Craft beer industry growth fuelling demand for skilled brewers

29 February 2016

Craft beer industry growth fuelling demand for skilled brewers

Kelly and Luke in BreweryAttracting and retaining highly-skilled brewers is the vital next step in continuing the growth trajectory of New Zealand’s brewing industry, says the Brewers Guild of New Zealand.

Already a $2.2 billion industry in this country, growth in the number of professional brewing operations has continued in response increasing thirst for Kiwi beer overseas.

That growth has put the heat on breweries to recruit and retain skilled personnel, said Brewers Guild president Emma McCashin.

“The number of professional brewing operations in New Zealand has almost trebled in the past five years, and beer exports have almost doubled.

“As the industry’s growth continues to trend upward, there’s definitely a pressing need and demand for more highly-skilled people throughout the value chain, starting with more professional brewers.

“There isn’t necessarily a skills shortage currently but there’s increasing pressure on breweries to recruit the people they need to grow their operations and meet demand for consistently excellent beer, as well as continuing to innovate and experiment.”

ANZ’s 2015 industry insight report showed the craft beer business had grown 40 per cent from 2014. Of New Zealand’s more than 100 craft breweries, a third were either readying for or already pursuing offshore market opportunities. The thirst for Kiwi craft beer continues to boom in the United States, while demand in Asian markets is tipped to grow 300% in the next decade.

Those New Zealand breweries with export aspirations would need to expand production to take advantage of the opportunities, said Mrs McCashin. The Brewers Guild was currently investigating a number of initiatives aimed at attracting more people to the industry.

“Craft brewing in New Zealand may have started out as a cottage industry but, in the past couple of decades, it’s grown into a highly sophisticated and valuable sector.

“To continue that trend and achieve the scale required by the industry, we need to get more highly-skilled people involved. We’ve already got some of the best brewers in the world making beer here and overseas, but we need even more of them to keep pace with growth.

“That involves finding ways to attract more people from food science, chemistry, microbiology and even engineering backgrounds.”

Given the global interest in beer and brewing, the professional opportunities were impressive, she said.

“Beer is by far the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world and consumer demand for premium beers in particular is growing at a phenomenal rate. With that comes strong demand for skilled New Zealand brewers from breweries all around the world.”


About the Brewers Guild of New Zealand

The Brewers Guild is a membership-based organisation established to grow the value and quality of New Zealand’s $2.2 billion beer sector.

The Guild’s mission is to grow the value and quality of the New Zealand beer sector and to act with vision for the future of the New Zealand brewing industry through education, training and communication.

The Guild organises New Zealand’s most prestigious annual beer awards, the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards.

For more information visit

How Many Breweries in Auckland?

Beer Fountain - Hallertau LibertyThe Brewers Guild of New Zealand have announced (see below) that they had received 670 beers entries from 82 breweries for the 2014 NZ Beer Awards. This is pretty exciting news as it is a record number of entries for the competition.

The piece of information that surprised me in the press release was that there are 18 breweries in Auckland that have entered. I guess it has been awhile since anyone has actually counted / listed the breweries (beer brands) in Auckland. I hadn’t given it much thought, hence the surprise.

Below is a list of breweries (bold) and beer brands (contract brewed). My count here is 29? breweries/brands. If you can think of any others let me know and I’ll update this list.


Lion Breweries
– Macs
– Crafty Beggars

DB Breweries
– Monteith’s

Independent Liquor
– Boundary Road Brewery
– Founders

Steam Brewing Company
– Epic Brewing Company
– Bach Brewing Company
– 8 Wired Brewing
– Croucher Brewing
– Galbraith’s Brewing Company

The Beer Fountain
– Hallertau Brewpub
– Liberty Brewing Company
Behemoth Brewing Company

Shakespeare Brewery – brewpub

Brothers Beer – brewpub
Laughing Bones Brewing

Deep Creek Brewery – brewpub

Galbraith’s Brewing Company – brewpub

Waiheke Island Brewery – brewpub (Wild on Waiheke)

Leigh Sawmill Brewery – brewpub?

Hancocks – brewed at McCashins

Black Sands Brewery

  • Ben Middlemiss Brewing Company
    – Schippers Beer

Zeppelin BrewingGovernors Lager
Weezeldog Brewing – Brewed at Zeppelin Brewing

Dedwood Brewing Co. – not sure if this is still going. I think it was a Williams Warn system set up by Luke Dellow in his bar Tin Soldier. Guess this gets the title for smallest commercial brewery in New Zealand at 20 litres? Could this be called a brewpub?

1010 Brewing – Sales St, is this still open? Are they still brewing? Brewpub

Little Empire Brewing – The Crown (previously The Brewery Britomart) now used as a small test/trial brewery for Lion brewers. Not even sure the official name for the brewery, or how often they brew. Guess it is time for a quick visit. Brewpub

Ale Chaps Brewing – Waiheke ( Amelia Beerhart )

How many breweries in Auckland?

[ready_google_map id=’1′]




Beer judges fizzing to find New Zealand’s champion brewery

A record number of New Zealand breweries are vying to be crowned beer champion at New Zealand’s prestigious beer awards, the 2014 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Awards.

Now in its eight year, entries for the beer awards officially closed last week with more than 670 beers from 82 breweries being nominated across seventeen beer categories.  A total of 72 breweries were nominated from New Zealand.

Brewers Guild Chairman, Craig Bowen, said New Zealand breweries had been performing well in international competitions.  He was looking forward to seeing this level of quality and success translated to the New Zealand stage.

“Beer brewing has exploded in recent times – amongst hobbyists and professional brewers alike.   In the last two years, the number of professional brewing operations in New Zealand has increased by more than a third.

“That confirms that New Zealand is enjoying a golden period for brewing in terms of the variety and quality of beers produced.  These Awards are the epitome of the $2.2 billion beer industry, and reward those who are especially talented at brewing quality beer,” he said.

The Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Awards is an international competition, with entries from throughout New Zealand and the world.  Judging will take place over three days from 8 August with the judging panel comprising 25 national and internationally qualified judges.

All beer entries will be rated against a style guide for each category for its aroma, colour, bitterness, flavour and presentation.  A beer’s overall balance of characteristics, with all those factors taken into account, is then rated and judges decide whether it’s worthy of a gold, silver or bronze medal.

Winners of the 2014 Brewers Guild Awards of New Zealand will be announced at a gala dinner on 21 August at Shed 6, Wellington.

This year, Auckland has the most number of breweries vying for awards, with 18 breweries entered.  Last year, Marlborough-based Renaissance Brewing was crowned 2013 New Zealand Champion.

For more information including a list of all categories and beers nominated for the Awards, visit

2014 Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards – nominations by region:

Northland – 1Bay of Plenty -5Wellington – 12Taranaki – 1Otago – 2
Auckland – 18Hawkes Bay  – 5Nelson/Tasman -7Canterbury – 12Southland – 1
Waikato – 2Poverty Bay – 2Marlborough – 3West Coast – 1International – 10


Moa Shareholders Will Be Sad :-(

A few days ago I wrote about Moa and their latest Annual Results. There have been a few articles analysing these results (see below), and commentary from the investment industry.

Since then Moa shares have continued to drop on the back of sharebrokers downgrading their recommendation on Moa stock from “neutral” to “underperform

Moa Sour BlancThe questions the media have raised seem to be around:

When they run out of money what happens next?
– do the existing shareholders get called on for more cash?
– will there be another issuing of shares, diluting current shareholders?
– will it be debt that is taken on to continue fund the company?
– will the Business Bakery and Pioneer Capital provide funds as a loan?

How will the new brewery be funded? Are they even going to build a brewery?

Will the main shareholders the Business Bakery and Pioneer Capital turn around, make an offer and buy out all shares and delist the company?

Will Moa merge with Stoke and Hancock’s to form the largest craft brewery in New Zealand? Or even Tuatara?

The questions I am currently thinking about:

With many people having Moa as their top of mind “craft / boutique brewery” in New Zealand does their current predicament and negative media attention cast a shadow over the whole craft beer industry?

Has this ultimately reduce the appetite of the public to invest in the (craft) brewing industry in New Zealand. i.e. if a brewery wanted to do an IPO, would they now be overly cautious and less likely to invest in a craft brewery, based on Moa’s performance?

On the flip side, even though we are seeing this negative angle, does it really matter as Moa have pretty much single-handedly raised awareness about breweries and craft beer in New Zealand to the general public. As much as the beer geeks might hate on them, the mainstream beer drinker in New Zealand now thinks about beer as more than just Lion and DB now.

Taking it to a random place, should the industry rally together and support each other to raise the awareness of craft beer which includes Moa. Do we (craft brewers) all have more to lose if they fall from grace in the eye of the public? Maybe this is something the Brewers Guild of New Zealand discuss on behalf of its members.


Moa shares tumble to new low
– 3:42 PM Thursday May 29, 2014

Shares in Moa Group, which raised $16 million when it went public in 2012, plunged to almost a third of its listing price after the boutique beer maker posted a wider full-year loss

“If you look at their cashflow statement they appear to be some way away from generating positive cashflow.”

Moa “unappetising” – analyst
– 1:00 PM Wednesday May 28, 2014

Sharebroker Forsyth Barr has downgraded its view on Moa Group, saying the company is an “unappetising investment case” and is expected to burn through its remaining cash reserves over the next 12 months, which may lead to a capital raising.

“However, we continue to struggle with the investment case in light of slow growth in key offshore markets and a trend towards lower margin products.”

Moa has turned a corner: boss
– 5:00 AM Wednesday May 28, 2014

“The company is looking at a range of financing alternatives and timing, and we will keep the market abreast of plans as soon as they are finalised,”