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28 of New Zealand’s best craft beers

28 of New Zealand’s best craft beers

New Zealand craft brewers are set to win even more fans after taking 28 of the Top 30 spots in the New World Beer & Cider Awards announced earlier this year. Here's a look at 28 of New Zealand's best craft beers on the market currently.

28 of New Zealand’s best craft beers

Among the top-notch ales, crowd-pleasing lagers and delectable ciders, there are many varieties of IPAs on offer in the list of New Zealand’s best craft beers.

“If you thought you knew IPA, now is definitely the time to taste it again,” says Chair of Judges Michael Donaldson, who led the expert panel responsible for finding the very best brews out of more than 600 local and international entries.

“IPA, or India Pale Ale, is a popular but sometimes polarising style with a reputation for being big on hops and bitterness – it’s probably won over as many beer-drinkers as it has scared off over the years. But that’s changing as the style branches off in new and exciting directions that are pleasing existing IPA fans as well as winning over new ones.”

He says the IPA category winners in the New World Beer & Cider Awards include beers that “break the rules” of classic IPAs which, up until the last few years, have been modelled off the intense West-Coast US style. “Lately, there’s been all sorts of developments in the IPA world and it’s evident our New Zealand brewers have been busy experimenting and refining their techniques to create these stunning new beers.

“The winners have served up something for everyone in this category – from traditional full-flavoured beers, to more laid-back session and low-alcohol beers, with sweeter hazy and fruity options in between.”

New Zealand’s best craft beers

Here’s a list of New Zealand’s best craft beers by region:

Epic Lager by Epic Brewing Company, Auckland

Carlsberg (lager) by Independent Liquor, Auckland

Three Boys Lager by Three Boys Brewery, Christchurch

Fork Brewcorp Golden Handshake Pilsner by Fork Brewcorp, Wellington

Liberty Halo Pilsner by Liberty Brewing Co, Helensville

Panhead Port Road Pilsner by Panhead Custom Ales, Upper Hutt

Three Boys Pils by Three Boys Brewery, Christchurch

Bach Brewing BILLFISH APA by Bach Brewing, Auckland

Behemoth Freedom APA by Behemoth Brewing Company Limited, Auckland

Boneface Brewing Hoptron APA by Boneface Brewing Co, Upper Hutt

Duncan’s Pale Ale by Duncan’s Brewing, Raumati

Croucher Lowrider IPA by Croucher Brewing, Rotorua

Garage Project Fresh IPA by Garage Project Brewery, Wellington

Liberty Hoptical Illusion Double IPA by Liberty Brewing Co, Helensville

Pirate Life Mosaic IPA by Pirate Life Brewing, Adelaide

Sawmill Session India Pale Ale by Sawmill Brewery, Matakana

Sawmill India Pale Ale by Sawmill Brewery, Matakana

Epic Sparks Imperial Stout by Epic Brewing Company, Auckland

McLeod’s Pioneer Brown Porter by McLeod’s Brewery, Waipu

Panhead Blacktop Oatmeal Stout by Panhead Custom Ales, Upper Hutt

Emporium Brewing Get to da Choppa by Emporium Brewing, Kaikoura

Yeastie Boys White Noise by Yeastie Boys, Auckland

8 Wired Wild Feijoa Sour Ale by 8 Wired Brewing, Warkworth

Behemoth From A Can Peach IPA by Behemoth Brewing Company Limited, Auckland

Fork Brewcorp Tainted Love – Passionfruit & Juniper Sour Ale by Fork Brewcorp, Wellington

Sprig & Fern Doppelbock by Sprig & Fern Brewery, Nelson

Sprig & Fern Scotch Ale by Sprig & Fern Brewery, Nelson

Paynter’s Cider by The Alchemist Paynter’s Cider Contemporar, Hawkes Bay

Peckham’s Reserve Sweet Frenchie Cider by Peckham’s Cider, Nelson

Mount Brewing Co. Dark n’ Stormy Cider by Mount Brewing Co., Mt Maunganui

Read more: A Guide to Pairing Craft Beer with Food

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