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Winners announced in inaugural London Beer Competition

stout from a brewer in Spain’s Basque country has taken the only Gold

medal at the inaugural London Beer Competition, leading a field of 21 medal winners from the judging that took place in the capital last month.

Black Gold, an 8.5% ABV stout aged in rum barrels from the Basque Oak Brewery, was awarded the 90+ points required to take a Gold by a panel of 12 beer experts. Eight beers were awarded a Silver medal after scoring between 76-89, with a further 12 taking away a Bronze (65-75 points).

The London Beer Awards were launched in late 2017 by global drinks experts Beverage Trade Network, plugging a gap in the market for an award that judges beers in the way that consumers judge them – assessing not just their taste, but also their packaging and value for money.

Chief executive of Beverage Trade Network Sid Patel said, “At all the major competitions, beers are judged solely on the quality of what’s in the bottle or can.  We wanted to take a different approach, by asking our judges to look at beers the way shoppers do, adding appearance and value for money into the mix.

“The best-tasting beer in the world will stay on the supermarket shelf unless the pack design and price point appeal to the consumer. Equally, if the taste doesn’t live up to expectations, there will be no repeat purchase. 

“Including all three factors in the judging produces results that are closer to the reality of the way consumers purchase beers and gives brewers better feedback on how their beers are perceived by shoppers.”


At the judging session, judges tasted and scored beers ‘blind’ before seeing bottles or cans and marking them for on-shelf appeal as well as value for money.

The majority of the medals went to UK brewers, though beers from Spain, Italy, the USA and Sri Lanka were also winners. Reinforcing the robustness of the London Beer Competition, many had won awards in other contests, including Sambrook’s Brewery, based in Wandsworth, who took the Brewery of the Year title after scoring more points than any other brewer and three Silver medals. Best in Show awards went to Wold Gold from Yorkshire brewer Wold Top and Dark Island Reserve from Orkney Brewery, as well as to Sambrook’s and Basque Oak.

Patel said, “Launching a new competition is exciting but also daunting, especially when it radically changes the way beers are judged. We’re delighted with the first London Beer Competition, which attracted entries from award-winning brewers in the UK and further afield and a panel of respected industry judges.

“We are already making plans to run the competition again in 2019 and will be opening entries towards the end of this year.”

Mitch Adams, beer buyer at London-based Borough Wines, said, “Seeing the packaging was a great addition to the judging, and well-managed so we didn’t have preconceptions when tasting the beers.

“I’d like to see more competitions find a way to include packaging, as it’s important to buyers and it’s evident that the industry still needs packaging on what sort of branding is acceptable.  Hopefully comments from events such as this will help the drive for equality and diversity throughout the industry.”



London Beer Competition Gold

  • Black Gold – Basque Oak Brewery


London Beer Competition Silver

  • Wold Gold - Wold Top Brewery
  • Saison - LA Cotta Brewery
  • Dark Island Reserve - Orkney Brewery
  • G- String - Funky Bow Brewery
  • So Folkin' Happy- Funky Bow Brewery
  • Battersea Rye- Sambrook's Brewery Limited
  • Battersea IPA- Sambrook’s Brewery Limited
  • Russian Imperial Stout - Sambrook's Brewery Limited


London Beer Competition Bronze

  • Radical Road - Stewart Brewing
  • First World Problems - Stewart Brewing
  • Dark Secret - Monty's Brewery
  • AKUA – Basque Oak Brewery
  • Legra Pale - Leigh on Sea Brewery
  • Lion Stout - Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc
  • The Raven - Sonnet 43 Brew House
  • Stout Brummie - Birmingham Brewing Company
  • Gold Brummie - Birmingham Brewing Company
  • Midnight Special - Funky Bow Brewery
  • Impressment - Sonnet 43 Brew House
  • WooHa Porter - WooHa Brewing Company


Beer Of The Year

  • Black Gold – Basque Oak Brewery



Brewery of the Year

  • Sambrook’s Brewery


Best In Show (By Country Category)

  • Wold Gold  – Wold Top Brewery


Best In Show (By Package)

  • Dark Island Reserve - Orkney Brewery


Best In Show (By Value) –(£2.25)

  • Battersea Rye - Sambrook's Brewery


Best In Show (By Quality)

  • Black Gold – Basque Oak Brewery

Caption to attached image: judges at the first ever London Beer Competition


ABOUT BTN: Beverage Trade Network is leading online marketing and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN provides a selection of sourcing solutions for importers and distributors as well as an extensive range of marketing and distribution services for international suppliers. BTN also owns BevRoute, a magazine for Importers and Distributors and runs a lineup of trade shows around the world which includes USA Trade Tasting in New York, International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show in LondonInternational Bulk Wine and Spirits Show in San Francisco.



Trophies Announced at Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2017



We are pleased to announce the trophy winning wines of

the 31st Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

Click the links below shown in blue


Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show
Isabel Chardonnay Marlborough 2016

O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show
Dashwood Pinot Noir Marlborough 2016

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir
Dashwood Pinot Noir Marlborough 2016

Label and Litho Limited Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Marlborough 2017

Rabobank Champion Chardonnay
Isabel Chardonnay Marlborough 2016

Dish Magazine Champion Open Red Wine
Dashwood Pinot Noir Marlborough 2016

Bayleys Real Estate Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Organic Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2016

Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah
Coopers Creek Reserve Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2016

Guala Closures New Zealand Champion Pinot Gris
Saddleback Pinot Gris Central Otago 2017

New World Champion Open White Wine
Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Marlborough 2017

New Zealand Winegrowers Champion Sweet Wine
Forrest Botrytised Riesling Marlborough 2016

Plant & Food Research Champion Riesling
Mount Riley Riesling Marlborough 2017

Quay Connect Champion Other White Styles
Nautilus Albariño Marlborough 2017

Riedel New Zealand Champion Gewürztraminer
Lawson's Dry Hills Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2016

WineWorks Champion Sparkling Wine
Aotea by the Seifried Family Méthode Traditionnelle Nelson NV

New Zealand Winegrowers Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Isabel Wild Barrique Chardonnay Marlborough 2016

New Holland Agriculture Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Falcon Ridge Estate Syrah Nelson 2016

Remember to look for the Air New Zealand Wine Awards medal stickers when selecting your wine this summer!

For more details and competitions, you can also visit the Air New Zealand Facebook page, or follow on Twitter @AirNZWineAwards or Instagram @airnzwineawards.

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards Team

Gold Medals announced at 2017 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2017 Gold Medal winners have been announced!

A team of highly experienced international and local wine experts judged over 1,300 wines earlier this month to discover New Zealand's finest.

This year 80 Gold Medals have been awarded to some of New Zealand's finest wines.

Pinot Noir was once again a stand out performer, winning 20 Golds, with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot, Cabernet & Blends also performing exceptionally well.

The full intractive list of Gold Medal winning wines is available here.

Remember to look for the Air New Zealand Wine Awards medals when selecting your wine this summer. 

Chardonnay Shines at 2017 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

A Marlborough Chardonnay has won the top prize at the 2017 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The Isabel Chardonnay Marlborough 2016 won the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show trophy, as well as the Rabobank Champion Chardonnay trophy, at an Art Deco inspired awards dinner in Hawke’s Bay last night.

Chair of Judges Warren Gibson said the Isabel Chardonnay Marlborough 2016 was a very classy example of the Chardonnay in this year’s competition.

“It has a beautiful balance of components with a rich long finish,” said Mr Gibson. “It’s packed with flavour but still maintains a remarkable lightness on its feet.”

The producer of this champion Chardonnay, Isabel Estate Vineyard, is a pioneering winery in Marlborough and planted their first vineyards in 1980. They also have some of the oldest Chardonnay vines in the region. Chief Winemaker Jeremy McKenzie says Isabel Estate Vineyard’s philosophy on working the land is simple.

“Respect the soil where the grapes grow and allow the unique characters of each vineyard and variety to be expressed in the final wine.”

The second highest accolade of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show trophy, went to the Dashwood Pinot Noir Marlborough 2016. This impressive Pinot Noir, made by Chief Winemaker Stu Marfell of Foley Family Wines, also won the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir trophy.

“As with many of the best wines in this class there is perfume and length with elegant tannins and a lingering and powerful finish,” stated Mr Gibson.

Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Bruce Parton says the airline is proud to have sponsored the New Zealand wine industry’s official awards for 31 years.

“Through our partnership with New Zealand Winegrowers we are committed to championing the success of the industry right around the world, both through these awards as well as by working together to help grow wine tourism.

“It’s been great to see entries from wineries across the country this year and we’d like to congratulate all the medal and trophy winners.”
Seventeen trophies were announced at the dinner, which was emceed by Jack Tame and Renee Wright. This year's competition saw over 1,300 wines entered.

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards celebrate excellence in New Zealand winemaking and are widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country's 1,500 grape growers and winemakers, has owned and organised the competition for over 40 years.


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