Arise, new pint masters
A southern duo from the Kelvin Hotel in Invercargill have won the Guinness Pint Masters 2013 competition.
More than 180 bars competed and more than 14,000 punters voted to find 16 regional finalists, who competed in four regional finals.
Nick Rhodes and Brendan Mason competed at the grand final held at The Paddington in Parnell, Auckland, last night.
The competition scores contestants on the quality of their Guinness pour, the experience they give the crowd, and their originality in making a Guinness-based creation, and The Kelvin was a stand out.
Despite this being the bar's first time in the national final, the judges were impressed with the duo's near-perfect pint pour, their flair, local pride and stunning Guinness dessert - a Guinness chocolate cake sitting over Guinness caramel sauce, with Guinness chocolate mousse and Guinness truffles.
On top of that, the lads performed a song they'd written - a musical ode to Guinness and the Kelvin Hotel - which had the crowd cheering.
Of the win, Nick said: "I'm absolutely amazed and ecstatic. After seeing the level of the competition, I'm surprised we took it out! It's so good to have all the hard work pay off...we tried really hard and couldn't have done it without the support of our local businesses who helped us pull it together."
"We'll be celebrating with a pint of Guinness, of course!"
Brendan was just as thrilled about the win.
"I'm almost speechless," he said.
Master Brewer of Guinness in New Zealand and judge at the Guinness Pint Master national final Jenny Irvine said the creativity of contestants far exceeded anything she had expected.
The pair each receive a cash prize of $1759, which is the year Guinness was founded. The Kelvin Hotel also receives $1759 worth of Guinness to celebrate the win with their locals.