Home brew tapped as NZ’s best beer

Townshend Brewery's Martin Townshend

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Glasses were raised last night to toast the success of Townshend Brewery when it was named New Zealand’s Champion Brewery at the2014 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards, now in its eighth year.

The brewery, based in Nelson District’s Rosedale, took out the title in the face of competition from 73 other local brewers.

Founder and brewer Martin Townshend says the award is “a massive accolade.  It seems like only yesterday that I created my first brew in the shed.” 

“Like most things in life,” Mr Townshend says, “the secret to success is passion, hard work and dedication to the task.  I still enjoy brewing now as much as I ever have.”

Mr Townshend founded the 650 litre brewery in 2005 in his family home, where it’s still located. The one-man operation produces around 50,000 litres of beer annually.

Mr Townshend also won the Champion New Zealand Manufacturer trophy and the New Zealand Specific Style category for his Oldhams Tap Riwaka Pilsner, while 12 of his other brews earned medals as well.   

The Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation or Achievement went to Invercargill Brewery’s Steve Nally for packaging low carbonated draught beer in 20 litre bags that are used in bars with traditional English style hand-pumps.

The Champion International Brewery Award went to the Boston Beer Company, from a field of 10 offshore breweries.

A record total of record 670 beers were entered this year and 61 gold, 121 silver and 169 bronze medals awarded.


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