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Harrington's Breweries buys Matson’s Brewery

Harrington's Breweries buys Matson’s Brewery

The family owned Harrington’s Breweries has finalised the purchase of Matson’s brewery making it New Zealands' largest independent brewery.

Harrington’s Breweries was established in 1991 as a response to the overpriced generic ales in a market dominated by the “big two". John Harrington’s ambition was to provide good kiwi’s with real beer using good genuine ingredients at a price that wasn’t decided by accounting philosophies of good margins.

Early on the brewery began experimenting with traditional beer styles less common in New Zealand. Twenty odd years later the range has grown to over 30 beers and includes Ciders, RTD’s, and various non alcoholic drinks.

Harrington’s has experienced large growth in the vibrant craft brewing market in recent times, partly a result of being awarded 2012 New Zealand Champion Brewery. Driven by a focus to refresh the brand and range of products, improve quality, and expand sales & distribution channels nationally and internationally into Austrialia, Asia, and the USA. The brewery has also been providing contract brewing and bottling facilities for other craft brewers such as Three Boys Brewery, The Yeastie Boys, and Valkyrie.

The last few years for Harrington’s Breweries have been some of their busiest and most challenging since John and his family began. After the destruction of their Ferrymead brewery and bottlestore in the Christchurch earthquakes the main brewery in Phillipstown has been operating beyond capacity to keep up with demand.

Faced with increasing demand and the replacement of the Ferrymead brewery, negotiations with insurance had been with a view to expand operations into a larger, purpose built brewery. After substantial efforts to move the new brewery along, ever increasing build costs, red tape and lengthy delays meant alternatives needed to be explored to meet ever increasing demand. Now with todays addition of Matson’s Brewery, Harrington’s has overnight increased brewing capacity to a potential 85,000 Litres a week, doubled it’s bottling capacity, and expanded much needed warehousing and logistics facilities.

“With such a diverse range of beers, increasing production of these to catch up to huge national demand is our natural goal initially.” Carl Harrington, brewery owner/operator, continues on to say “As a team we have put many ideas on hold for the last few years, now with increased production, this next chapter in our history will allow us to action some of the other exciting opportunities for Harrington’s.”

“We desperately need more beer, right now.” Says John Harrington, “it makes me warm inside, we can again feel we are properly supplying our loyal supporting customers not only in Canterbury but through out New Zealand and further afield."

With no sign of business slowing down plans are already in motion to install a full-scale canning facility, further expansion of staff and upgrades of brewing tanks and equipment… it’s all set to be a hectic Harrington's year.


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