NZ's first certified Cicerone to judge craft beers

New Zealand's first beer expert Josh Scott, has joined the New Zealand Food Awards judging panel.

Josh Scott, founder of Moa Brewing Company.

The New Zealand Food Awards 2017 is proud to announce Josh Scott, New Zealand’s first certified Cicerone (beer expert), has joined the technical judging panel to judge the craft beer group within the Countdown Alcoholic Beverage Category.

Mr Scott, the founder of Moa Brewing Company, joins a well-regarded judging panel including Bite magazine’s Ray McVinnie, chef Geoff Scott and World Kitchen television host and chef Nici Wickes.

His appointment is an acknowledgement of New Zealand’s love affair with craft beers and its growing global reputation as home of world-class brewers.

Mr Scott says he feels honoured to have been invited to be part of the food awards judging panel. “While we’ve had a challenging season in terms of hop production, the craft beer culture is thriving in New Zealand,” he says. “I’d like us to reach a point where our reputation for producing top-notch, real beers is up there with our reputation for world-class wines.

“This is a great opportunity for brewers to put their hat in the ring and see how their beers stack up against other beverages. Accreditation marks like that of the New Zealand Food Awards are a great way to boost brand profile and gain distribution and export opportunities.”

The big markets for New Zealand craft beer are the United States, Britain and Europe, while Japan, Vietnam and China are also growing.

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas welcomed Mr Scott’s appointment. The University established the awards in 1987 and continues to manage the annual event. “It’s great to have someone of Josh’s calibre and passion join our esteemed judging panel. Craft beer is an exciting market segment. While more and more of us are enjoying craft beers here in New Zealand, it also represents a fantastic opportunity to add value and grow export earnings.”

Professor Thomas says the University, which runs the annual awards, has agreed to extend the deadline for this year’s entries following requests from the food and beverage industry. “We’ve been delighted with the levels of entries to date,” she says.

For the past 30 years the awards have enabled food and beverage operators to boost the profile of their business and brand, grow sales and achieve national and international. They are open to small and large food and beverage manufacturers, primary food producers, food service providers and ingredient supply companies. This year’s winners are eligible for prize packs including; business support, product promotion, product development and consultancy with partners.

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