Wemake it, we judge it, we drink it
Good George brewer Brian Watson knows what makes a good beer. The Hamilton man has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and was a judge at this year’s New World Beer and Cider Awards.
This month he joined a 19-strong judging panel of commercial brewers, sensory analysts and hop experts to determine the winner of each of the 12 categories.
‘‘It’s bloody hard work and no one believes me,’’ he said.
Watson and the judges sniffed, swirled, sipped and debated more than 2,500 glasses of beer and cider over two days.
When Watson first started judging beer, he said there were only around 2,000 brewers. Now, there are around 15,000. He said this was indicative of the way the industry’s been going.
After opening breweries around the world and across New Zealand, Watson wanted to come back home to open a brewery in Hamilton. His business partners Jason Macklow and DarrelHadley had eyes on the future Good George site in Frankton, although the former St George’s Church was in need of some TLC.
Five years later, there are around 30 brewery staff and a number of awards under their belt.
At the Beer and Cider Awards, the panel blind-tasted each entry to determine which brews stand out from the crowd in technical excellence, balance, mouthfeel, and drinkability.