The hunt is on for the best brews across the country

Entries are now open for 2017 New World Beer & Cider Awards and brewers are urged to mark 'entries open' in their calendars to be part of the 2017 New World Beer & Cider Awards.

This unique competition celebrates beer and cider brewing perfection from New Zealand and around the world, putting award winning classic ales and extraordinary experimental brews right at the top of New World customers' shopping lists.

Boutique breweries were the big winners of the 2016 Awards with some relative newcomers taking home several of the Best in Class Awards across the 13 different categories.  Race Louden, CEO of Good George Brewing and the brewery behind the Doris Plum Cider, a 2016 'Best in Class' winner, said they saw an immediate boost in sales.  

"The New World Beer & Cider Awards are unlike any other awards because they are designed with consumers in mind.  They help people to distinguish which brews are special and then make it easy to purchase up and down the country.  The opportunity to get our Doris Plum Cider onto New World shelves and into shopper's trolleys' has driven a substantial growth in sales for Good George."

"It is always humbling to win an award for a brew we are so passionate about, but it's the icing on the cake when it has a direct effect on your sales and visibility nationwide. That support just isn't available through other competitions as they don't have the established distribution and retail networks."

Now entering its third year, the 2017 competition is expected to exceed 2016 levels and organisers are gearing up. Chair of Judges, beer writer, and author Michael Donaldson says the New World Beer & Cider Awards are establishing themselves as the annual fixture in the awards calendar because the competition speaks to consumers in a diverse and growing market. The credibility of the Awards and the commercial benefits to breweries are driven by the consumer-focus.

"With so many new beers available as the craft beer segment grows at an astonishing rate, it's sometimes hard to appreciate a truly excellent brew," Donaldson says.

"The New World Awards help the shopper by putting the focus on drinkability and technical excellence. Plus, we add extensive tasting notes to help people understand what's on offer."

 "The in-store layout and presentation help New World customers navigate the beer selections, allowing them to make informed choices, knowing all medal-winning beers and ciders are both technically excellent and, most importantly, delightful to drink."

Crucially, breweries do not need to be an existing New World or Foodstuffs supplier, although product availability is a key criterion. Entrants are required to have enough stock available to be promoted in New World supermarkets nationwide, ensuring all award-winning brews are accessible for beer and cider enthusiasts, even if only for a short time as they get snapped up quickly! All Gold medal winning brews will be guaranteed distribution in 133 New World stores nationwide.

An independent panel of 18 beer and cider experts will judge entries over two days in Wellington. Each entry will be blind judged and assessed on its merits using a collaborative approach based on technical excellence, balance and, most importantly, drinkability. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to the entries judged to be the finest in their respective style and the coveted Champion will be awarded to the top entry in each class.

Steve Anderson, Managing Director, Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd says, "These awards are going from strength to strength and we have received very positive feedback from the brewing industry.  During the last Awards, we saw beer and cider drinkers exploring and celebrating the extensive range on offer, resulting in three of the 'Best in Class' winners starting to sell out within days of the winners being announced."

"Nearly half a million cans and bottles of Gold medal winning beer and cider sold in the first four weeks of promotion. This is a testament to both the level of promotion we put behind the Awards and our customers desire to explore a wide variety of the best beers and cider on offer in New Zealand."

Judging will take place early in 2017, with results announced later in the year.

Entries to the New World Beer and Cider Awards close on the 13th January 2017. All details can be found online here.

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