Geoff Griggs

Beer Writer & Legendary Beer Judge

In a twenty-year career with BBC TV News based in London Geoff visited and worked across Europe, Russia and the United States. During those travels he always took the opportunity to sample and learn about the local beer styles in their own environments.

Before migrating to New Zealand in 1995 Geoff was an active member of Britain’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) for eighteen years. Having based himself in Blenheim, he has since become one of this country’s leading beer writers, presenters and commentators.

In addition to a long-running beer column in six Fairfax regional newspapers (also published online at stuff.co.nz), over the last 20 years Geoff has written for Capital Times, Cuisine, Kia Ora (Air New Zealand’s inflight magazine), Essentially Food, Beer & Brewer and numerous trade publications.

In the last two decades Geoff has also presented countless beer tastings and tutored beer and food matching events has also reviewed beers for the weekly mailers of the New World supermarket group.

A respected beer judge, Geoff has been a regular member of the judging panel at the annual New Zealand International Beer Awards. He has also judged overseas at the Great American Beer Festival and four times at the World Beer Cup, the world’s largest beer competition.

A founding member and former executive committee member of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand (BGNZ), in 2014 Geoff was honoured with the guild’s first ever Industry Achievement Award.

Having joined New Zealand’s Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) when it began in 2006, Geoff served on its committee for many years both as secretary and president. In 2013 he was honoured by the society for his service to SOBA and beer writing.

However, Geoff reckons his greatest honour came when he was contacted by the legendary English beer writer and ‘Beer Hunter’ Michael Jackson and invited to contribute the New Zealand chapter for what was to be Michael’s final publication, “The Eyewitness Companion Guide to Beer”.

More recently Geoff has contributed to two world beer guides, “The Beer Book” (DK books, 2009), and “1001 Beers you must try before you die” (Penguin books, 2010).

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My Sessions

Common Sense Brewing

Join legendary local craft brewer Martin Townshend, and beer writer and international beer judge Geoff Griggs for a discussion. Martin and Geoff will have a go at defining what common sense brewing is, and why it’s important to Martin. He’s a strong advocate of brewing to suit the advantages you have in your location. Come […]