2016 SOBA Award Winners Announced

While Wellington breweries continue to shine nationally, New Zealand witnessed a continuing nationwide surge in appreciation for good beer in this year’s Society of Beer Advocates Awards.

Designed to recognise, reward and encourage those who are providing excellent products and services to the beer community and industry, the awards are nominated and voted on by the SOBA membership in each region.

Wellington’s Garage Project was named best brewery for the third year running, while Upper Hutt’s Panhead Supercharger APA won the coveted best beer award for the second time.

Long time stalwarts of the beer scene like Vulture’s Lane (Auckland), Hashigo Zake (Wellington), and Pomeroy’s (Christchurch) were honoured, but this year also saw first time winners in smaller regions like the Bay of Plenty, Whanganui, and Manawatu.

SOBA President Maree Shaw said it was great to see more bars, restaurants, off licences, and events recognised in the regions compared to previous years.

“More and more people are realising just how diverse and exciting beer can be, and it’s fantastic to see more establishments embracing good beer.”

The awards also recognise festivals and events in each region, from Wellington’s massive Beervana to a cosy Meet the Brewer tasting in the Bay of Plenty.

“The SOBA members are some of the most knowledgeable beer drinkers in New Zealand. All of the winners should be proud of their commitment to good quality and service.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

National Awards

Skip to Regional Awards

New Zealand Beer of the Year


Winner: Panhead Supercharger


Runner Up: Epic Armageddon

New Zealand Brewery of the Year

Winner: Garage Project


Runner Up: Liberty Brewing

New Zealand’s Best Home Brew Shop

Winner: Brewshop.co.nz

Runner Up: Brewtopia

Honoured Members

For services to SOBA: David Wood


For services to SOBA: Denise Garland

Regional Awards

Click to skip to region.

Auckland
Waikato
Bay of Plenty
Hawke’s Bay
Taranaki
Whanganui
Manawatu
Wellington
Nelson
Marlborough
Canterbury
Otago

Auckland

Auckland Bar of the Year

Winner: Vulture’s Lane
Runner Up: Brothers Beer

Auckland Restaurant of the Year

Winner: Hallertau Restaurant
Runner Up: Depot

Auckland Off License of the Year

Winner: Liqourland Newmarket
Runner Up: Hopscotch

Auckland Beer Event of the Year

Winner: GABS
Runner Up: Auckland Beer Week
Back to regions

Waikato

Waikato Bar of the Year

Winner: Craft
Runner Up: Good George

Waikato Restaurant of the Year

Winner: Gothenburg
Runner Up: Dough Bros

Waikato Off License of the Year

Winner: Hamilton Beer & Wine Co

Waikato Beer Event of the Year

Winner: HBWC – Showcase
Runner Up: Hoptoberfest (CRAFT & Little George)
Back to regions

Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty Bar of the Year

Winner: BREW
Runner Up: Rising Tide

Bay of Plenty Restaurant of the Year

Winner: BREW (Tauranga)
Runner Up: Rising Tide

Bay of Plenty Off License of the Year

Winner: Liqourland Mount Maunganui
Runner Up: Liquorland Bayfair

Bay of Plenty Beer Event of the Year

Winner: Hop House – Meet the brewer
Back to regions

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay Bar of the Year

Winner: Westshore Inn
Runner Up: The Common Room

Hawke’s Bay Restaurant of the Year

Winner: Westshore Inn
Runner Up: Bistronomy

Hawke’s Bay Off License of the Year

Winner: New World Green Meadows
Runner Up: Brews

Hawke’s Bay Beer Event of the Year

Winner: Beer Appreciation Day
Back to regions

Taranaki

Taranaki Bar of the Year

Winner: The Hour Glass
Runner Up: Ms White

Taranaki Restaurant of the Year

Winner: The Hour Glass
Runner Up: Ms White

Taranaki Off License of the Year

Winner: Fitzroy Liquorland

Taranaki Beer Event of the Year

Winner: Mountain Ales Festival
Back to regions

Whanganui

Whanganui Bar of the Year

Winner: Rutland Arms

Whanganui Restaurant of the Year

Winner: Rutland Arms

Whanganui Off License of the Year

Winner: Four Square Riverview
Runner Up: Liquorland Wanganui
Back to regions

Manawatu

Manawatu Bar of the Year

Winner: Celtic Inn
Runner Up: Fat Farmer

Manawatu Restaurant of the Year

Winner: The Little White Rabbit

Manawatu Off License of the Year

Winner: Liquorland Albert Street

Manawatu Beer Event of the Year

Winner: Beer Without Borders Tasting Series
Back to regions

Wellington

Wellington Bar of the Year

Winner: Hashigo Zake
Runner Up: Fork & Brewer

Wellington Restaurant of the Year

Winner: Grill Meats Beer
Runners Up (tied): Shepherd & Ortega Fish Shack

Wellington Off License of the Year

Winner: Regional Wines & Spirits
Runner Up: New World Thorndon

Wellington Beer Event of the Year

Winner: Beervana
Runner Up: Pacific Beer Expo
Back to regions

Nelson

Nelson Bar of the Year

Winner: The Free House
Runner Up: Mussell Inn

Nelson Restaurant of the Year

Winners (tied): Urban & Eddyline Brewery & Pizzeria

Nelson Off License of the Year

Winner: Fresh Choice Richmond
Runner Up: Craft Beer Depot

Nelson Beer Event of the Year

Winner: Marchfest
Runner Up: NZ Home Brewers Conference
Back to regions

Marlborough

Marlborough Bar of the Year

Winner: Dodson Street
Runner Up: Grovetown Hotel
Back to regions

Canterbury

Canterbury Bar of the Year

Winner: Pomerory’s
Runner Up: Volstead

Canterbury Restaurant of the Year

Winner: Pomeroy’s
Runner Up: The Laboratory

Canterbury Off License of the Year

Winner: The Beer Library
Runner Up: Punky Brewster

Canterbury Beer Event of the Year

Winner: South Island Beer Festival
Runner Up: Great Kiwi Beer Festival
Back to regions

Otago/Southland

Otago/Southland Bar of the Year

Winner: Emerson’s Taproom and Restaurant
Runners Up (tied): Albar & The Portsider

Otago/Southland Restaurant of the Year

Winners (tied): Ombrellos & Emerson’s Taproom and Restaurant

Otago/Southland Off License of the Year

Winner: Henry’s Centre City
Runner Up: Emerson’s Taproom and Restaurant

Otago/Southland Beer Event of the Year

Winner: Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival
Back to regions

SOBA Award Winners 2013

SOBA Award Winners 2014

SOBA Award Winners 2015

About David
SOBA Website Admin, Former SOBA President (2013-2016), Former SOBA Committee Member (2011-2013)

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