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Christchurch brewery wins prestigious title at World Beer Awards

This post originally appeared on Newshub, August 31 2019

One of the most prestigious global beer competitions has awarded a Christchurch brewery a told accolade for its Stout Beer. 

Cassels and Sons Brewing Company took out the top award in the stout category with its milk stout at the World Beer Awards, propelling the business onto an international stage. 

“There’s quite a few beer awards around these days, but the World Beer Awards is the truly global awards and one of the most prestigious in the world at the moment,” brewer Simon Bretherton.

Judged for its balance, lack of faults and of course, drinkability. 

The milk stout is a blend of espresso coffee, dark chocolate and lactose. The x-factor, though, is their team. 

“To be honest, I was really happy for the brewing team. The brewing team work incredibly hard and are a passionate bunch of people that take the brewing of quality beer really seriously, so for them to win an award like this is amazing,” Bretherton said.

Cassels and Sons Brewery was born when Alistair Cassels taught his sons how to brew on holiday in the Malborough Sounds.

“We actually ground the malt up with a coffee grinder that we blew up several times and we made a lager, and it was beautiful, really beautiful and I think it inspired a few of them to go a bit further and shortly after that we started our brewery,” said Cassels.

It’s come a long way since then. Business is booming for Cassels and Sons, last summer they were at capacity, so this year they’ve had to buy six more tanks to meet demand.

Already exporting to the UK, they have plans to expand into the lucrative Chinese market. 

“Our plan is really to be international brewers and we can’t do that unless we have international recognition. We have to enter awards and we have to win them. It’s as simple as that,” said Cassels.

One step closer to the big time for this Christchurch boutique brewery.

An additional two bottled beers will be launched in spring. Cassels said the company would continue to sell draught beer, but access to off- the-shelf sales was vital in the competitive craft beer market. “There’s about 400 supermarkets in New Zealand and about 60 per cent of craft beer sold in bottles sells in those stores, so it’s very important to be in them”. Cassels said he was personally funding the expansion which could see staff go from nine to about 30. The brewery’s location at Cassel’s Tannery shopping and entertainment complex in Woolston was ideal for public tours, he said, and that was something he would like to develop down the track. The opening of a new cruise berth would see large cruise vessels due to return to Lyttelton in late 2019 and Cassels said the short bus ride from the port would make brewery visits an attractive option for passengers.

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