Tu­atara founder: sale no sell-out

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - CHLOE WIN­TER

The ‘‘magic’’ that is Tu­atara will not be chang­ing, DB Brew­eries boss says.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Andy Rout­ley says the com­pany will not ‘‘mess with a win­ning for­mula’’ and it will be busi­ness as usual.

His com­ments come af­ter the beer gi­ant an­nounced it had bought Kapiti-based craft brewer Tu­atara.

‘‘This is not a busi­ness that we’ve ac­quired to change the magic,’’ Rout­ley said. ‘‘The magic is what has cre­ated and made Tu­atara so spe­cial to­day. We are ut­terly op­posed to break­ing that magic recipe.

Tu­atara founder and mas­ter brewer Carl Vasta said he re­mained com­mit­ted to be­ing part of Tu­atara and its fu­ture.

‘‘We’re chang­ing the share­hold­ing, we’re not chang­ing the recipe ... I don’t see it as a sell-out ... the Tu­atara team is still in­tact and will re­main in­tact for as long as it is pos­si­ble. I’m still very happy.’’

Rout­ley said DB planned to in­vest in the brand and make it stronger.

Their aim was to reach more con­sumers ‘‘than its ever reached be­fore’’ - in New Zealand and glob­ally, he said.

Tu­atara had spent the past two years fo­cus­ing on in­no­va­tion and in­creas­ing brew­ing ca­pac­ity to break into in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

Tu­atara beer is cur­rently ex­ported to Aus­tralia, Scan­di­navia and the UK.

Rout­ley said it was too early to say where new mar­kets would be.

Nei­ther party would say what the sale was worth, cit­ing com­mer­cial sen­si­tiv­ity.

Deloitte Pri­vate part­ner Ian Fay said a lot of craft brew­ers had been grow­ing fast, how­ever, main­tain­ing that growth was a ‘‘costly ex­er­cise’’.

The larger com­pany pro­vided greater sales dis­tri­bu­tion while the craft brew­ery re­tained the qual­ity and rep­u­ta­tion for the beer it made, Fay said.

‘‘It’s all about the qual­ity of beer you make, not about who owns it and how big you are.’’

Tu­atara, es­tab­lished in 2000 and based in Para­pa­raumu, has gone from a back­yard op­er­a­tion, to one of the largest craft brew­eries in New Zealand. In 2016, it pro­duced more than 2 mil­lion litres of beer.

Just hours af­ter Tu­atara’s an­nounce­ment, Garage Project an­nounced it was build­ing a new brew­ery in Hawke’s Bay.

DB Brew­eries man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Andy Rout­ley, left, and Tu­atara founder and mas­ter brewer Carl Vasta at Tu­atara’s brew­ery in Para­pa­raumu.

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