'Underdog' takes out Supreme Award

Award Winning Pilsner - Lakeman Team

From humble beginnings as one of our very first beers brewed in 2013 we are stoked to see the now Primate Pilsner take out the Supreme Beer award at the 2023 New World Beer and Cider awards! Lakeman Brewing Co, although a small dog in the industry, the 2023 awards sees us triumph against some of the big dogs of beer.

“Their Primate Pilsner is a pitch-perfect example of a New Zealand-style pilsner, with loads of bright citrus and the hint of dank herbal note on a clean, slightly sweet palate. It came out on top of a taste-off against some of the bigger beers in this competition because of the outstanding execution. This win is a great story of Kiwi can-do attitude. Despite their remote location, rural farm setting and small team, Lakeman has gone from beginner to absolute winner in just ten years.”

says Michael Donaldson– Chair of Judges.

Supreme Beer Winner - Lakeman Primate Pilsner - 330ml
primate pilsner 6 pack

Michael, alongside 29 of Aotearoa’s best and brightest judges, blind-tasted over 700 beers, ciders, alcoholic ginger beers, meads and seltzers to find the Top 30. Blind-tasting means judges only see the beer or cider in the glass, never any bottles or brands. The beauty of blind tasting is that it puts everyone on equal footing and as a result, they say there’s always a surprise or two in the Top 30, breweries that pop up out of nowhere to be given a chance to show what they can do on the big stage.


“But in the nine years of this competition, there’s never been a year of the underdog quite like 2023.”  

says Michael Donaldson- Chair of Judges.

New World Beer & Cider Awards - Supreme Winner - Lakeman Primate Pilsner

“To be judge the supreme beer out of around 700 of NZ’s best beers and ciders from some awesome and a lot bigger breweries is pretty epic, especially as we head in to celebrating our 10th anniversary later this year” – says James Cooper

The Supreme Winner, our Lakeman Primate Pilsner, is a crisp new world style pilsner. Straw in colour and of light malt character with lemon citrus notes and hopped with Pacific Jade, Motueka, Riwaka providing a soft bitter finish. Described as “vibrant and bright” by the judges. It pushes close to pale ale territory but remains a pitch-perfect example of a modern New Zealand pilsner. “Clean, simple and balanced,” the judges added.

“It’s a huge achievement for the whole team. They are always working hard to perfect our beers and try new styles, so for one of our core and original beers to win such a massive award is pretty cool and a recognition that with hard work and consistency it’s all worth it”

– says Elissa Cooper

James and Rory - Pilsners Award Winning Beer
Lakeman head brewer Rory Donovan

read our other articles