DB takes measures as changes brew

At the same time, the tough economic conditions meant the trend for beer drinkers to trade up to premium brands had slowed, and many had gone back to cheaper brews.

And many consumers were saving money by having a drink at home rather than going out at night.

Blake estimated overall beer consumption declined 4-5% in the year to September, compared with the previous year.

“It’s been a huge category shift and I’ve never seen that sort of momentum before in the market,” Blake said.

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(NOTE: The Brewers Guild of New Zealand has done a craft beer survey which showed that for the first six month of the year craft beer bottled sales had increase 10%)

Beer & Food Matching by Stephen Plowman – Hallertau Brewbar

Beer and food matching is fun. The most fun about Beer is your not bound by a bunch of pre-conceived wine matches everyone seems to accept like, “Gewurztraminer goes with Asian food” not only is this stupid it also very boring.

The hurdle to beer and food matching in NZ is the lack of character in the mainstream brands. The real challenge for the chefs the Monteith’s Wild food challenge is making the dishes bland enough to match the beer. Hallertau has set about changing that with a range of beers bursting with delicious food matchable flavours.

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Beer, power, rates push up prices

Those winter staples, electricity and beer, fuelled price rises in the June quarter.

Inflation figures out this morning from Statistics New Zealand show the Consumer Price Index rose 0.6% for the June quarter, and 1.9% for the year to June 30.

That is well within the 1-3% annual inflation target band, but drill down into those figures and they tell a more disturbing story.

Food prices grew 0.9% – beer and vegetables being the main contributors. Household utilities rose 0.4% – with electricity prices, up 1.6%, being the main reason.

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That’s a nice beer, if you can get it

McKinlay is the co-founder of Yeastie Boys, a cheeky craft-beer company that unleashed its fourth commercial brew upon the beer-loving public on Tuesday.

The result? “Beers that push the envelope a little, educate drinkers about style and history, and challenge people’s ideas about what can be done in the brewing world,” said McKinlay.

The boys will be releasing their first bottled beer at Wellington’s Beervana festival in August, but McKinlay wasn’t giving much away about this one.

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How can a company own a style?

Wine lovers, ask yourself how you would feel if there was only one brand of sauvignon blanc allowed to be sold in New Zealand.

What if one winery was allowed to trademark a varietal name and, in so doing, prevent anyone else from using it?

You might think it’s unbelievable, but it’s precisely what’s happened in the case of a beer style. DB Breweries, producer of the Monteith’s range of beers, has been granted a trademark on the name Radler and is now preventing other brewers from using it.

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EPIC TALE

The Epic beer brand had pride of place on Campbell Live this week with an item extolling the virtues of the beer and its improved sales in the face of the economic downturn. “Packs a punch”, noted the Campbell Live reporter approvingly.

Separately, John Campbell promoted free tickets to the Munich Oktoberfest as a part of a competition for the New Zealand Beer Festival – whose other major sponsor is Liquorland.

The details for the competition listed TV3 owner MediaWorks as a promoter for the competition.

We wondered if the two matters were connected, but TV3 news and current affairs director Mark Jennings said they were not.

Executive producer Carol Hirschfeld says she was indeed told to put “promoter” on the website by TV3 legal counsel Clare Bradley.

“In essence I suppose we are promoting a competition to our viewers for a trip to the German beer festival but we are not promoting any beer brand or liquor company.

“I’m not sure what the issue is here … from what I understand, you think it is a problem that the competition followed a story on a boutique brewery? This was basically coincidental.”

We wondered if the advertising folk had any role in the line-up.

“The sales department have not had and never do have any input into these things.

“Organisers of the competition had rung us [with the idea for the Epic story] and Carol agreed. The competition was already running,” Jennings said.

TV3 marketing boss Roger Beaumont said Campbell had presented other competitions on air in the past.

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Epic Pale Ale to be brewed in UK

Luke Nicholas, of Epic Brewing Company is going to the UK to brew a batch of Epic Pale Ale for the World’s Biggest International Real Ale Festival.

The two week festival is run by giant pub company JD Wetherspoons from April 15 to May 4 2009. During this time, their 700 British pubs will sell more than 2.5 million pints of real ale. Over 50 cask ales will be available during the festival but only six will be made by international brewers.

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Hopside Down Beer Mug Glass

Fred likes to glug his beer right from the bottle, but Mrs. Fred is appalled. So Fred went out and did something about it – he created this bottle-in-a-glass as an homage to real men like him. Hopside Down is hand-blown, precisely crafted, and unexpectedly deluxe. Since the bottle is double walled, it’s insulated and prevents your hands from warming up the beer, keeping it nice and frosty like it should be!

Link

NEW BEER – Epic Mayhem

2nd February 2009
6.2% acl/vol
26 hops per bottle

Beer Awards
Best in Class – Festive Brew – BrewNZ 2006
Gold – Festive Brew – BrewNZ 2006

Available at the following festivals
14 Feb – Kumeu Beer Wine & Food Festival
28 Feb – NZ Beer Festival – Wellington
14 Mar – NZ Beer Festival – Auckland

Available On Tap
The Malthouse
Hallertau
Regional Wines & Spirits

Available in 500ml bottles
Outlets to be announced via Twitter
follow me on http://twitter.com/epicbeer

Brewed with
UK Pale Ale, Munich and Crystal malts
US Cascade & NZ Riwaka hops

Official Release can be read here

More on Epic Mayhem here