Tuesday 10 October 2017
Garage Project: “It feels good to win!”
Winning the Champion New Zealand Brewery Award fills a hole in Garage Project’s trophy collection.
The Wellington brewery is one of the best-known craft breweries in New Zealand. Its innovative approach and creative
collaborations have built a cult-like following since it opened in 2011, with a reputation for unique, short-run beers.
On the way, Garage Project has collected brewing and business accolades, including a silver medal at the 2014 World Beer
Cup; topping the Deloitte’s Fast 50 in 2015; and the Society of Beer Advocates Best Brewery award in 2014, 2015 and
Last weekend it also collected New Zealand’s most prestigious brewing trophy, the Brewers Guild New Zealand Champion
Brewery Award. It’s the first time Garage Project has won the top prize, although it has won competition trophies in
Garage Project’s Cabbages and Kings Imperial Oyster Stout won the Flavoured and Aged Beer trophy. Its Champion Brewery
win is earned through its impressive medal-haul – four Golds, nine Silvers, and 13 Bronze – all determined through blind
judging with an expert panel.
Head Brewer Pete Gillespie says the win reflects careful handling of the beers at all stages of production.
“Having a great recipe is no use at all if it’s not packaged well and if you’re not paying attention to quality at every
step. We throw a lot of energy into making sure the beer is of very high quality and packed with very little dissolved
oxygen,” Gillespie says.
“Brewers go up on stage and get the pat on the back, but it’s the people who are packaging the product who deserve a
huge high five because it’s down to the whole team to make sure that recipe is delivered.”
Gillespie is adamant the win will not affect Garage Project’s bold approach to making unusual beers.
“We’re on track to make 60 new beers this year, on top of our core range. If they fit a style, great, but we won’t start
brewing to win more awards. It does feel good to win this year, because there are a lot of good breweries. Every year
there’s more competition. I genuinely feel very privileged to win, and it’s great for the whole team to have that
recognition, but we won’t consciously try to brew things to fit competition styles.”