Press Release: 8 Wired Brewing
The country’s top beer honours, the Sutton Group Brewer’s Guild of New Zealand Awards, were the perfect stage for Blenheim-based 8 Wired Brewing to collect eight medals and take out Champion Brewery of New Zealand this week.
Last year New Zealand’s second largest brewing company, DB Breweries, won the supreme award. This year it was one of the smallest, with 8 Wired’s Søren Eriksen contract-brewing through Renaissance Brewing Company, where he also works as an Assistant Brewer.
In its tenth year, the Awards are run by the Brewers Guild of New Zealand, who represent the majority of breweries in New Zealand. With 465 entries in 2011, the awards drew the biggest entry tally since their inception in 2001, up from 446 in 2010 and 348 in 2009.
With a consistently high level of competition the 2011 result was extremely close. The quality of entries meant that 37% received a medal, the highest percentage ever, with Dunedin’s Emerson’s Brewery just missing out. Tuatara, Three Boys and Lion Nathan also competed strongly for the coveted title.
“We have been embraced by the consumers and beer community for a while now, and to get the same recognition from this year’s high calibre of judges is a great honour,” says Eriksen who, along with wife Monique, is the sum total of 8 Wired’s labour force.
“Our first beer, ReWired, was brewed in October 2009. So it’s been less than two years to climb to the top of the country’s brewing scene,” says Eriksen.
“I’m obviously more than a little humbled, but also proud that our passion and attention to crafting our beers has been rewarded.”
The latest triumph follows earlier success this year at the RateBeer “Best Awards” where three 8 Wired beers won Gold and the brewery’s HopWired was voted best beer in New Zealand and Australia.
As two-time New Zealand poker champion Eriksen’s brewing successes are often mentioned in the same breath as his card-playing career. Asked which honour felt better to receive he replies, “both are a mix of skill and luck… but there is no doubt that luck is more important in poker than brewing… so, as an achievement, winning Champion Brewery is the pinnacle for me so far”.
8 Wired exports to America, Australia and Søren’s homeland Denmark. His beers can be found on the taps and shelves of New Zealand’s best craft beer bars and discerning retailers.
8 Wired Brewing’s full results were:
Champion Brewery of New Zealand
Best in Class: Specialty, Experimental, Aged, Barrel & Wood-Aged, Reduced Alc./Carbohydrate & Gluten-Free Styles
Barrel Aged Big Smoke
Best In Class: Flavoured & Aged Styles (incl. Fruit/Spice/Herb/ Honey/Smoke)
The Big Smoke
Barrel Aged Big Smoke
Batch 18 Barrel Aged Imperial Stout