10 questions for three breweries turning 10

To celebrate these beloved Kiwi breweries turning 10 this year, Beervana threw 10 questions - one for each year - to Parrotdog, Garage Project and Cassels Brewing, who will all be celebrating their decade milestones at Beervana 2021

The three Matts, Matt Stevens, Matt Kristofsky and Matt Warner at Beervana 2011 when their first ever batch of BitterBitch was awarded People’s Choice Award.

Matt Warner, Co-Owner, Head Brewer, One of the three Matts at Parrotdog

Most popular beer over the last 10 years?

Birdseye Hazy IPA.

Most weirdest beer over the last 10 years? 

DogBone (Beervana 2012 festival beer entry) - a Brown Ale brewed with cooked lamb bones and served with a rosemary twig.

Biggest achievement? (Yes, we know there's lots - please pick one!) 

First crowdfunding equity raise (Beervana 2016) $2m raised in 48 hours.

What's changed the most at Parrotdog since you've started? 

The depth of wonderful humans involved across the whole company now. 

Tell us a brewery fact that people may not necessarily know about Parrotdog.  Pandemonium Pilsner is an ale.

What are your hopes for the next 10 years? 

To become NZ’s most trusted beer and brewery. 

What was the hardest moment/biggest challenge in the last 10 years? 

Growing into the new brewery capacity at the Lyall Bay site.

What’s your fave Beervana memory? 

First ever batch of BitterBitch being awarded People’s Choice Award at Beervana 2011.

What are you brewing to celebrate your 10th birthday? 

Matt (Mosaic Lager), Matt (Hazy IPA) and Matt (Bright IPA) - three styles that we have loved brewing over the years, brewed with our favourite ingredients  which have been selected out of our other recipes.

If I wasn't brewing, I'd.... 

Catch fish, bake bread, grow veges… and brew beer.

Garage Project - Pete Gillespie & Jos Ruffell

Pete Gillespie, Head Brewer at Garage Project

Most popular beer over the last 10 years? 

Tricky question… Biggest seller, Hāpi Daze. Highest rated, Sunrise Valley. In-house fave, probably Party & Bullshit.

Weirdest beer brewed over the last 10 years? 

Another tricky question for Garage Project! Probably Umami Monster, brewed with kombu seaweed and Katsuobushi (Japanese dried fermented fish).

Biggest achievement? (Yes, we know there's lots - please pick one!)

Loads, but my personal favourite would have to be being asked to do a collab with brewing legends, Sierra Nevada.

What's changed the most at Garage Project since you've started?

Considering we started with a 50 litre brew kit and a couch - quite a lot! Probably all the people - we started with just me working full time in the Garage, but over the years GP's gravitational force has drawn in loads of cool people. It feels like a real whānau.

Tell us a brewery fact that people may not necessarily know about Garage Project? 

In the 10 years that we've been going we've had four Garage Project babies - and there are more on the way.

What are your hopes for the next 10 years?

That Garage Project will continue to grow while staying true to the values that have always driven us.

What was the hardest moment/biggest challenge in the last 10 years? 

Honestly? Probably the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020, and the possibility that people might lose their jobs; then, one of the highlights being managing to avoid that and moving forward with our whole team intact.

What’s your fave Beervana memory? 

The look on drinkers' faces when we've put one of our festival beers down in front of them. Space bubbles, layered beers, two tap nitro coffee brews - a lot of hard work goes into making them, but that look of joy makes it all worthwhile.

What are you brewing to celebrate your 10th birthday? 

We've got three special brews: a double dry hopped edition of Pernicious Weed, a hazy IIPA with ten different hop additions, and a cheeky barrel aged Bruery collab we've been saving for the occasion. You're only ten once ; ) 

If I wasn't brewing, I'd....

…be living out in the bush somewhere, planting trees, and taking a relaxed approach to clothing. 

Zak Cassels and the Cassels Brewing team, including his dad, Alasdair Cassels.

Zak Cassels, Co-Owner & Brewer at Cassels Brewing

Most popular beer over the last 10 years?

Our most glorious world’s best Milk Stout!

Most weirdest beer over the last 10 years?

Braggot was well out there by our standards – a medieval inspired honey based beer, little seen in modern times.

Biggest achievement? (Yes, we know there's lots - please pick one!)

Winning Best in the World would need to be up there (World Beer Awards, London 2019, Trophy for World’s Best Stout & Porter). 

What's changed the most at Cassels Brewing since you've started?

Scale – we started as a small operation that was just myself, my brother-in-law Joe, and Dad, and are now an 85 strong operation with staff nationwide.

Tell us a fact about Cassels Brewing that people may not necessarily know about?

2021 celebrates the 10th anniversary of opening our brewbar, post-Canterbury earthquakes. We first started brewing in 2009, after a brewing epiphany at the family bach in the Marlborough Sounds.

What are your hopes for the next 10 years?

To continue to grow, whilst remaining family-owned and true to our roots.

What was the hardest moment/biggest challenge in the last 10 years?

Keeping up with production, whilst keeping the team together and rowing in the same direction.

What’s your fave Beervana memory?

The time we arrived, but our stand didn’t – so we built a new one on the day, and it was awesome!

What are you brewing to celebrate your 10th birthday?

Our wild and wonderful new Art Series, that has allowed our resident artist, Scott Jackson, to go wild with 440ml can artwork…

If I wasn't brewing, I'd....

Dabbling in poetry and planting native trees.

Beervana, New Zealand’s premier celebration of Good Beer, is held at Sky Stadium in Wellington on 13-14 August. Grab your tickets now at beervana.co.nz

Beervana is proudly presented by Liquorland.