Society of Beer Advocates - Beer for all the right reasons

National Homebrew Competition 2016


Competition details:

Judging will be held on Saturday 5th November, hosted by the good people at Fine Wine Delivery Co on Constellation Drive.

All entries will need to be received by us between Monday 17th October and Friday 28th October. The delivery address will be: Beer Spot, 54 Northcote Road, Northcote, Auckland 0627. Thanks very much to Laurence & Jason for allowing us the space there.

Option for new NZ Pilsner category:

Here is the proposed new category for NZ Pilsner. Any feedback is welcome and we'll make a decision on inclusion by the end of August.

XX. NZ Pils

Overall Impression: A light to medium bodied, gold-coloured, bottom-fermented bitter beer showing excellent head retention and an elegant, floral and/or tropical hop aroma. Crisp and clean, a New Zealand Pils is distinguished by a firm bready/biscuity malt base with a heavy load of fragrant NZ hops and a clean and bitter finish.

Aroma: Medium-low to medium malt character expressing fresh baked bread and/or cracker-like quality and medium to high NZ hop character. Expected hop notes lean towards floral and tropical and away from onion/garlic/catty notes. Clean fermentation profile. May optionally have a very light sulfury note that comes from water as much as yeast. While hop character should dominate, malt character must come through, and the best examples will be a harmonious blend of both. Very low DMS is acceptable though not desired. No other faults should be present. Appearance: Straw to deep gold, brilliant to clear, with a very faint hop haze acceptable but not desired. A creamy, long-lasting white head is a must.

Flavour: Medium to high hop bitterness dominates the palate and lingers into the aftertaste. Note that while bitterness may be high, it should be clean and refreshing, not harsh or astringent. Moderate to moderately-low grainy-sweet malt character supports the hop bitterness. Low to high floral, fruity, and/or spicy hop flavour. Clean fermentation profile - esters are a fault. Dry to medium, with a crisp, well-attenuated finish with a bitter aftertaste and light to medium malt flavour. The balance should always be towards the bitter. Sweeter examples are acceptable but not typical. Light sulfur notes from fermentation are acceptable but not desirable.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light body. Medium carbonation. Should not be astringent or harsh. The abiding characteristic should be smoothness.

Comments: Notably sweeter in style that the German variant and less floral yet more hop forward than the Czech style, the NZ Pils (we use Pils, not Pilsner out of respect to the origin of the style) is definitely a riff on a theme, whilst remaining unique in the world of beer. NZ hop usage defines the style, whilst the slightly maltier, sweeter flavour and marginally fuller body differentiates it from a German or Czech variant. A popular and delicious take on a classic. Often brewed as a "hybrid" style, using an ale yeast at cold temperatures.

History: Largely defined by Emerson's Brewery, the NZ Pils has a long reach and is a particular favourite for homebrewers in NZ and beyond.

Style Comparison: Sweeter than a German Pils, Drier than a Czech Pilsner, and with a distinctly New Zealand hop character, leaning towards the tropical or citrusy.

Vital Statistics: IBUs: 22 – 40 SRM: 2 – 10

Commercial Examples: Emerson's Pilsner, Bach Beachstone, Three Boys Pils, Shunters Yard No. 7, Tuatara Bohemian Pilsner