The brewers at Canterbury Brewery have been working with ABInBev for over 9 months to successfully emulate and brew Beck’s beer locally. Emulation involved adhering to the German (Reinheitsgobot) purity law and the use of the best quality malt, Beck’s yeast, German hops, and of course Canterbury water.
In total 13 trial brews were completed, with three consecutive successful brews needed in order to match the Bremen produced Beck’s and meet the demanding ABInBev standards (both analytical and taste). At that point, emulation was considered successful.
Beck’s is the second of ABInBev’s beers to be produced by Lion in New Zealand; with Stella Artois having been produced in our Auckland brewery for some time. It also adds to the international portfolio of beers produced by Canterbury where we have been brewing both Kilkenny and Guinness for Diageo for the last 18 years.
The Becks brand has experienced solid growth in New Zealand in recent years and now plays an important role for our customers in the premium beer segment. The aim of this project was to supply the local market with the freshest beer without having to manage supply out of Germany with the inherent risk to freshness and product availability that can involve. Ultimately we are providing the best taste experience for the New Zealand market. Local production also gives us more flexibility around packaging formats.
Our locally brewed Beck’s will be packaged into kegs, 6 and 12 bottle packs, and will replace product currently being imported from Bremen, Germany. The launch date into the local market was 14th September 2009.