Best Beers

SOBA awards for craft beer quality

Many off-licences, brewers and speciality retailers are celebrating this week after being honoured in the prestigious Society of Beer Advocates awards

The amusingly acronymed SOBA, the Society Of Beer Advocates, has recently announced the winners of their annual awards for the NZ shops, off-licences and breweries that impressed them in 2015. A consumer-based organisation designed to promote the enjoyment of good-quality beer, the awards celebrate the whole experience, from buying in the shops to actually drinking a cracking craft ale. Members of SOBA, all of whom count themselves as beer aficionados, are the only ones who can vote.

Their Beer of the Year is Panhead Supercharger, a big hop pale ale that has been widely acknowledged as one of the best NZ craft ales available nationwide – and a real hands-on drinking experience.

SOBA awarded Brewery of the Year to another Wellington-based craft beer creative force, Garage Project. Quite literally a brewing project set up in an old garage in Aro Valley, their distinctive old school cans draw the eye and the beer inside definitely stacks up.

Among the shops given credit for their high level of service, great range and quality customer experience, Liquorland Fitzroy was awarded Best Taranaki Off-Licence, while Liquorland Albert Street picked up the same award for the Manawatu region. Liquorland Newmarket came in as runner up in Auckland, narrowly missing out on the gong to niche retailer Hopscotch Beer Company.

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