Craft brewer fizzing over awards suc­cess

Kaikoura Star - - OUT & ABOUT - PIPPA BROWN

Craft brew­ers Em­po­rium Brew­ing scored three medals at this year’s Brew­ers Guild of New Zealand Awards.

Em­po­rium has been brew­ing craft beers for two years, and only opened in Kaiko¯ura a year ago.

Own­ers Paul and Laura Fin­ney said it was the first time they have en­tered the awards, and only did so to get feed­back on their beer.

Paul said once they were fully set up in Kaiko¯ura it will be­come a 1000-litre brew­ery.

The medals were given out at a gala din­ner in Christchurch on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 8.

The Brew­ers Guild Awards is the big­gest and most-re­spected beer com­pe­ti­tion in New Zealand and this year had a record of 964 en­tries.

Judg­ing was held over three days by a panel of 28 judges.

Paul joined as a trainee judge this year, sam­pling 140 beers over sev­eral days the week be­fore the award night.

‘‘It was such an in­valu­able and in­spir­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and such a good ex­pe­ri­ence to be able to bench­mark our beers across the in­dus­try, as well as iden­ti­fy­ing faults in beers.

‘‘I learnt so much sit­ting at the ta­ble talk­ing with peo­ple who have been in the in­dus­try a long time and are ex­pe­ri­enced judges,’’ said Fin­ney.

Com­pe­ti­tion man­ager Craig Bowen said the goal of the trainee pro­gramme wasn’t just to cre­ate new judges but to also al­low those at­tend­ing to test their sen­sory skills while im­mers­ing them­selves in a big three-day crash course.


Own­ers Paul Fin­ney and Laura Pritchard from Em­po­rium Brew­ery in Kaiko¯ura scored three medals at this year’s Brew­ers Guild of New Zealand Awards.

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