'Illegitimate sons' soothe geeks

Mike's Brewery owner Ron Trigg has just released a range of non-organic beer in 500ml bottles.
Mike's Brewery owner Ron Trigg has just released a range of non-organic beer in 500ml bottles.

Mike's Organic Brewery has dropped a branding bombshell by introducing a selection of non- organic beers to its range.

The Urenui craft beer brewery, which prides itself on being certified organic, is introducing four new non-organic beers to its range, as well as two rotating styles.

Mike's owner Ron Trigg said the six new offerings would be known as "Mike's Illegitimate Sons".

Mike's certified organic beer range will continue to be brewed.

Introducing a non-organic range of beer gave Mike's more flexibility to experiment and attract a greater share of the rapidly growing craft beer market, Trigg said.

Market research showed many "beer geeks" did not care for organic beer, he said.

"There was a lot of beer geeks out there avoiding the product because it was organic," Trigg said.

"They were assuming there was a compromise with organic ingredients."

Trigg admitted he was nervous as to how the move to non-organic would be received.

"We thought there would be a big backlash."

But so far it seemed their fears were misplaced.

"It seems to be really, really well received.

"We're pretty rapt," Trigg said.

"It looks like I was scared for no reason."

The four new beers, available in 500ml bottles, are Taranaki Pale Ale (TPA), Single American Pale Ale (SAPA), Onemorepaleale (OMPA) and Taranaki Hefeweizen Cloudy (THC).

All four beers were first brewed last year but only distributed in kegs, mostly to Wellington and Christchurch.

There would also be Beer X and Beer Y - two constantly changing beers depending on what was coming out of the brewery at the time, he said.

The range would be distributed throughout New Zealand supermarkets, bottle stores, restaurants and bars, he said.

Off licence they were priced between $7 and $9 while on licence establishments would charge between $12 and $16 per bottle, he said.

Mike's was still brewing using natural ingredients and no sugar, he said.

"It's just not certified organic."

Getting organic ingredients certified was a long and time- consuming process with a lot of bureaucracy to deal with, he said.

"It's a hard decision because I feel really strongly about organic."

Mike's beers were also now available on tap in several Taranaki bars and restaurants including Montrose which has added four new Mike's taps.

Taranaki Daily News