Pioneering brewery targets UK market
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 exports to the US, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, presented its beers in the UK for the first time at the Craft Beer Rising event, held in February at the old Truman Brewery in London’s East End. The event was the 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.
“The UK craft beer scene is thriving, it’s very exciting to see it first-hand,” says Roger Kerrison, development director for Renaissance. 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 there’s plenty of interest 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 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 I have to chuckle a little, there was no wave when we started, it was like a mill pond really,” recalls 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.” www.renaissancebrewing.co.nz