2017 SOBA Award Winners Announced

SOBA 2017 Awards

The Society of Beer Advocates Inc. is pleased to announce the results of the annual SOBA Awards. These awards are the result of the votes of individual members of SOBA, by region. The SOBA awards represent the true “voice of the consumer”, as SOBA is a consumer-based organisation with a mission to educate, promote, and advocate for the appreciation of, and access to, a diverse range of quality beer.

2017 SOBA Awards Summary

Garage Project continued to dominate, as they were again voted the best brewery in New Zealand. The fact that the runner up was the contract brewer Behemoth shows that you don’t need to own stainless to make well loved beer. It also reflects the contract-heavy brewing scene in New Zealand. Well done to both breweries.

The people have spoken resoundingly and awarded the best beer in NZ award to McLeod’s with their Paradise Pale Ale. This reflects the success that McLeod’s have had recently, and SOBA is pleased to see it continue. Runner up was Panhead’s Supercharger , showing that SOBA members are not snobbish about the fact that the brewery is now owned by Lion Nathan. Whilst there are no awards given for third place, it’s quite a feat that Liberty Brewing tied with itself – third equal for Prohibition Porter and The Kush.

SOBA members honoured with awards for their services were previous Pursuit of Hoppiness advertising coordinator Annika Corley, Pursuit editor Michael Donaldson, and homebrew shop Brewer’s Coop veteran proprietor Mike Elwood.

Society president Maree Shaw commented “It’s great to see an increase in competition outside the main centres this year. We love seeing new names pop up, but it’s also great to see a returning bar or brewery as that’s a mark of quality”. Shaw also expressed her admiration for the individual members who were honoured, saying “we really value Annika, Michael, and Mike’s commitment to SOBA over the years. Their dedication and hard work is so often taken for granted, so it’s really important that we take the time to recognise them publically.”

2017 SOBA Awards Winners

Honoured Members for Services to SOBA & Craft Beer Community

  • Annika Corley
  • Michael Donaldson
  • Mike Elwood

National Award Winners

Beer of the Year

Winner: McLeod’s – Paradise Pale Ale
Runner up: Panhead – Supercharger APA

Brewery of the Year

Winner: Garage Project, Wellington
Runner up: Behemoth Brewing, Auckland (contract)

Best Home Brew Shop

Winner: Brewtopia, Wellington
Runner up: Brewshop.co.nz, online

Regional Award Winners

2017 Regional SOBA Award WinnersBar of the YearRestaurant of the YearOff-License of the YearEvent of the Year
AucklandWinnerVulture's LaneMcLeod's Pizza BarnLiquorland NewmarketGABS
Runner upGalbraith's AlehouseHallertau BreweryHopscotchAuckland Beer Week & City of Ales (tied)
WaikatoWinnerCraftGothenburgHamilton Beer & Wine CoHBWC Showcase
Runner upGood GeorgeDough BrosThe Merchant of Taupo-
Bay of PlentyWinnerBrew RotoruaThe Barrel RoomLiquorland Mt. Maunganui-
Runner upThe Rising Tide-The Rising Tide-
Hawkes BayWinnerWestshore Beach InnWestshore Beach InnBottle-O HastingsRTB @ Westshore Beach Inn & Beer Appreciation Day (tied)
Runner upBrave Brewing CoBistronomyWestshore Beach Inn-
TaranakiWinnerMs WhiteKoiLiquorland FitzroyMountain Ales Festival
Runner upMike's BreweryThe Hour Glass-Taste Taranaki
WanganuiWinnerRutland ArmsRutland ArmsFour Square Riverview-
Runner up--Liquorland Wanganui-
ManawatuWinnerBrew UnionBrew UnionLiquorland Albert Street-
Runner up-The Fat Farmer--
WellingtonWinnerLittle Beer QuarterShepherdRegional Wines & SpiritsBeervana
Runner upHashigo ZakeGrill Meats BeerThorndon New WorldPacific Beer Expo
NelsonWinnerThe Free HouseUrbanFresh Choice RichmondMarchfest
Runner upCraft Beer DepotHopgoodsCraft Beer DepotNZ Homebrewer's Conference
MarlburoughWinnerDodson Street Beer GardenGrovetown PubSuperliquor Blenheim & Wino's (tied)-
Runner up-Junction Hotel--
CanterburyWinnerPomeroy'sPomeroy'sPunky BrewsterSouth Island Beer Festival
Runner upThe VolsteadThe LaboratoryThe Beer Library Great Kiwi Beer Festival
Otago & SouthlandWinnerEmerson's & Ombrellos (tied)Emerson's & Ombrellos (tied)Henry's Centre CityDunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival
Runner up--Emerson'sPie, Pint & Pinot in Arrowtown

Big thanks to all of the SOBA members who voted – we really appreciate it.

Previous SOBA Awards Results

For more information, press only:
Maree Shaw – SOBA President

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