GABS Can Design Awards launch in New Zealand



After a hugely successful launch of the GABS Craft Beer Can Design Awards presented by Orora in Australia, the team behind the poll are thrilled now to be bringing the initiative, which includes both can and bottle labels, to the breweries and craft beer lovers of New Zealand.

Aimed at celebrating the very best in craft beer design, and shining a spotlight on the many talented designers and marketers across the industry, the Awards are now inviting submissions from New Zealand craft breweries.

Craig Williams from GABS, the organisers of the Awards (as well as the renowned Auckland GABS Craft Beer & Cider Festival and GABS Kiwi Hottest 100 Craft Beers poll), said that the Awards fill a gap in recognising the importance of great design and visual communication in a brewery’s efforts to engage customers.

“Every year, there are numerous craft beer awards celebrating the best-in-class beers brewed around the country. Highly trained judges are looking at the style, clarity, flavour profile, aroma and mouthfeel. They’re looking at what goes inside the can or bottle. But what about the outside? That brilliantly executed artwork that first catches a craft beer lover’s eye. That pop of colour, witty copy, and bold design that leaps off the shelf. In the world of craft beer, first impressions count. And it’s time to celebrate the creativity of the designers and marketers behind those important moments.” said Williams.

New Zealand breweries and cidermakers are invited to submit just one beer can or bottle design, released over the last year, for consideration in the Awards, and are encouraged to engage their staff and customers to identify the design they are most proud to hang their hat on. Judging for the Awards will encompass two key phases; a ‘People’s Choice’ poll where craft beer lovers can review an online gallery of all submissions before casting their vote; and from this, a shortlist of 10 designs to be considered by an expert panel of some of New Zealand’s highest regarded creatives to decide the ultimate winner.

“Throughout the campaign, we’ll be showcasing each and every one of these outstanding designs, as well as sharing insights from leading marketers and visual artists” continued Williams. “There are some incredibly creative people out there working in this space, and we think it’s a fantastic way to show them some much-deserved recognition”.

The top 10 shortlisted breweries will share in an $8,000 prize pool. The winner of the GABS Label Design Awards will take home the coveted ‘Orora Golden Label Trophy’, a free set of printing plates for their next print with Orora, PLUS the honour of claiming the very first title in what the organisers believe will come to be the gold standard award celebrating some of the most creative people in this industry. All other finalists will receive a fantastic product innovation design and manufacture package with Opal Specialty Packaging.

At the culmination of the campaign, the winner of the GABS Label Design Awards, as well as runner-up designs and special mention awards, will be announced on Friday 4 December at and via the GABS social channels. Following the announcement, GABS will host a Label Design Hall of Fame on its website to celebrate the winning and shortlisted designs for perpetuity, building on this in future.

The GABS Label Design Awards is proudly presented by Orora Group and supported by Opal Specialty Packaging, Brews News and Pursuit Of Hoppiness.

GABS Craft Beer & Cider Festival will be returning to ASB Showgrounds in Auckland on Saturday 3 July 2021.

Key Dates

  • Design Submissions: Closing 30 October at
  • People’s Choice Voting: 30 October – 13 November at
  • Expert Panel Review: 16 – 27 November
  • Winner Announcement: 4 December

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