Beer Necessities 2020: The tasting sessions

Discover Aotearoa's top brews, chosen by our 10 specialist beer judges.

Hazy, hoppy, herbal? Whatever your preference,
Capital has put together this tasting guide to the best New Zealand beers.

craft beer nz

Click on the categories below to start exploring.

best in class beer 2020

The judging panel

Stephanie Coutts
Steph was our head judge and steward. She owns Craft Beer College and is a Certified Cicerone. She runs beer tastings and tours, sharing her passion for all things beer.

Manaia Hunt
Manaia is the assistant brewer at Choice Bros Brewery, and has been an “experimental” home brewer for the past five years.

Denise Garland
Denise has been involved in beer for 10 years as a writer, home brewer, consumer, judge, and drinker. She’s New Zealand’s current beer writer of the year.

Jono Galuszka
Jono is a former Beer Writer of the Year and a correspondent for The Crafty Pint. He’s written for Stuff and the Sunday Star Times, and judged multiple beer awards.

Nisha Pullan
Nisha is a Certified Cicerone and is working towards a Beer Judge Certification Programme qualification. She has worked in beer bars and breweries, and at Regional Wines and Spirits. She’s also a home brewer.

Colin Mallon
Colin owns the Sprig and Fern in Tawa, a new role after years as the Operations Director for The Malthouse and Fork and Brewer. He has judged multiple awards including the World Beer Cup.

Marcus Ebert
Marcus is a brewer at Fortune Favours and holds a Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. This is his first foray into beer judging.

David Wood
Dave “the beer guy” is a long-time stalwart of the New Zealand beer community; a past president of Society of Beer Advocates, SOBA, he’s run numerous great beer bars and is general manager at Heyday Brewing.

Molly Jones
Molly is the owner of The Curator Project and co-founder of There’s No Such Thing as a “Girls’ Beer” and XX Fest. She has studied the visual evolution of New Zealand beer, and the overlap of beer and the arts.

Emma Bell
Emma is a brewer at Kereru Brewing Company, and has a wide range of brewery experience including hosting tastings and tours. She’s judged a number of beer awards.

best in class beer 2020

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