Everyone loves a surprise when you’re celebrating your birthday.  And for Kiwi craft brewer Moa, the anniversary has been feted with more international honours for the mantelpiece.

For the third year running, Moa has hauled in the most awards of any New Zealand brewery at the fourth annual Asia Beerfest in Singapore. And the icing on the cake?  The medals were handed out on June 13, the same day the Marlborough brewery celebrated its 10th anniversary but made official today.

The big award went to the Marlborough brewer’s Moa St Josephs beer which, in addition to picking up a Gold, was also judged Best Australasian beer.  Moa St Josephs is a classic, very approachable and drinkable Belgian Tripel.

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Altogether Moa picked up three Golds, one Silver, one Bronze and a Trophy in a field of more than 600 beers contesting the 2013 awards.  All entries are blind tasted by a panel of international judges.

Moa won Gold for its Moa St Josephs, Moa Noir and Weka Apple Cider in the Australasian Cider category. Weka also nabbed a Silver in the International Cider Category while Moa Pale Ale was awarded a Bronze medal.

“Asia Beerfest is becoming more and more competitive every year so to maintain our record there and bring home so many medals is fantastic and reinforces the outstanding quality of beers coming out of our brewery. It also proves again how well our beers travel, Singapore being on the equator there is no harder market to maintain beer quality”, says Moa general manager Gareth Hughes.

“The fact is entry numbers have almost doubled to more than 600 in only two years so it’s a big pat on the back to the team.”

Moa Head Brewer David Nicholls says he’s particularly rapt that Moa Noir has been recognised.

“I’m really chuffed we picked up the gong for Moa St Josephs, but Moa Noir is a bloody good beer and most people do not understand the style. Dark lagers are the poor cousins to golden-pale lagers, yet the dark beers have richer, more complex flavours.”

Moa founder Josh Scott says product quality is everything.  “We never take lightly just how important the quality of our product is to the success of the business. And it is great to see the quality of our beers recognized yet again on the international stage.”

Moa Noir is a traditionally brewed, bottle conditioned European-style dark lager with an abundance of distinct aromas and flavours.

Weka cider is made from Nelson-grown apples. Fermented with French Oak at cool temperatures to preserve the fruit flavours and crispness on the palate, Weka Apple Cider has a typical green apple aroma and the clean refreshing taste is finished nicely with medium sweetness.

The Asia Beerfest this year was a bit of a prize-fest for Kiwi breweries, Hughes says with McCashins Brewery picking up Gold medals for their Stoke Lager, Stoke Pilsner and Bohemian Ale, and two Bronze medals for their 2 Stoke and Rochdale Apple Cider, and Tuatara picked up a Bronze for their Tuatara Pilsner.

Since 2011 Moa has won 17 Gold, 17 Silver and 27 Bronze medals in international and national beer festivals.