2024.