Black Dog Brew Co, Havana Coffee Works team up to create new beer

Black Dog Brew Co beer.
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Black Dog Brew Co beer.

An experimental beer laced with "some extra growl" has hit the shelves, as a Wellington brewery gears up to tackle the international stage.

Black Dog Brew Co has teamed up with long-standing coffee maker Havana Coffee Works to create a new beer called Brewtus Stout.

The beer is part of a limited edition range, which will only be available for three months at a time. The beer first went on sale on June 7.

Black Dog Brew Co "top dog" Adrian Klemp.
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Black Dog Brew Co "top dog" Adrian Klemp.

Black Dog "top dog" Adrian Klemp said the company was founded to produce "interesting and intrepid brews that challenged the status quo".

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"Some will work, some won't, but if we don't try, we'll never know. That is the beauty of our experimental brews."

Black Dog Brew Co and Havana Coffee Works have created a new beer called Brewtus Stout.
SUPPLIED

Black Dog Brew Co and Havana Coffee Works have created a new beer called Brewtus Stout.

Havana Coffee Works founder Geoff Marsland said the limited edition Brewtus Stout was "far from the runt of the litter".

"It is a rich and silky stout, dry-hopped with a hefty bag of crushed coffee beans straight from Bolivia and a good dose of Cascade hops to add some extra growl."

Black Dog Brew Co was founded in 2011, and was initially set up by beer giant DB Brewery.

Black Dog brewer Simon Edward.
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Black Dog brewer Simon Edward.

Three craft brewers started by brewing once a month, and as demand grew it became once a fortnight. Now, it is once a week. 

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Black Dog Brew Co employs seven staff, including brewers and bar staff.

Klemp said during the past six years, the main challenge for the company had been upscaling small, boutique batches from 600 litres to 7000L or 50,000L.

"As you can imagine, it's generally difficult to recreate the same recipe from a small batch of beer that we do here at the Blair St brewery and then upscale it to 20,000L.

"But it's not as simple as multiplying a recipe and getting the same result out of a different kit. It takes a lot of hard work, monitoring, and testing with brewery managers from other sites," he said.

"Ultimately it's a process of trial and error."

Black Dog set up shop in Blair St in 2011.
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Black Dog set up shop in Blair St in 2011.

The brewery produced about 30,000L a year, though that was expected to increase with the new experimental range, and the new permanent range, he said.

The brewery was fitted out with four tanks, with a total capacity of 600L, and it would not be increasing that, he said.

"The size is perfect for us to keep doing what we're doing, testing and creating new innovative brews.

Inside Havana Coffee Works headquarters on Tory St.
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Inside Havana Coffee Works headquarters on Tory St.

"If we need more capacity we will start brewing bigger batches of beer at larger DB Breweries, for example, at the Timaru DB Draught Brewery."

The future for Black Dog Brew Co was "very rosy", Klemp said.

The company did not export its brews, though it was "definitely something that we would like to do over the next few years", he said.

 - Stuff

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