Tuatara Brewing Co. have been crowned New Zealand's Champion Brewer for the second time. They tell us how they've been celebrating the big win
“It’s a*bleep*-ing hard award to win!”
Those were the words chosen by an emotional Simone Vasta, one of Tuatara Brewing Co.’s founders, as she and the Tuatara crew crowded the stage at the Brewers Guild Awards last month. The brewery had just been named Champion Brewery for 2016, making Tuatara the only brewery to have received the top award twice.
The team spent the evening packed into tiny Tuatara enclave My Bar in Auckland’s CBD celebrating the win. “Everyone had medals round their necks, the trophy was used as a microphone for multiple plays of the song 'Wagon Wheel'. It was a really fun night,” says Tuatara manager Blair Harley.
“Looking back at the four years I’ve been at Tuatara, craft beer has really evolved into an industry in its own right, quite separate to the mainstream beer industry,” he says.
“It’s an extremely competitive market with amazing beer and great marketing. It’s a constant challenge for us to keep up with the game. So this win is very special. And also to be judged by specialists in our industry as having ‘best in class beers’ was a huge endorsement for our young brew team. We thought the days of craft breweries winning the big award were over.”
To share the celebration and acknowledge the support of drinkers, suppliers, employees and distributors, Tuatara are about to launch their Golden Eye Imperial Pilsner – a limited-release beer available in 500ml bottles and on tap at selected outlets.
At the 2016 Brewers Guild Awards, Tuatara Brewing Co. also won Best in Class medals for their Sauvinova Single Hop Pale Ale, Mot Eureka Pilsner and Weiz Guy Wheat beer. They won 14 medals across 10 categories overall.