New Zealand Craft Beer Collective hits London

Five of New Zealand's most awarded breweries have joined forces in a bid to bring the best beer the country produces to UK shelves.  

The New Zealand Craft Beer Collective – consisting of Tuatara Brewing, Renaissance Brewing, 8 Wired Brewing, Three Boys Brewery and Yeastie Boys – aims to reflect the innovation, diversity and quality of craft beers currently being made all across New Zealand.

“We realise there is real benefit in the collective power of our brands and the great portfolio our flagship beers create together,” said Yeastie Boys brewer Stu McKinlay, the Collective’s UK spokesperson.

“We’ve already worked together on many smaller projects, and achieved a great number of wins for craft beer in New Zealand, so it was a logical step for us to collaborate on accelerating growth in export markets.”

The Collective, which features three former winners of the Champion Brewery of New Zealand, is launching its British campaign with a series of events at London Beer Week, including the Craft Beer Rising festival, which runs from February 19-22.

Roger Kerrison, development director for Renaissance, which has gained listings over here, said: “The UK craft beer scene is thriving and it has been very exciting to see it firsthand. We’re seeing an excellent response from the UK trade to our beers, with many saying they’re the best thing since diced lamb.”

The Collective is working with UK disribution agency Instil Drinks, which will provide the route-to-market for the breweries’ core products through its sales channels.

The Collective will also work with a number of craft beer wholesalers such as Scotland’s A New Wave for a more targeted route for the more esoteric beers in each brewer’s range.

Mark Johnson, managing director at Instil Drinks, said: “There is such a broad spectrum of styles and innovation among this group of breweries. The hype in the UK trade about New Zealand craft is certainly justified – you can see this through the awards and accolades that these breweries have won the world over in the last few years.”

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