Zeelandt Brewery in Eskdale has been awarded first prize in the Top of the Fresh Hops competition run by the Society Of Beer Advocates (SOBA) Hawke's Bay.

Zeelandt's "Pulling Cones" beat nationwide rivals in the craft beer scene, to take home the prize for their fresh hop beer.

Beer brewed with fresh hops is made as soon as hops are harvested, and give beer a distinctive hoppy flavour and aroma.

SOBA Hawke's Bay's regional co-ordinator Jeremy Bayliss says, "It's awesome for the Bay that a local beer won the vote ahead of the bigger guns from the more established craft beer destinations such as Wellington and Auckland.

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"It really puts this region on the map."

Mr Bayliss said, "SOBA has been around for some time and membership in Hawke's Bay is now growing rapidly, so it's a great time to get involved.

"We organise member-only brewery visits, tastings and lots more."