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NZ brewery crowned champion at Asian awards

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand brewing company Yeastie Boys capped off a whirlwind award-winning month when their flagship porter - Pot Kettle Black - headed off more than 350 beers to be crowned Champion Beer at the Asia Beer Awards in Singapore last weekend.

Pot Kettle Black, Yeastie Boys' fastest-selling beer, was awarded a gold medal and named champion Porter in the early rounds of the competition.

A second round of judging, which reviewed the top 10 point scoring beers of the entire event, resulted in the New Zealand beer being name Champion Beer of Festival.

"The results are certainly a who's who of breweries around the world, from the very biggest through to some of the smallest and most exciting ones" stated Yeastie Boys' Creative Director Stu McKinlay.

"We may well have been the smallest brewery in the competition, by volume produced, and were thrilled to pick up a gold medal. To take out the champion beer of the show, when you're up against breweries that are essentially your brewing heroes, is simply staggering. It's still quite hard to believe."

Category winners came from the traditional brewing powerhouses of Belgium, Germany, England and United States of America but also featured lesser-known brewing nations such as Belarus and New Zealand.

The win, arguably the biggest international award picked up by a New Zealand brewery in recent years, comes hot on the heels of another big victory for Yeastie Boys.

Their Earl Grey infused Gunnamatta, a 'Tea-leafed' India Pale Ale, picked up the top gong at Melbourne's Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular in May. Gunnamatta pipped 60 experimental beers, from 60 of the hottest breweries in Australia and New Zealand, to win the People's Choice award.

"These sorts of things always have the potential to open some pretty interesting doors for a small company with no sales team or marketing budget" said McKinlay. "Winning a couple of huge awards like this with such vastly different beers, and in close succession, proves yet again that we're anything but a one trick pony. It gives interested buyers the best possible indication that our beers are both pleasing to the general public and deemed technically perfect by the experts."

Yeastie Boys' Directive Creator, Sam Possenniskie, said the recent wins have come at the ideal time for the small company. "We've been around since 2008 and have an excellent track record in regards to winning awards but, having grown by more than 300% in the last year, we're only just making that giant leap from hobby business to what we'd consider a real business. These sorts of things are the perfect indication that we're maintaining that ideal balance between the growth of our business and the quality of our product." Possenniskie went on to praise the brewing team at Invercargill Brewery, where Yeastie Boys' production takes place: "Steve Nally and his team at Invercargill are doing an amazing job for us. We're pushing them in regards to volume, and the creative use of their brewery, but they just keep on coming up trumps. It's becoming a partnership not unlike Hadlee and Chatfield in the 1980s. We may be seen to be taking all the metaphorical wickets at one end but we couldn't do it without the consistency of the team at Invercargill."

The Yeastie Boys, who both still hold down unrelated day jobs, are certainly making some noise.

Pot Kettle Black is available through Yeastie Boys' distributors BeerNZ Ltd (New Zealand), Innspire Pty Ltd (Australia), Shelton Brothers (USA), Impex Beer (Europe) and Beer Bach (Singapore).

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