The Tuatara Blog


PM John Key open TuataraOn Wednesday 10 October 2012 it was a great honour to have Prime Minister John Key officially open the grand new Tuatara premises at 7 Sheffield Street in Paraparaumu. The new site houses an expanded and improved brewery which is now open for public tours, plus we can also offer off-license sales from the brewery door as well as facilities to eat and drink on-site. 

More than 100 people attended the 10:00am opening ceremony including staff, stockists, tradespeople, family, friends, the local Mayor (Jenny Rowan), the local MP (Hon Nathan Guy), members of the Diplomatic Protection Squad and a gratifying number of media. There were speeches from brewer Carl Vasta, general manager Sean Murrie, Her Worship the Mayor and the Prime Minister.

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Three trophies, 2 golds, 3 silvers, and a bronze. That was the swag we walked away with from the 2012 Brewers Guild of New Zealand awards on the 16th of August 2012 with proud ear-to-ear smiles on our faces.

Two of the trophies were won for our beer. Great, but what does it mean to win a trophy? When a beer is entered in a style class it is eligible to win a gold, silver or bronze medal. Unlike most competitive events, multiple medals of each type are given out for each category. For example, seven golds were given out in the category 'British Ale Styles'. This unusual format exists to acknowledge that a beer has been judged to be of a particular standard of quality; as opposed to first, second, or third. Out of the medal winners, only one entry is chosen by the judges to win the trophy. Winning a trophy means your beer was considered to be the best beer in that class.

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Here at Tuatara HQ we are gearing up for the biggest Beervana yet. Lots of clever people are scurrying around to get things ready, because this year... we've decided to put on a bit of a show!

Firstly, we're doing something inventive and resourceful with the construction of our bar/booth and it is looking fantastic! We won't give too much away - but we've taken a simple idea and had it done professionally.

Even more exciting than a sweet new Beervana bar though, is the fact that we'll be hosting some very special guests. It's official! Your favourite 'Amazing Travelling Photobooth' will be helping us run our show!

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Next Tuesday 3rd July La Boca Loca are holding a Cooking Class and a Tuatara Beer & Dinner Matching evening featuring Carl Vasta - Our very own Founding Father of Craft Beer in Wellington!

La Boca Loca are voted in the Top 5 bars in Wellington [1] and are famous for their Mexican style food. The menu for the night looks amazing, there will be a cooking demo with Tuatara beers on offer followed by a sit down banquet of 3 courses matched with Tuatara while Carl Vasta talks about the beers.

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After the great success of last year’s event, Tuatara and Zealandia are pleased to invite you to our 2nd Tuatara beer tasting and food pairing!

Beer expert Neil Miller will guide you through 7 of our beers, each matched with a distinctive small place from chef Mat Gorrie. Anecdotes from a valley ranger will add an interesting tilt to the evening and, as always, all proceeds go to supporting Zealandia's 500 year vision.

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Hopstock 2012 - a celebration of peace, love and pale ale
Held from August 15 to August 18 in 1969, Woodstock was a three day celebration of “peace and music” which came to define a generation.  The festival, which saw thirty two acts play to half a million people on a farm in the rain, was dubbed by the organisers as an “Aquarian Exposition”.  On May 1 2012, there will be Tuatara Hopstock (http://www.facebook.com/events/396995697000813/) – a celebration of “peace, love and pale ale.”  It promises to truly be an “Epicurean Exposition.”
Hopstock is a four-city simultaneous celebration of Tuatara’s new quartet of hoppy pale ales.   From 5:30pm at selected bars in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, there will Tuatara APA (the limited-edition American version), Tuatara APA (the hugely popular Kiwi version), Conehead (a unique green-hopped IPA made with the first hops of the season) and Mayday (a huge Double Imperial IPA).
The Auckland venue is the always awesome Galbraith’s Alehouse (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Galbraiths-Alehouse/190697492909), the Christchurch launch will be at Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pomeroys-Old-Brewery-Inn/85959123329?ref=ts), Dunedin will be served by the ever funky Eureka Café and Bar (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eureka-Cafe-Bar/108621879218760) while patrons in New Zealand’s Craft Beer Capital Wellington will find the beers upstairs at the Fork & Brewer (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fork-and-Brewer/196202173778482).  Our brewers, Carl and Mike, will be on hand in Wellington to answer any questions and possibly even buy a few pints for lucky punters.
In addition to plenty of new school social media advertising, Tuatara is going old school with our first ever poster campaign.  Keep an eye out for our cool posters in the main cities.  There will also be a few spares at the launches for those dedicated beer fans who want something special for the bedroom wall.  
Director Sean Murrie says Tuatara is taking a new approach this year with a much greater focus on special events.  “Hopstock is a celebration of hops.  Since we had lots of hops around after the new harvest we decided to use them up immediately and then complain all the way through to next year.  There is definitely a good story around hops at the moment with New Zealand and American hops in high demand.”
Hopstock 2012 – tune in for the “Epicurean Exposition” of four Tuatara pale ales pouring at the same time.  Stocks are limited. 

Hopstock PosterHeld from August 15 to August 18 in 1969, Woodstock was a three day celebration of “peace and music” which came to define a generation.  The festival, which saw thirty two acts play to half a million people on a farm in the rain, was dubbed by the organisers as an “Aquarian Exposition”.  On May 1 2012, there will be Tuatara Hopstock – a celebration of “peace, love and pale ale.”  It promises to truly be an “Epicurean Exposition.”

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Carl and the boys at the new plantTuatara Brewing Company has a new home.  We have moved down from the leafy foothills of Reikorangi into the ‘big smoke’ of Paraparaumu.  The move has taken a lot of planning and even more hard work, but all our fermenters are in the new spacious brewery and full of Tuatara beer made on-site.  The conditioning tanks are currently on their way down the hill and then the bottling plant.

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This is the first of two posts detailing some significant recent developments at Tuatara Brewing Company.  Basically, we have new beers and a new brewery – it does not get much more exciting than that.  First up, it’s all about the beer.  On 1 May 2012 Tuatara will have an unprecedented four APAs on sale.  That number includes one welcome return and two brand new brews.  We will be celebrating the occasion with launch parties in a number of cities around the country.

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World renowned drinks and travel writer Stephen Beaumont is currently touring New Zealand to take a close look at our flourishing craft beer industry.  The author of A Taste for Beer, The Premium Beer Drinker’s Guide and the forthcoming World Atlas of Beer (co-written with Tim Webb), has been brought to New Zealand by Tuatara Brewing Company, Moa Brewing Company, New Zealand Hops and Cryer Malt.  Mr Beaumont will spend almost a week visiting breweries and bars in Auckland, Wellington, Blenheim, Nelson and Christchurch.  

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One of the most important aspects of running a successful Kiwi business is giving back to the community.  Tuatara Brewing Company has always been proud to sponsor and support a range of worthy community groups and events.  We have a special affinity for the Tuatara up at Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary (http://www.visitzealandia.com/site/zealandia_home/) which is unsurprising since their species was the inspiration for our brewery name.
Zealandia has launched a long-term programme to protect and nurture Tuatara.  They are still endangered after being extinct on the mainland for over 200 years.  The first Tuatara were released in Zealandia in 2005 and the first hatchling was only found in March 2009.  That was a significant breakthrough but the growing number of baby Tuatara now need more support.
Unfortunately, adult Tuatara actually have a tendency to attack and even eat the young.  Even other baby Tuatara can be dangerous, as this poor little chap found out in July after they had to amputate a leg after he was attacked, probably by a sibling. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/5149911/Tiny-tuataras-leg-amputated-to-save-its-life) So, it is clear the young Tuatara deserve all the help and protection we can provide, from each other, the adults, the weather and other predators.
That is why we became an official sponsor of the new Tuatara nurseries which were recently opened at Zealandia in a small but moving ceremony.  Brendon Doran of the 2Kiwis blog (http://www.2kiwis.com/) attended the event, took some great photographs and posted a thoughtful account of proceedings.  (http://www.2kiwis.com/?p=2792) Here are some edited highlights:
“Once all the relevant dignitaries had arrived we entered the valley and all walked down to the location of the new nurseries, the young tuatara being transported to their new homes in adapted plastic containers.
There was a small crowd on people in attendance as we heard first from Neavin of the Tenths Trust (Te Ati Awa), then from representatives of Ngati Koata.  Brian gave a welcome and background on behalf of the Karori Sanctuary Trust and the final word went to Sean Murrie of Tuatara Breweries (who helped sponsor the project).
Once Sean had cut the ribbon it was left to Sue and Nicky from Victoria University to carefully release the tuatara into the three nurseries, everyone crowding in to catch a glimpse of the little lizards (actually not lizards, but sphenodontia) being introduced to their new accommodation.  Most of the tuatara quickly took refuge in the hollows and burrows they were placed next too but luckily a few hardy ones stayed out where they could be seen and admired.  Once they were all inside some food was also put into each nursery, moths and small calcium dusted locusts.
Each nursery is quite large and had been prepared with leaf litter, small plants and other typical forest floor material.  Depressions were in place so each tuatara could have its own area and the hope is that they will burrow through the deep sandy base and over time it might be possible to see the burrows through a window in the base of structure.
 
It was an informative and interesting visit, hopefully the tuatara will love their new nurseries and lots of people will be able to get a little closer to these interesting animals.”
Here at Tuatara we could not agree more.  Thanks to the organisers, Brendon for the story and the photos (well worth checking out) and, above all, best of luck to the young Tuatara in their new homes.  We are raising a bottle or two of Tuatara beer right now and toasting your good health and (very) long life.
Cheers from the team at Tuatara

One of the most important aspects of running a successful Kiwi business is giving back to the community.  Tuatara Brewing Company has always been proud to sponsor and support a range of worthy community groups and events.  We have a special affinity for the Tuatara up at Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary which is unsurprising since their species was the inspiration for our brewery name.

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