Following in the footsteps of the success of our wines, some New Zealand spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages are starting to make themselves known on the international stage.

The New Zealand wine industry has achieved spectacular growth over the last 40 years, going from NZ$51 million in exports in 1960 to NZ$1.4 billion in 2014. Wine comprises the majority of New Zealand's beverage exports by value.

Major export markets for wine include the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. These three countries took three quarters of New Zealand's wine exports in the year to June 2015. Exports to China have grown significantly - up 2,100 percent since 2006. 

Beverages, outside of wine, are a relatively new but very exciting category in New Zealand. Craft beers, spirits and even our natural spring water are all gaining interest in the rest of the world.

Craft beer is a relatively new element in the New Zealand beverage repertoire, but beer exports have surged in the last few years and New Zealand is becoming increasingly known as an exporter of specialty hops. Boldly-flavoured artisan brews are making a huge splash, going from two main breweries to over 50 in a very short space of time. New Zealand exported just over NZ$35 million in beer in the year ending December 2014. 

New Zealand has never been traditionally known for producing spirits. But despite not having the years that Scottish whisky, Jamaican rum or Russian vodka have behind them, New Zealand has made some impressive forays into the international premium spirit scene.

Stolen Rum was awarded a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards just a month after launching; 42 Below Vodka went from backyard experiment to being bought out by drinks giant Bacardi in fewer than 10 years; and VnC cocktails have become a hit with worldwide A-listers.

And it's not just alcoholic drinks either. The (carbon neutral) Antipodes brand of water was named the best-tasting carbonated bottled water by the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting and has since won silver at the same awards.  Even more impressively, it is the first premium water to be certified carbon neutral. It is bottled at source only in glass bottles, which are produced locally from recycled glass. Their carbon footprint is minimal and food miles are zero.

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