For Jeremy Bayliss, who is the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) regional coordinator for Hawke's Bay, Sunday was a fine day - and not just weather-wise.

He was delighted to be on the receiving end of two awards rather than handing out awards to other winners as his Westshore Beach Inn picked up both the Bar of the Year and the Restaurant of the Year awards.

Members of the society, which has more than 1200 members spread across 12 regions throughout the country, voted late last year for the regional series of awards which included Bar of the Year and Restaurant of the Year, as well as national awards for top beer and brewery.

The society effectively targets craft beers and the growth in that industry, and support it was seeing, was the most important thing for Mr Bayliss.


"It's great to see that the support for craft beer in Hawke's Bay is growing and that is not only reflected in our local SOBA membership but also by the number of venues and outlets that offer craft beer in their range," he said.

In terms of offering a wide range of craft beers Greenmeadows New World got the nod ahead of runners-up Brews in Hastings.

"The annual SOBA awards are a great opportunity to thank the local hospitality industry and beer outlets for their support in promoting craft beer."

He was naturally delighted with the Westshore Beach Inn's award brace as the range of fine locations was extensive.

The Common Room in Hastings was runner-up Bar of the Year while Bistronomy took the runner-up spot in Restaurant of the year.

For the region's Event of the Year the Havelock North-based Beer Appreciation Day got the top choice.

On the national front Panhead APA picked up the New Zealand Beer of the Year award ahead of Epic IPA, while the New Zealand Brewery of the Year went to Garage Project in Wellington.

Auckland's Liberty Brewing Company took second place.