Beer of the Year

2018’s Beer of the Year

Lotus New Zealand Pale Ale — Deep Creek Brewing

The lotus has captivated ancient and contemporary cultures the world over for millennia.  It displays an innate ability to rise above the watery chaos and present itself at dawn to worship the sun throughout the day. Subtle pale malt notes produce a clear golden hue with subtle honey brioche flavours, and provide the perfect backdrop for the hops to showcase their floral and citrus characters.


  • Style: Pale Ale
  • Alcohol By Volume: 4.5%
  • Colour: Golden
  • Approximately 20-25 IBU
Grain Bill
  • Gladfield Ale Malt – 94%
  • Gladfield Light Crystal – 3%
  • Sour Grapes Malt – 3%
  • Bitter with Pacific Jade at 60 min
  • Wai-iti hop addition at 10 min
  • Whirlpool addition of Taiheke and Wai-iti (similar quantities to the dry hop addition)
  • Dry hop of Taiheke and Wai-iti – approximately 5g per litre.
  • Aim for a mash pH of 5.2
  • Similar levels of SO4 to Cl ratio (1:1)
  • WLP001 (or US05 if dry)
  • Ferment at 18 degrees C
  • Ramp up to 21 or so for a diacetyl rest

2017’s Beer of the Year

The Doctor — Sawmill

Toasty aromas, rich malts, light caramel and chocolate flavours. Dark brown in colour with ruby highlights. Reserved hop presence, just enough bitterness to carry the malt. Residual sweetness, lingering mouthfeel.


  • 6.5% ABV
  • FG 1.016
  • Mid 20s IBU
  • Like a Bock/Schwarzbier
  • No astringency or alcohol taste
Grain Bill
  • ⅓ Gladfield Pilsner Malt
  • ⅓ Gladfield Munich Malt
  • ⅓ Gladfield Vienna Malt
  • Weyermann Caramunich Type 1
  • Weyermann Carafa Special Type 2 (Dehusked)
  • A touch of Gladfield Light Chocolate
  • Mash for a dry beer
  • Pacific Jade for bittering
  • Pacific Jade and Pacifica in whirlpool
  • More Chloride than sulphide. Ratio: 1:0.75
  • 50ppm Ca
  • White Labs German Lager WLP830
  • Ferment at 12C
  • Free rise to 16/17C
  • Diacetyl rest at 20C
  • Lager 1 to 2 weeks

2016’s Beer of the Year

Oh Lordy Pale Ale — Funk Estate

The 2016 September clone beer of the year is Funk Estate’s Oh Lordy Pale Ale. You can read about it here:

ABV: 5.5%

Oh Lordy is our contribution to the oh-so-popular pale ale style. We think the balance is pretty bangin’.

The munich malt provides a wee bit of biscuity pleasure, combined with a generous amount of kiwi hops, carefully selected to summon some sexual citrus, passion fruit and grape notes.
We challenge you to drink it and not scream out… Oh Lordy!
Tasting Notes: Gooseberries, grape and tropical fruit aroma with a medium malt body.

2015’s Beer of the Year

Ardennes – Tuatara

Ardennes is Tuatara’s strong, Belgian-style blonde ale. Ardennes is named after the yeast that gives it all those spicy orange notes and there is no mistaking the strong bit! Here’s some information on this beer:

  • Taste: Citrus characters, spicy orange notes
  • Look: Golden yellow
  • Aroma: Orange, spicy & Belgium esters and phenolics
  • Try With: Cheese platter
  • Hops: Pacific Jade, Citra, Amarillo
  • Malt: NZ Pilsner
  • Alcohol (ABV): 6.5%
  • Bitterness (IBU): 24

Carl Vasta from Tuatara will be judging.