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NZ brewery looks to British market for growth opportunities

Pioneering New Zealand brewery looks to the dynamic British market for growth opportunities

27th January 2014

Multi-award winning Marlborough brewery, Renaissance Brewing, is looking to further its overseas distribution network by focusing its export development in 2014 on the growing British craft beer market.

Renaissance, who currently export to the USA, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, will present its beers in the UK for the first time at the Craft Beer Rising event which is held at the old Truman Brewery in London’s east end. The event, which runs over the weekend of the 22nd February, is a perfect opportunity to introduce both trade and consumers to a range of beers that last year helped Renaissance win Champion International Small Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards, and Champion New Zealand Brewery at the NZ Beer Awards.

Roger Kerrison, Development Director for Renaissance, has recently returned from the UK in preparation for the February launch, of the opportunities it presents he said, “The UK craft beer scene is thriving, it was very exciting to see it first hand. Although most people haven’t tried craft beer from New Zealand, they are very familiar with New Zealand hops that are being used by American and British brewers. We only use New Zealand hops in our beers, so I am sure there is going to be plenty of interest from people in regards to how a New Zealand beer tastes.”

Renaissance was founded in 2005 by Californian brothers in-law Andy Deuchars and Brian Thiel. Andy trained as a brewer at Anderson Valley in Mendocino before moving to New Zealand to become a winemaker, Brian was a Master Guild Mercedes Benz mechanic, which certainly helped in the early years when things constantly kept breaking.

“When people say that we are part of this new wave of New Zealand craft breweries (there are over 60 now in a country of just 4 million people) I have to chuckle a little, there was no wave when we started, it was like a mill pond really,” says Head Brewer Deuchars, “Our beers were nothing like the mass produced lagers that had become ubiquitous in New Zealand. Flavour and balance of flavour is paramount for me and we do this by brewing British style ales, using my American know-how, combined with New Zealand ingredients. I am very proud of being a small part of the evolution of craft beer in New Zealand, and it means that when I travel around New Zealand there is usually at least one pub or cafe in town serving beers that I would consider drinking.”

The full Renaissance range consists of a number of Pale Ales (American, English and Indian), a Scotch Ale, British and Baltic Porters, a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, a Barley Wine and more recently a Pilsner and Wit Beer.

“It’s great that we have a blank canvas in the UK market, we have imported the beers ourselves for this festival, the real value in attending an event like Craft Beer Rising is to establish relationships in all facets of trade, whether that be importers, wholesalers, retailers, pubs or indeed direct to consumer. “ concluded Kerrison.

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