Inaugural New Zealand Spirits Awards comes to Wellington


Wellington is hosting the first-ever NZ Spirits Awards on 10 May at the Embassy Theatre to celebrate the best of the best of New Zealand-made and imported spirits.

“It’s amazing to think the growth in New Zealand-produced spirits means we can now celebrate the extraordinary products being made and sold here, and exported all over the world,” said Distilled Spirits Aotearoa Inc. [DSA] Chair, Sue James.

“It really is a sign of growing maturity that NZ-made spirits will be judged alongside the imported spirits which consumers are well and truly familiar with,” said Sue.

The DSA, along with Spirits New Zealand, are jointly organising the Awards. Spirits NZ Chief Executive, Robert Brewer, says a focus of the Awards is to help create the recognition of the quality and growing strength of New Zealand product as well as provide the opportunity to promote the overall category.

“What’s amazing is we have accepted 254 entries for the Awards, which is just an incredible number in our first year. It’s exceeded our expectations, and we’re absolutely thrilled,” Robert said.

“It goes to show that now is the right time for a judging and awards showcase, given the thriving local spirits industry, and it will also be a great indicator of how we stand up against overseas producers.”

Judging for the Awards took place on 26-27 in Wellington at Grand Mercure Hotel, with 17 local and overseas judges participating in the judging process. Entries are placed in seven categories: Gin, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, Liqueurs, Brandies and Botanicals & Other Spirits, with each category hosting a number of subcategories.

Medal winners have been announced, but Trophy winners will be revealed on the night of the Awards on 10 May.

See for more details on the event.

JoAnne Carr