Big brewery ownership a two-sided coin for craft brewers looking to sell

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DB Breweries managing director Andy Routley, left, and Tuatara founder and master brewer Carl Vasta at Tuatara’s brewery in Paraparaumu.

“About bloody time.”

Those were the first three words out of my mouth when I saw craft brewer Tuatara had been sold to Heineken-owned DB.

The Paraparaumu company has been linked to all three of New Zealand’s big brewing companies – Lion, DB and Independent Liquor – for years, and was always going to be an attractive buy after winning champion New Zealand brewery in 2016. (full story)

New Hawke’s Bay brewery to start producing 100,000 litres of beer a year

Dermot Haworth, with part of the new Abbey Brewery set up.

 

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Dermot Haworth, with part of the new Abbey Brewery set up.

 

Brewing beer was only supposed to be a winter hobby for Hawke’s Bay man Dermot Haworth – to keep him busy during the region’s colder months.

But five years later his hobby has grown into one of the region’s largest craft breweries with the potential to produce a million litres of beer a year.

Haworth and his family own Abbey Estate Winery in Bridge Pa, which produces their Fat Monk beer.

Alongside the fermenting vats wine, Abbey Brewery has been pieced together over the past few months and will open to the public this weekend. (full story)

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New Zealand hop growers investing $20m in the expanding industry

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Kiwi hop growers are expected to invest $20m into an expanding industry in the next three years, as it responds to surging global demand for craft beer ingredients.

The growth of craft beer has transformed the niche industry, which has 19 New Zealand growers.

Last year, trade reportedly delivered around $20m a year in turnover and $14m a year in export returns.

The grower-owned cooperative harvested about 750 tonnes from 389 hectares in 2015.

About 85 per cent of the hops, which are largely grown in the Motueka and Riwaka areas west of Nelson, are exported. (full story)

Malthouse’s West Coast IPA Challenge outgrows venue

2013-07-12 18.49.08One of the biggest events on the Wellington craft beer calendar, Malthouse’s West Coast IPA Challenge, is expanding due to a positive case of growing pains.

Colin Mallon, Malthouse Operations Guy and WCIPAC organiser, says this year’s 9th Annual West Coast IPA Challenge (WCIPAC) will expand its festivities to Malthouse’s sister bar, Fork & Brewer on Bond Street, due to increasingly large crowds turning up to see who will win Best West Coast IPA and take home the Golden Gumboots.

The annual event, taking place on Friday, 29 July, sees brewers showcase their skills with hops by brewing West Coast IPAs, a notoriously popular and hoppy style of beer, dear to the hearts of craft beer drinkers.

“I think it’s become such a big event on the calendar because of people’s ongoing and increasingly growing love affair with different beers,“ says Colin.

“The event has raised awareness of the beer style, and the fun and anticipation leading up to, and on, the night definitely brings people in who necessarily wouldn’t class themselves as beer drinkers. You get hardcore beer drinkers bringing their friends, and before you know it, it widens the appeal.

“The last WCIPAC had Malthouse groaning at its seams. The event officially kicks off at 2pm, the bar will be wall-to-wall packed by 4:30pm, with queues out the door by 5pm, and the bar often remaining near capacity until 2am.

“We sell something in the region of about 40 kegs. It is a huge night for us!

“We were turning people away at the last few WCIPACs, so it made sense to release some of that pressure this year by making Fork & Brewer a co-host.”

Colin says Fork & Brewer was the natural venue choice to expand the event, not only as it is Malthouse’s sister bar, but because it is the only place that had enough taps to accommodate the 25 beers that will be showcased on the evening.

Punters at Fork & Brewer need not fear for missing out on any of the beers, celebrations or announcements – all WCIPAC beers will be pouring on tap and announcements made at the same time as at Malthouse.

It speaks for the notoriety of the event, that the competition is making its first foray to Australia with a line-up of WCIPAC beers being flown over the Tasman to feature in WCIPAC tap takeovers at The Local Taphouses in Melbourne and Sydney.

2013-07-12 21.02.15Originally created because July was Malthouse’s quietest month of the year, WCIPAC started out with two entrants [Epic Brewing Co. and Hallertau Brewery] in a bit of a “my beer is hoppier than your beer” showdown.

“Back then the Wellington craft beer landscape was quite different – there was Malthouse, Bar Bodega and Bar Edward, so showcasing a specific style was quite unusual,” says Colin.

“Now the event showcases 25 beers, has 9-10 judges, some of whom are World Beer Cup judges, and breweries contacting us to submit entries.”

“It’s great when you see a brewery that hasn’t performed very well, and then come back and next year and they raise their game – even if they don’t win it’s really great to see.”

“The last thing I wanted this to be was something that was taken too seriously. We want to give brewers a bit of feedback on their entries, but at the end of the day, it is all about celebrating good beer with good people.”

Five of the best Auckland craft beer venues

The staggering growth of craft beer in New Zealand means it’s almost impossible to keep track of every new brewer and the bars serving their products.

Demand from discerning drinkers means more places than ever are popping up where you can indulge in an IPA or polish off a few pilsners.

And while the boom in boutique brewing has traditionally been driven by Wellington, which stakes its claim as the ‘craft beer capital’, or Nelson the ‘brewing capital’, Auckland is growing quickly with a rising reputation for quality beer.

So whether you’re a beer beginner or a craft connoisseur looking for somewhere different, here are our picks of Auckland’s best established and up-and-coming venues.

(Full Article)

[WARNING] Craft Beer in Crisis?

richard_emersonWhy don’t I hear more concern from craft beer drinkers about the recent purchase of Panhead by Lion? Are the warning signs from the US craft beer industry or even from history not being listened to?

 

This comment from Sam Calagione hopefully sums up what is happening

Dogfish Head founder crafts brewery’s future

Q: What does growing consolidation mean for the craft beer movement?
A: Everyone needs to realize that right now in every bar in every state there are massive global breweries going in and trying to sell those bars kegs of beer that they are hoisting off as local craft beers from somewhere in America that are really being made and distributed and marketed by the world’s biggest breweries. If the consumer doesn’t vote with their pocketbook to prioritize indie craft, we risk losing the vibrancy and diversity of our industry because the little guys can’t compete at the price points that the big brewers are hoisting this so-called craft beer off on.

[Read Full Article]

Please consider history as well

Craft Brewing Takes Flight in N.Z. (part II)

In 1923, the first New Zealand brewing giant, under the name of New Zealand Breweries (since renamed Lion), was born through the merger of ten major regional breweries (including all of their licensed hotels and tied independents) located in the major metropolitan areas of the country. Although exact figures are unavailable, it is probably safe to say this new company controlled well over half of the country’s beer production and distribution. In subsequent years Lion continued to grow, not through capital investment in new plants, but by buying additional regionals, closing some and bringing others into the corporate fold.

[Read Full Article]

richard_emerson (1)Is the follow article part of making things OK? Are Kirin/Lion/Emerson’s really just good guys after all? If so maybe some of the bars they have tied might be good enough to free up a tap to two so that the small independent brewers might be able to sell a little more beer? Seems a bit pointless helping small independent breweries to make beer when on the other hand they are blocked from the majority of the market through tied agreements.

 

‘Big boy’ steps in to save brewers’ bacon

But Emerson’s Brewery in Dunedin came to the rescue and last month secured an organic malt supply for the micro-brewery.

At the brewery’s 5000L brew house the inevitable spillage was about 5tons a year. (pretty sure this isn’t true, and if it is it won’t be long before Kirin come and sort it out)

[Read Full Article]

 

Four Of A Kind – Epic Armageddon’s Winning Hand

P1060745The trophies keep piling up for Epic Beer’s Armageddon IPA, which has claimed its fourth major crown in less than a year after it was named best in class at the New World Beer and Cider Awards.

And to seal Epic’s position as this country’s leading producer of hop-driven beers, Epic Pale Ale also brought home a trophy for the best pale ale, defending the title it won in last year’s inaugural awards.

Epic owner-brewer Nicholas is blown away by Armageddon’s success over the past year. It has previously taken out trophies at the Australian International Beer Awards, The New Zealand Brewers Guild Awards and the Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival.

“When it won its third trophy, in Stockholm, it was described as `the stuff of fantasy’ – well I think we’ve exhausted the adjectives now, it’s beyond my wildest dreams,” Nicholas said.

P1060659“The IPA category is one of the most fiercely contested in any beer competition and to come out on top in four consecutive competitions is mind-boggling.”

Nicholas was equally delighted Epic Pale Ale retained the title it won last year against stiff competition. It was the only beer or cider to retain a title from the inaugural awards and this trophy comes almost 10 years to the day after it burst to prominence when named supreme champion at the New Zealand International Beer Awards in 2006.

“It just shows what a remarkable beer Epic Pale Ale has been over the course of a decade. When it was released it was revolutionary – a big hoppy pale ale of the sort New Zealand hadn’t seen before. And despite the huge growth in the pale ale category, 10 years later it still stands above the rest.”

Epic was the only brewery to win two trophies at the awards and also picked up four silver medals for Hop Zombie, Awakening Pils, Lager and IMP session IPA. The Observer Timeless Ale was awarded a bronze medal, meaning every Epic beer entered won a medal of some colour.

A total of 464 beers were entered in the awards, with 40 winning gold medals.

All trophy winners will be available at New World stores around the country.

 

 

Tasting notes from Michael Donaldson – head judge for the New World Beer and Cider Awards.

Epic Pale Ale 330mlPale Ale – Epic Pale Ale

This has been a benchmark pale ale for a decade and its quality is reflected in the fact it’s now the only two-time trophy winner in the New World awards. At 5.4 per cent alcohol and packed with flavour, Epic Pale Ale was sessionable before `session’ became a buzzword. It’s vibrant, clean, with nice mouth weight, flavours of lychee and rosewater push through a curtain of citrus and pine aromas to dance on a stage of subtle caramel malt. A sneaky bitterness then comes in to cleanse the palate and start the show all over again. Loves to be consumed alongside anything with chilli.

 

 

 

Epic Armageddon 330ml

IPA – Epic Armageddon IPA

Fast becoming New Zealand’s most awarded beer and it was no surprise to see it add the New World title to gongs won at the New Zealand Brewers Guild Awards and in Australia and Sweden. Brewer Luke Nicholas’ annual pilgrimage to the US hop fields to hand-pick his produce has paid off handsomely. This is the ultimate American-style IPA which surfs waves of flavour, starting with orange and grape notes on the nose, a salty lick like a sea breeze through Norfolk Pines, a caramel caress before the oily resin of the hops is brushed away with a cleansing minerality and a long, clean bitterness. Bold enough to handle rich and spicy food, such as Moroccan lamb.

Who Are These NZ Breweries Entering World Beer Cup?

So I got a press release from the Brewers Guild of New Zealand today about the New Zealand Breweries that entered the World Beer Cup. I’d like to find out more about the following breweries, so if you know anything please share. I do know Williams Warn, but unsure of the rules and how a home-brew equipment manufacture can entered a commercial beer awards. Any additional information or commentary you have would be great if you could share.

Who are these companies, what beers have they entered?

  • New Zealand Beer Ltd (Auckland)
  • The Fox Sporting Bar & Restaurant (Auckland)
  • WilliamsWarn (Auckland)
  • BrewStation (Auckland)
  • Long White Cloud Brewing

COMMENTS HERE!!

MEDIA RELEASE

6 April 2016

Kiwi breweries fizzing for beer’s own “Olympics”

As the world’s best athletes finalise their preparations for this year’s Olympic Games, Kiwi brewers will be going for gold at their own Olympics, the World Beer Cup, in Philadelphia next month.

The biennial World Beer Cup, known as the “Olympics of Beer Competitions”, is the most prestigious beer competition in the world.  This year, 11 New Zealand breweries will compete against more than 2000 rivals from 63 countries for gold, silver and bronze medals.

The New Zealand breweries competing are:

  • Epic Brewing Company (Auckland)
  • Garage Project (Wellington)
  • Harrington’s Breweries (Christchurch)
  • LION (Auckland)
  • Long White Cloud Brewing
  • Moa Brewing Company (Marlborough)
  • ParrotDog (Wellington)
  • New Zealand Beer Ltd (Auckland)
  • The Fox Sporting Bar & Restaurant (Auckland)
  • WilliamsWarn (Auckland)
  • BrewStation (Auckland)

Brewers Guild of New Zealand president Emma McCashin said New Zealand breweries were highly regarded by their international peers.

“New Zealand has an incredibly proud tradition and talent for brewing. Each year the quality and range of styles being produced in New Zealand is getting better and Kiwi brewers punch well above their weight at beer awards around the world.

“It’s no wonder that New Zealand is enjoying a golden era in brewing.”

The World Beer Cup was the pinnacle of brewing excellence, McCashin said.

“The World Beer Cup is pretty unique in that there are medals only for first, second and third in each category. When there are literally thousands of high-quality entries from around the world across 90 different categories, getting a medal means you’re a member of world brewing’s elite.”

Only three New Zealand breweries have tasted success at the World Beer Cup.

LION won silver with its Speight’s Triple Hop Pilsner in 2014, with Wellington’s Garage Project also picking up silver with its Cockswain’s Courage Double Barreled Edition Porter the same year. Monteith’s Black Beer won bronze in 2000.

But the stellar growth and development of New Zealand’s $2.2 billion beer industry meant more global success was already brewing.

“The beers being produced here are already considered among the world’s best. We’ve got tremendous talent among the thousands of people involved in the brewing industry, from malt and hops production right through to bottling and distribution.

“It’s not just the great-tasting beers New Zealand breweries produce, New Zealand hops is in huge demand overseas, particularly on the West Coast of the United States. What we’re seeing now are huge opportunities in Asia, which is the next big export frontier for Kiwi brewing.”

In addition to the New Zealand breweries competing, a record number of New Zealand brewing experts will be taking part at the event as judges: Kelly Ryan and Colin Mallon (Fork & Brewer, Wellington), Stephen Plowman (Hallertau, Auckland), Joseph Wood (Liberty Brewing, Auckland), Greig McGill (Brewaucracy, Hamilton), Brian Watson (Good George, Hamilton), Shane Morley (Steam Brewing, Auckland) and Geoff Griggs (beer writer, Blenheim).

For further information about the World Beer Cup: http://www.worldbeercup.org/

Auckland brewery creates anti-Trump beer

The prospect of Donald Trump becoming the United States president is a bitter pill to swallow for many, but what if it was a bitter beer?

Auckland-based brewery Behemoth has answered the question head-on, with the release of ‘Dump the Trump’.

The American IPA, which will be available next week, also features a caricature of the well-coiffed Trump on the label.

(Full Article)