Moa brews up deal with McCashin's

Moa Brewing Company has agreed a long-term contract brewing agreement with McCashin's Brewery in Nelson, the Blenheim-based company said yesterday.

In an announcement to the NZX, the company said high-end specialty brews would continue to be made at the existing brewery in Blenheim, with its volume brews transitioning to McCashin's Brewery. David Nicholls, Moa's head brewer, would oversee recipe formulations, brew development and quality control.

Moa chairman Grant Baker said a filling line and some tanks would move from Blenheim to Nelson, but no staff would move. Nicholls would still be based in Blenheim.

The reduction at the Jackson Rd brewery could "possibly but not necessarily" mean a reduction in staff, Baker said.

"We're selling exponentially more every month.

"We've still got a reasonable output coming out of the Blenheim brewery."

Moa got council approval to expand its brewery last year, but this was appealed by neighbours, including winery Cloudy Bay. The matter is still under mediation with no Environment Court hearing date set.

Chief executive Geoff Ross said Moa had been contract brewing at McCashin's since late last year in order to meet growth demands while the expansion plans were in dispute.

"We get the brewing scale we require, in a timely fashion and without significant demands on capital expenditure."

The benefits to Moa included securing access to further capacity for growth, efficiencies from the increased scale and also logistical efficiencies due to the closer proximity of the Nelson brewery to local port facilities, he said.

"Moa will continue its private mediation talks with parties in Blenheim to seek agreement for a modest increase in capacity for its Jackson Road brewery."