As we come to the end of 2018 it’s a good chance to reflect on the year as it comes to an end. 2018 was full of challenges and triumphs.
We started the year with a record-breaking summer that just didn’t want to end and record beer sales to match. Super Alpha, Pilsner and Become the Ocean all flew out the taps in record quantities and in the brewery, we struggled to keep up.
In February we celebrated our 5th birthday with birthday parties in Waikanae, Wellington, Auckland, Hawkes Bay, and Christchurch. The pass the parcel and pinata were a blast.
In May and June we took part in GABS for the first time producing a festive brew Saison du Nectar specifically for the festival. This peach and mango sour saison has gone on to wider release in 330ml cans and kegs and has been one of our best sellers this summer.
This year our Salt and Wood Range barrel program had some setbacks with bottles becoming hard to source and some stubborn wild fermentations messing with our release schedule. As a result, we released our first 750ml bottles with Saison de Terroir, Rhum Visitation and Long Beach’s 10 year anniversary Tripel all getting the champagne treatment. The challenges faced by our barrel program also meant that the Barrel Membership Program had to be paused this year as we didn’t have enough beer to provide for them, the Membership program will be back in force next year. We did, however, grow the amount of beer aging in wood and hope to have more Salt and Wood Range beer than ever hitting the market in 2019. We have the biggest batch of Baby Grand we have ever made due to come out, twice as much gold medal-winning Cuvee de Moor than last year and our first ever blend of 1 2 and 3-year-old spontaneous beer earmarked for release.
We had a great year at the Brewer’s Guild of NZ Beer Awards taking home 1 Gold, 6 Silver and 2 Bronze medals and topping the Beer Diary metrics tables for breweries entering 10 beers or more.
As we look forward to 2019 we are also having to say goodbye to some of our beers. 6 years ago when we started both the beer world and our own company were very different. While some of the beers from back then like Super Alpha have gone from strength to strength others have not kept up and unfortunately, we will be discontinuing Amber, ESB and Yellow Eye. On the bright side, we do have some exciting new beers that will make an appearance in 2019 but we will let you know about them closer to their release.
Towards the end of the year we launched the website you are looking at now and launched our webstore allowing you to buy beer from us direct anywhere in the country, if you can’t find a beer of ours you want in your local shop you can now order it direct and get it shipped anywhere in the NZ.
We also have developed our export business this year with beer moving to both the UK and Australia. In February we will be pouring beer at the Craft Beer Rising Festival in London and doing some collaboration brews around England.
Finally a big thank you and happy new year to all our bar and retail customers, distribution partners, fellow brewers and most importantly to those who buy our beer Cheers!
Team North End