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Meet the brewers and cidermakers

Meet the crafty creators behind the Top 30 brews in the New World Beer & Cider Awards. You can also explore more with the New Zealand Ale Trail – just click here.


8 wired

8 Wired Brewing

Once a small start-up, born during the infancy of the New Zealand craft beer revolution, 8 Wired Brewery now boasts one of the largest barrel ageing programmes in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Located in Warkworth, alongside a new taproom and eatery in Matakana, founder Soren Eriksen and his team are specialists in crafting 'new world interpretations of old-world style beers' and are much loved for their daring and award-winning sours.

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b.effect Brewing Co. is Wanaka's go-to spot for delicious, sessionable craft beers. Established in 2015, the b.effect team took an old car mechanic workshop and turned it into the brewery and taproom of their dreams, where they use local ingredients to make a range of beverages from beer to cider, ginger beer and kombucha.

Inspired by the butterfly effect, b.effect believes small changes can cause great effects, and they use this philosophy to guide them in their brewing process and how they operate as a business.  

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Bach Brewing 

Bach Brewing is an independent family-owned brewing company located between the shores of Auckland’s harbours. Founder Craig Cooper grew-up exploring and surfing many of New Zealand's favourite coastlines, and his love for the classic Kiwi Bach life is at the heart of the brand. 

Naturally, Bach beers focus on freshness, with flavours and aromas that remind of the freedom and fun of life by the sea.


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Beer Baroness 

As New Zealand’s only 100% female-led brewery, Beer Baroness is on a mission to prove that good beer is for everyone, regardless of gender.  

Founder Ava has beer in her genes, with her family running a beloved craft beer pub in Christchurch, and she and a passionate team have grown Beer Baroness from a side line passion project to an award-winning brewery in a short space of time with a focus on fresh and seasonal brews.  


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Brave Brewing Co 

Established in 2014, Brave represents craft brewing excellence in the heart of Hastings, Hawke's Bay. What began as a passion project has blossomed into an award-winning brewery, cherished by locals and beer aficionados alike. 

At the heart of the brewery, and their new taproom and eatery, is a commitment to fostering connection. Their ethos is simple: to create an inviting space where people from all walks of life can come together over great beer and genuine connections.

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Brew Moon 

The Brew Moon Brewing Company was founded in 2002 in a quiet little town called Amberley. The decision originally looked a little questionable in a region where the brown bottle reigned supreme. 

But with a bit of hard work, luck, and a lot of love, they made it through. Since then, their brewery has grown. One family has become a few families, but the goal of putting good beer, good food and good people together remains unchanged.

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Emerson’s Brewery 

An iconic Dunedin institution, Emerson’s has been in the beer game for decades. 

Started by Richard Emerson (the ‘Hop father’ of beer in New Zealand) way back in the 90’s, the Emerson’s team have revolutionised beer culture and have gone from strength-to-strength winning prestigious beer awards and fans across the world. 

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Epic Beer 

Epic – named in homage of the monumental journey it takes to reach New Zealand’s beautiful shores – is one of the original local crafters of big aroma beers with bold hop flavours. 

After founder Luke Nicholas first started bottling his hoppy creations in 1998, critics took notice, and the Auckland brewery now boasts the country’s most awarded beer, the Armageddon IPA, and a growing range of boundary-pushing favourites and seasonal brews. 


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Garage Project 

Garage Project's story began with brothers Pete and Ian, and lifelong friend Jos, experimenting with brewing in a derelict petrol station in Wellington. From what started as 'nano brewing', Garage Project has grown to become one of the most renowned names in the business. 

Throughout the years, one thing that remains the same is Pete, Ian and Jos' willingness to take risks and this is evident in the diverse range of beers they produce.


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Established in 2005 by Stephen and Hayley Plowman, Hallertau is an artisanal Auckland-focused brewery, with a flagship venue based in Riverhead and a second offering in Clevedon. 

Their brews reflect a no-nonsense and uncompromising approach to letting the beer speak for itself, while their much-loved hospitality venues focus on local produce and creating a fun and friendly place people can feel at home over great beer, food, music and more.


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Lakeman Brewing Co

Working from what was once a farm utility shed, nestled among rolling green hills above a pristine fresh water bore, Lakeman’s small but talented team produce award-winning craft beers. 

While the brand’s hairy Lakeman persona doesn’t take itself too seriously, the Taupō-based team are very serious about making the best quality beer and put protecting their local water quality at the core of everything they do.  

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McLeod’s Brewery

Hailing from the tiny Northland village of Waipu, McLeod’s Brewery was founded by brothers Geoff and Clayton Gwynne. It’s gone from strength to strength with Head Brewer Jason Bathgate, including a 2021 win as Champion Medium Brewery at the NZ Beer Awards. 

The award-winning brewery crafts a range of styles for every beer lover – from trophy-winning lagers and pale ales to barrel-aged and mixed fermentation brews.


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Morningcider, an innovative cider trio-based in... wait for it... Morningside, started as a small side-hustle and quickly expanded into a dynamic, award-winning brewing company with its own local cider bar. 

Coming from a neighbourhood that always looks on the ‘bright cider life’, the team are driven to make Morningside a better place to live, planting apple trees in backyards all around their community to create the world’s first urban orchard.  


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Mount Brewing Co 

A locally owned and operated second generation brewery, Mount Brewing Co have a passion for making tasty, high-quality brews that represent the Bay of Plenty and keep Mt Maunganui locals’ thirsts satisfied.  

Alongside a popular core range of beers to suit every style, the team also like to push boundaries, experimenting with flavour combos and crazy ingredients in their ever-changing seasonal releases.


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Panhead Custom Ales

Panhead Custom Ales are the craft beer engineers of Upper Hutt. 

Founder Mike Neilson started brewing his four stock brews in 2013 at the old Dunlop tyre factory in Maidstone, and the public quickly caught on.  Now brewing some of New Zealand’s best-selling craft beers, the Panhead brew crew continue to maintain the brewery’s legendary reputation for quality and consistency.

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The Parrotdog story is almost legendary… In just a decade three Matts – Kristofski, Warner and Stevens, have grown from humble beginnings in their basement flat to become a fully-fledged commercial brewery and darling business of the New Zealand brewing scene. 

Today, Parrotdog continues to reach for new heights with their approachable, uncomplicated beers that are as popular as ever and a regular in chillers and on taps all around the country. 


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Peckham’s Cider

Peckham’s Cider took its first steps in 2004 by planting a few specialist cider apple trees on what is now the multi-award-winning Peckham’s Cidery and Orchard. Located in the beautiful hills of the Upper Moutere countryside, Peckham’s is owned and run by English couple, Lois and Jody Scott, having taken over from the original Peckham family in 2023.  

While there has been change, one very important thing remains the same: a passion to create an unparalleled range of authentic and innovative ciders with the new cider apple crop each year.


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Sprig + Fern Brewing Co

Sprig + Fern Brewing Co. in Richmond have a simple philosophy; use top-notch ingredients and work hard to ensure quality and consistency, which has earned them a solid reputation amongst craft beer drinkers around New Zealand (and a full trophy cabinet!).

The small and enthusiastic team is led by owner and Master Brewer Tracy Banner, who recently marked forty years in the brewing industry, and is a respected international beer judge and industry mentor. The Sprig + Fern brand is also represented by a growing number of owner-operated taverns, spread throughout Nelson, Tasman, Wellington and Christchurch.


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Born from a challenge to produce a lager of international quality right here in New Zealand, Steinlager has for over 65 years championed New Zealand at its finest, leading the way with its range of award-winning lagers.

Steinlager boasts an impressive core range and is proud to be brewed at The Pride, New Zealand’s largest brewery. True to its original spirit, Steinlager Classic reminds us what is great about New Zealand and our national beer.


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Three Sisters Brewery

Three Sisters Brewery is a husband-and-wife team, Joe and Sarah, who first started brewing boutique craft beer in their garage in coastal Taranaki.  

Following a breakthrough award in 2015, their meticulous approach and respect for quality ingredients has seen them become one of Taranaki’s most successful craft breweries, now run out of the beautiful old New Plymouth Saving Bank building.


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The journey for Zeffer began in 2008 when Zeffer’s founders quit their day jobs to pursue the craft of cidermaking. Popularity at their local Farmers' Market in Matakana pushed the team into expanding, both the types of beverages they make and where they’re sold, with Zeffer popping up in stores across the country.  

Since then, the Zeffer headquarters have relocated to sunny Hawke's Bay and there has been no looking back. Zeffer now crafts a wide range of real fruit beverages and can be found throughout the world, helping put NZ on the map for top quality craft beverages.