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NZ’s best beer bars, breweries and restaurants named

The best breweries, bars, bottle stores and beer events have been recognised in the 2014 Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) Awards. Here’s who came out tops.


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

Wellington’s trailblazing brewery Garage Project was named best brewery (pictured below), while Upper Hutt’s Panhead Brewery won the coveted best beer award for their IPA The Vandal.

Garage Project

Other winners included bars from across the country including Brothers Beer, Good George, Hashigo Zake, and The Freehouse, while several restaurants with exceptional beer lists were also handed awards.

SOBA President David Wood said it was important to recognise the people and places that were advancing New Zealand’s beer culture on a regional scale.

“Every city and town develops at a different rate and regional voting means the larger centres don’t eclipse the beer heroes elsewhere.

“Our members are passionate about beer, and they tend to know what they’re talking about. So to be voted by them to receive any award is a great honour.”

National Awards

Best Brewery: Garage Project
Best Beer: Panhead, The Vandal
Best Home Brew Store: Brewers Coop

Regional Awards

Best Bars:

Brothers Beer (Auckland)
Good George (Waikato)
The Hour Glass (Taranaki)
Rutland Arms Inn (Whanganui)
Hashigo Zake (Wellington)
The Freehouse (Nelson)
Dodson Street (Marlborough)
Pomeroy’s (Canterbury)
Tonic (Otago)

Best Restaurants:

Depot (Auckland)
Gothenburg (Waikato)
Ortega Fish Shack (Wellington)
Pomeroy’s (Canterbury)
Ombrellos (Otago)

Best Off Licenses:

Hop Scotch (Auckland)
Hamilton Beer and Wine Company (Waikato)
Liquorland, Fitzroy (Taranaki)
Regional Wines and Spirits (Wellington)
Fresh Choice, Richmond (Nelson)
Fresh Choice, Parklands (Canterbury)

Best Beer Events:

SOBA City of Ales (Auckland)
Beervana (Wellington)
MarchFest (Nelson)
The Great Kiwi Beer Festival (Canterbury)
Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival (Otago)

SOBA has also elected to honour the following people for their service to SOBA:
Grieg McGill
Alex McGill
Stephanie Coutts

About the Society of Beer Advocates:
The Society of Beer Advocates was formed in 2006. It 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.

Image: garageproject.co.nz
Source: Society of Beer Advocates