[BEER JUDGE] The Tasting Tuesday Challenge

Here is some background information on me which will hopefully make my “Tasting Tuesday” posts more relevant and credible.

There have been many people who have become craft beer drinkers since I have started my career as a brewer in 1997. Many people won’t be aware of my experiences in judging beer, managing beer systems and educating bar staff.


My beers were first entered into competition in 1998 in Australia, all of them won awards that year.

In 1999 I won Supreme Champion Beer at the inaugural New Zealand International Beer Awards.

2000 I was invited to judge in the New Zealand International Beer Awards, (there was no conflict of interest as I wasn’t brewing at that stage, I was working from RealBeer.com)

2001 the industry got frustrated with the organisers of the NZIBA as there were changes the brewers wanted to make, to make the competition even better, but it seemed the organizers (event managers but not involved in the brewing industry) were more interested in sponsors and making a dollar from this event. So the brewing industry formalised a group, and an event called BrewNZ. No judging for me this year.

2002 the first BrewNZ, I was the head steward and organised the entries, and managed all logistics behind the scenes. No judging, just making it all happen for the judges.

(I need to make some time to look back to confirm the years I have judged the BrewNZ vs when I was running the judging, but I think this is right)

2003 – BrewNZ head steward
2004 – BrewNZ
2005 – BrewNZ
2006 – BrewNZ
2007 – BrewNZ

2005 – I was nominated and then invited to be a judge at the World Beer Cup (as they call it the “Olympics of Beer”). I was the first New Zealander to join the panel of international judges. World Beer Cup is held every second year.

2006 – World Beer Cup – Judge – Seattle
2008 – World Beer Cup – Judge – San Diego
2010 – World Beer Cup – Judge – Chicago
2012 – World Beer Cup – Judge – San Diego, (my first year as a table captain)
2013 – Australian International Beer Awards – Judge – Melbourne (first time invited to judge)

This year I have been invited to judge
2014 – WBC Denver
2014 – AIBA – Melbourne

I started my brewing career in 1997 at the original Cock & Bull brewpub in East Tamaki. So being the brewer in a brewpub you have to learn alot about the beer systems that dispense your beer. Getting your beer from the tanks and pouring through the taps at the right temperature, with the right speed, with the right level of gas, so it looks great, takes a bit of skill and experience. Plus regular cleaning of the beer lines is important for the quality of the beer too. 1997-1999

After a few years away from brewing doing website stuff, I returned to the C&B, initially on a contract basis, not only to manage quality assurance of the beer (I didn’t initially return as a brewer), but also look after staff training, monitor beer systems and ultimately find ways to reduce beer wastage at the tap. 2002-2005

I’ve had many years as a brewer, an international beer judge, working with beer dispensing systems, training staff on pouring beers, educating staff on beers, beer styles and the brewing process.

Therefore I think I can add value to bars and bar staff by visiting on “Tasting Tuesday”, discussing the beers on tap, talking about their beer systems, practices, discussing the beers on tap, the beer styles, the aromas and flavours we experience, including off flavours. Then sharing the experience online through this blog as a review of the beers and the bars. Highlighting the points of difference and the reasons why you might want to visit this bar.

Making an effort to make craft beer and bars a better experience. (firstly for me, but ultimately for everyone)

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