Craft beer heads to Antarctica

CLAIRE CONNELL
Last updated 12:17 11/01/2011
Sam Lampe, Josh Scott and Ben Payne
SCOTT HAMMOND
SCOTT OF ANTARCTICA: They are drinking his beer down there. From left, Sam Lampe, Josh Scott and Ben Payne of Moa Brewery.

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The team at Moa Brewery reckon a cold beer will be just as satisfying in the freezing Antarctic as it is on a hot summer day.

Their beer will get the ultimate test this year when 2000 bottles leave on a ship today for Antarctica, destined for New Zealand's Scott Base.

Organisers of the shipment say it will be the first craft beer to hit the fridges in the base bar, called The Tatty Flag, which sells mass-produced beer including Tui, Speight's and Heineken.

Moa brand ambassador and founder Josh Scott said he and national sales manager were on a South Island sales trip when they met the supplier for the base bar, who told them the Scott Base crew drank 30,000 cans of beer a year.

"We thought if we could nail a contract like that it's a good commercial market for us," Mr Scott said.

His bid was successful and Moa is sending three types beer, including Moa Noir – a dark brew designed for the winter.

"Hopefully it will warm their hearts when it's completely dark down there," Mr Scott said.

"There are amazing people who have gone down and pioneered in Antarctica. It's quite inspirational what they do, and it's good to be involved."

He was convinced the Marlborough beer would be a hit, even in sub-zero conditions.

"They have got good wine. We have already sent Allan Scott's Scott Base wine brand, and now they are going to have some good beers."

Mr Scott's father Allan owns the wine company and is a shareholder in Moa.

The beer headed for the base is the first to be bottled in plastic by the company.

The beer has been put in 600ml bottles, designed to be lightweight, reusable and recyclable, because all rubbish is brought back to New Zealand.

They still believe their beer tastes better from glass, but say they will not hesitate to do another plastic run if the need arises.

The specially made labels feature an "Antarctica Edition" logo along with a silhouette of seals and penguins.

The shipment is expected to arrive in Antarctica in about two months.

Mr Scott hopes the deal will help international sales in the United States after Americans on the ice drink Moa when they visit Scott Base.

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- The Marlborough Express

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