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Tauranga craft brewers hail rise in ‘hottest beers’ stakes


Partners in the Tauranga-based Funk Estate craft beer brewery are elated at their climb in the “hottest beers” popularity stakes.

Funk recently re-located from Auckland to team up with Mount Brewing Company and share brewing facilities at the Rising Tide brewhouse and eatery at Mt Maunganui.

Funk Chief Executive (Top Dawg) Jordan Evison runs the company with partners Dylan Shearer and Shigeo Takagi.

He says that Funk’s craft beer called Jungle Boogie, a “blood orange” sour sale, made the 16th spot on the Great Australian Beer Spectacular (GABS) Hottest Kiwi Beers list.

“It was especially pleasing that Jungle Boogie was the biggest mover on the list, jumping an impressive 73 places since last year.”

Mr Evison says that Jungle Boogie was originally brewed for and released at the GABS festival in Melbourne & Sydney in 2016.

“We’re proud of the fact that since then it’s become a ‘go to’ beer readily available sour ale in both New Zealand and Australia.”

“We’ve loved sour beers for years and we’re very excited that they are taking off now so we can keep making them more and more frequently.”

“Although Funk Estate offers a core range of beers including So’phisticuffs India Pale Ale, Oh Lordy Pale Ale & Parleyer Pilsner, we love to mix it up with regular seasonal releases of weird and whacky numbers,” Mr Evison says.

Sour beers are an absolute favourite and a specialty, he adds.

Jordan Evison says one of Funk’s recent offbeat launches was Soul Train, a “very summery” peach tea Indian pale ale, a joint project with Tauranga-based tea company Webster’s Tea.

“Funk Likes to work with the wider industry and team up wherever possible.

“Our joint venture with Mount Brewing Co is a prime example, as well as our multiple collaborative beers.

“Most recently we teamed up with Emerson’s brewery and Behemoth brewing company to brew ‘Three way’ a mango sour IPA, based off the classic mango lassi.”

There has been a rapid growth in the number of craft beer brands in New Zealand to produce a potentially confusing landscape, Mr Evison says. Product quality, supply and brand are now must have’s in order to compete.

“We’re pretty stoked with our brand, the funky lady and funky lips work really well. Our visual concept is to always keep it vibrant, fun, energetic and never too serious.

“We are strong believers in taking our beer to the drinkers, not waiting for them to come to us.

“We attend as many quality festivals as we are able to, so that our brand is exposed to as many people as possible who are already predisposed to drinking craft beer.”

Jordan Evison says it is has been gratifying to gain ‘people’s choice’ status at a number of festivals.

He says that having been born and raised at Mt Maunganui, it’s great to be back on “home turf”.

BACKGROUND

Funk Estate was launched in Wellington in May 2012. The company spent 2 years brewing from premises in Grey Lynn in Auckland before relocating to Mt Maunganui in late 2017.

Jordan Evison leads the team as CEO and is responsible for business management and overall strategy. Born and raised at Mt Maunganui, he attended Tauranga Intermediate and Tauranga Boy’s College before graduating from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Finance and later a post graduate diploma in mathematics.

Shigeo Takagi (“Shiggy”) is Funk Estate’s head brewer. He is responsible for brewing, packaging, scheduling and management of materials. He also oversees the firm’s inventory system. He holds a general certificate in brewing from the International Institute of Brewing & Distilling and is studying towards a diploma. Shigeo has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Administration.

Operations Manager Dylan Shearer is responsible for design and packaging. Dylan comes up with the concepts for beer labels, tap badges and communicates Funk’s requirements with designers and printing companies. Dylan’s tasks include designing and arranging packaging, developing point of sale artwork and marketing. Dylan graduated from Victoria University with a Master’s degree in landscape architecture.


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