ParrotDog the king of hoppy beers

00:44, Aug 28 2014
BLING: The ParrotDog brewery team of Matt Stevens, Matt Warner and Matt Kristofski with their 2014 Brewers' Guild Awards trophy and medals.

ParrotDog was in beer heaven last week when they were the only Wellington brewery to win a trophy at the New Zealand beer awards.

Upper Hutt's Panhead and Kapiti's Tuatara breweries were among other Wellington teams to be awarded gold medals and Wellington's Garage Project was third overall.

It was ParrotDog's third year competing in the Brewers' Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards and its most successful to date.

Co-founder Matt Kristofski said the brewery sent 13 beers to Christchurch for judging and 10 were awarded medals.

In the United States Ale category, ParrotDog won four medals as well as the trophy for the top beer for its BloodyDingo.

Kristofski said there were a lot of factors that determined whether the judges would have a good beer in front of them.


"It all depends on the day and the batch," he said.

ParrotDog brewer Matt Warner said it was not a surprise they had success in the United States Ale category.

"Hoppy styles are the backbone of our lineup," Warner said.

"We've focused on these styles, because we like hoppy beers."

Seeing their beers named up on the award's big screen startled the ParrotDog team.

"We felt a bit shocked almost," Kristofski said.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for the ParrotDog team with preparation for last weekend's Beervana festival, Wellington On a Plate events and a co-brew with Melbourne's Two Birds Brewing.

Kristofski said that brew would be ready in a couple of months, though a name was still to be chosen.

Upper Hutt's Panhead Custom Ales won seven medals at the awards at Shed 6 last Thursday.

Owner Mike Neilson said it was the first year he had sent beer off to be judged in the competition.

"Last year we didn't make the cut offs. We didn't have any beer to send to tell the truth," he said.

It had been a hectic couple of weeks for the brewery ahead of the awards and Beervana and Neilson said he was still a bit jaded.

"We almost had to do another week of work before last week to make sure we had enough product for Beervana."

He said winning the overall award in two categories and ending the night with four golds, a silver and two bronzes was a great result.

"The two beers we won it with were one-off beers we had never brewed before," he said.

"Black Sabbath was a beer we'd always dreamed of brewing. It's a very difficult beer to brew, it's quite a difficult process."

Neilson said the beers were brewed in 2000-litre batches, meaning mistakes along the way caused a lot of wasted product.

To date the brewery had produced 153 batches.

He said the company was proud to be based in the Wellington region, where there was a strong market for good beer.

"We keep purchasing tanks and people keep purchasing our beer. It ain't gonna stop now."

Panhead also won the best stall award at the Beervana beer festival held over the weekend.

The Wellingtonian