Champion brewery Tuatara crafts deal with DB

Posted on Tuesday 31/01/2017

Paraparaumu, 31 January 2017 – The award-winning Tuatara Brewing Company has today been sold to DB Breweries.

Tuatara will continue to produce its award-winning craft beer from the current premises located on the Kapiti Coast and the pilot brewery – The Third Eye, in Wellington.

Tuatara founder and master brewer Carl Vasta says he continues to be passionate about the New Zealand craft beer industry and is committed to being part of Tuatara and its future growth.

“We’re changing the shareholding, we’re not changing the recipe.

“Brewing beer and talking about beer is my passion. With the support of my family, we have been able to grow Tuatara into a successful business,” says Carl. “In order to take things to the next level we need assistance. That’s why we’ve teamed up with DB. Now, I intend to get back to the brewing and step out of the business end.”

Simone Vasta will continue in her role as logistics manager and their son, Adam, an accomplished brewer in his own right, will also stay at the Kapiti Coast brewery to ensure continuity and quality beer.

Tuatara, established in 2000 and based in Paraparaumu, has gone from a backyard operation out of Carl and Simone’s rural home, to one of the largest craft breweries in New Zealand. In 2016, over 2 million litres of beer was produced out of the breweries.

A champion brewery

Tuatara recently won the supreme award at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand 2016 Beer Awards, dominating the 10th year of the country’s most prestigious brewing awards by collecting three of 14 category trophies (for Tuatara Mot Eureka Pilsner, Tuatara Sauvinova Pale Ale and Tuatara Weiz Guy Hefeweizen) and a total of five gold, five silver and four bronze medals for its beers. It’s the only brewery to have won the supreme award twice, having won previously in 2008.

“Winning Champion NZ Brewery last year reinforced that we are brewing as well as we ever have. With DB Breweries providing the backing, we’ll be able to get our beer out to more people across the country,” says Carl.  

A great fit for DB 

“Craft beer is an exciting segment of the Kiwi beer market,” says Andy Routley, managing director of DB Breweries, “and Tuatara is the champion of Kiwi craft breweries. We are excited by Tuatara for three reasons. Firstly, Carl and his team are passionate about making great beer and their customers are equally passionate about enjoying it. Secondly, they have a focus on quality and innovation. And thirdly, we believe that the beers they produce have all the characteristics for their continued success in the wider local and global marketplace.

“We want to see Tuatara achieve its full potential, so we’re not going to mess with a winning formula.

“I have a great deal of respect for what Carl and the team have achieved and we are excited to be able to tap into their craft beer knowledge and experience. The way we see the business developing is relatively simple: we’ll leave it to Tuatara to make great beer. We’ll help get it to more people.”

Unlocking the Tuatara’s full potential

Following a previous round of funding Tuatara has spent the last two years focusing on innovation and increasing brewing capacity in order to break into international markets. Tuatara is currently sold in a number of global markets.

The decision to join DB Breweries was not taken lightly. DB offers greater resource to introduce Tuatara and New Zealand craft beer to a wider domestic and international audience.

Tuatara National Sales Manager, Blair Harley, says, “This is an exciting time for Tuatara. We have made some ground going it alone but with the backing of DB we truly believe we can take Tuatara and Kiwi craft beer to the global stage. We look forward to working together to build more successful trade relationships in the future.”

About Tuatara

One of New Zealand’s largest craft breweries, Tuatara have been in operation since 2000.  They brew authentically crafted beer that has a Kiwi take on traditional and new age styles.

See Tuatara’s Facebook post at

About DB

DB Breweries is one of New Zealand’s leading brewers and cider makers and is well known for its iconic brands both locally and internationally. These are both owned and licensed and include Heineken, Tiger, DB Export, Tui, Monteith’s, Old Mout, Orchard Thieves and Rekorderlig. In 2012, DB became fully owned by The Heineken Company when DB’s former parent company, Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) was acquired by HEINEKEN.

Editorial contact

Allan Botica,, +64 21 400 500


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