It’s been one of the busiest weeks in beer this year. Here’s what was happening while you and I were busy on our extensive research work.
Beervana discovers its mojo
New Zealand’s biggest celebration of craft beer was held in Wellington last Friday and Saturday. There’s a good chance you knew that already, because more than 12,000 people attended the four sessions, 381 different brews were available and 59 brewers fronted up.
Speaking as a Beervana regular, this was one of the best yet. Opening the Westpac Stadium concourse up to the full circle made it easier to get around, avoiding the back-and-forth foot traffic flow of previous years. It also made the event more social, and there was always someone to catch up with heading the other direction. The range was huge (and hefty – average ABV was 6.4%) so trying to experience everything was futile. This scale means Beervana has grown into a craft beer market place where lots of options are available but you won’t be trying something from each stall.
Personal favourites and revelations included Wigram’s Jet Pack American Double IPA, Bridgeport Brewing Old Knucklehead Barleywine, Crux Fermentation Project Banished Tough Love Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Rocky Knob/Sunshine Brewery East Coast Overdose IPA, and for a bit of light relief, Bach Brewing Breakabay Sparkling Cream Ale.
Beertown.NZ attended Beervana as a guest of the organisers, Cryer Malt, and the Brewers Association. Cheers!
ParrotDog makes $2 million in 2 days
If you blinked you missed it – ParrotDog sold $2 million of shares in less than 48 hours last week. Launching its equity crowdfunding campaign at 3pm Wednesday, the full allocation sold out at 2.45pm Friday. The sell-off set records for ParrotDog’s funding platform PledgeMe - $2 million is the maximum that can be raised in an equity funding campaign under PledgeMe’s current rules. Before the launch, ParrotDog director Matthew Stevens told Stuff, “we’ve definitely got some big guys who’ve said they’d participate”. They came through, with one $200,000 parcel and one $100,000 parcel sold. In all, 812 investors bought shares for an average investment of $2463. ParrotDog is expected to announce a new distribution partner next month.
Tuatara loses its head
Tuatara chief executive Richard Shirtcliffe announced his resignation last week. Richard took on the role in January 2014, describing the gig as a dream job for a red-blooded Kiwi male. Richard is now moving to the coffee industry as chief executive of Coffee Supreme. He was appointed by Tuatara’s 36% shareholder Rangatira Investments, which is believed to be looking outside Tuatara for a new boss.
Fork Brewing heist
Fork Brewing lost $15,000 of stock in a theft from a storage unit in Lower Hutt before last Thursday. The missing beer includes brews intended for the 2016 Brewers Guild Awards, including some barrel-aged entries which cannot be reproduced before entries close next month. The stolen items include one pallet of Godzone Beat 500mL bottles and 20L & 30L kegs of Long Wheat Cloud, Tainted Love, Yoghurt & Bruesli, Murder of Crows, Champagne Supernova, SimCode, Divine Brown, Skywalker Draft, and Puns & Goses. Anyone with information on the stolen stock can contact Fork & Brewer or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
ANZ measures the industry, kind of
ANZ released its third annual Industry Insight report on New Zealand craft beer. As in previous years, the report dodges the contentious issue of defining craft beer, variously referring to “higher alcohol beers”, “big flavour beers”, “5%+ abv beers” and “artisan producers”. The report lists 168 craft breweries operating in New Zealand, including DB’s Monteiths and Black Dog, and Lion’s Mac’s, Emerson’s and Panhead. This suggests ANZ is taking a broad description of the sector, which is supported by its estimate that craft beer now accounts for 15% of our total beer market. ANZ also estimates craft sales increased by 35% in the past year, while overall beer sales remain flat. It identifies several challenges for the industry, including planning for continued growth while facing increased competition for qualified staff, ingredients, and shelf space.