Wellington brewery ParrotDog toasting Australian beer award success

ParrotDog brewery was awarded champion international brewery at the Australian Beer Awards. Celebrating from left, Elvin ...
ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

ParrotDog brewery was awarded champion international brewery at the Australian Beer Awards. Celebrating from left, Elvin Els, Kit Mulligan, Wattie Watson, Matt Warner, Matt Stevens, Matt Kristofski and Andrew Muckle.

A Wellington craft brewery is toasting international success and future growth after scooping numerous top awards at the Australian Beer Awards.

ParrotDog, which entered nine beers in the competition , won two gold medals, five silver medals, one bronze medal and took away the title of 'champion small international brewery'.

It also won the best in class trophy in the reduced/low alcohol category for its mini-APA, ClippedWing.✓

Head Brewer Matt Warner said the awards were among the highest accolades he and co-owners Matt Stevens, Matt Kristofski and Wattie Watson had won.

The company was a finalist in the Emerging Gold section of the 2014 Wellington Gold Awards and scooped 10 medals and one trophy in the 2014 Brewers' Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards.

Last week the brewery also took part in Melbourne's 'good beer week' and exhibited at the 'Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular'✓ festival.

"There was a lot of interest and great feedback on our beers in Australia and to be announced champion small international brewery just absolutely topped it off," Warner said.

The brewery has come along way since its beginnings as a home brew made in a dingy student Aro Valley flat. ParrotDog was established as a contract  brewing company in 2011 and moved into its current Vivian Street site in 2012.

It has since seen record growth - with names like BloodyDingo, Bloodhound, FlaxenFeather and PitBull. It has expanded its range to about 15 different types, including limited releases, and at the end of last year were producing up to 350,000 litres a year.

Their brand can be found in most of Wellington's craft beer bars, in many outlets throughout the country and its exports most bottled beer products to Australia. Sales were growing steadily since it entered the market three years ago.

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At the end of last year ParrotDog was also being brewed for kegs in Australia by Two Birds Brewing.

Kristofski said the owners had looked at exporting into China and Japan but decided to first concentrate on conquering Australia, which had a joint focus with the New Zealand market.

"We expect the awards will add credibility to our name and we expect to see an increase in our sales in Australian market," he said.

The Australian International Beer Awards is the largest annual competition of its kind in the world judging both draught and packaged beer. This year's awards attracted a record number of entries,with more than 1,700 submissions from 344 exhibitors, across 35 countries.

The brewing industry is worth $2.2 billion a year to New Zealand.

 - Stuff

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