Brewer going for gold in Brazil

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 08:20 27/12/2012

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Marlborough-based Moa Brewing Company has its sights set on Brazil, with its first shipment of premium beer due to arrive in the South American country next month.

Moa general manager Gareth Hughes said the deal with Brazilian distributor Oceania Group coincides with the renewal of their sponsorship deal with the New Zealand Olympic Team for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil.

Brazil was one of the fastest growing beer markets in the world and held huge potential for the craft beer company, he said.

"Brazil already has a well developed economy beer market that is showing really strong growth but we are confident there is potential in the premium beer market too."

The deal with the New Zealand Olympic Committee will help Moa gain a greater foothold and understanding of the Latin American market, he said. Their time in London as sponsor of the 2012 New Zealand Olympic team was crucial for building contacts and securing deals in the competitive British market. "You can make inroads to the market from offshore but being on the ground is very useful for meeting the right people and getting an understanding of the market."

The deal with British distributor James Clay was a direct result of such contact.

The brewery, founded by Josh Scott, of Blenheim, raised $16 million in a stockmarket float last month for a $6m expansion of its Jackson Rd brewery to keep up with growth.

A resource consent will be lodged in January, with building expected to begin in March and the brewery fully operational by September, Hughes said.

Despite limited resources, Moa's domestic sales have doubled in the last six months and export revenue is growing by almost 200 per cent each year.

Moa has managed to keep up with increased demand with modular changes to the existing brewery, including extra beer tanks and improving packaging line efficiencies. The brewery runs three shifts a day with an extra shift available if required. Staff numbers at the brewery have increased from four to 12 over two years, and casual staff work if needed.

Moa's retail outlet in Jacksons Rd reopened yesterday after a new paint job and refurbishments will be completed early next year.

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- The Marlborough Express

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