This 18-month-old New Plymouth brewery is going from strength to strength, beckoning beer lovers from afar to the ‘Naki with its beer, incredible brewpub kai, and brew-gooder approach to sharing its proceeds to support community groups.
If you’re wondering where you’ve heard the name crop up, it may have been the brewery’s third place win at Malthouse’s 2020 West Coast IPA Challenge. Or you may have seen the Shining Peak logo, repping on the shorts of Taranaki’s provincial rugby team (on the bum, if you missed it).
Last year, Shining Peak featured on Beervana’s New Kids On the Block stand, which showcased beers from new/baby breweries. This year, Shining Peak continues to nail the brewing game - and part of that is locking down its own stand at Beervana.
We spoke to Shining Peak Head Brewer, Jesse Sigurdsson, about what punters should expect from Shining Peak beers, a fortuitous Beervana pairing with Mahurangi Oysters and a glimpse into its festival beers (one of which, may contain traces of oysters).
Shining Peak is going to have its own Beervana stall in 2020! How would you describe your beers to someone who hasn't tried them yet?
I'd have to quote our can labels for this one: “We craft fresh brews that prioritise flavour and freshness, while throwing compromise out the window”. Note that we've used the word “fresh” twice there (which was a minor oversight before the labels went off to the printer), but I think a double emphasis on freshness is a great summary of what we're about.
You're partnering with food stall, Mahurangi Oysters, at Beervana, and we hear you're doing an oyster beer. Can you tell us a little more about that?
The beer is actually a Baltic Porter, so it's brewed with a lager yeast in the hope that the flavours and aromatics shine a bit brighter. We spent the morning shucking over 200 Mahurangi oysters, then threw them into the boil along with the shells to try and get as much briney ocean character in as possible.
Are you a fan of oysters? What would you say to people to get them to try your oyster stout?
My oyster obsession has developed later in life. You wouldn't have seen me near one when I was a young lad but now I can't get enough of them. I tend to get pretty excited when I see oysters on a menu. It kind of makes me think that the restaurant knows their stuff, if you know what I mean.
In response to convincing someone to try the beer, I'd tell them it's like the ocean in winter. If someone's fussy about oysters in general though, I'd probably steer them to something other than an oyster beer.
What's Shining Peak's line-up of Festival beers look like this year - what can punters look forward to?
We're just putting the finishing touches on our line-up, but it's looking pretty tidy if you ask me. We have the Oyster Porter and a super fresh Saison that we'll be releasing on the day, along with some of our most popular drops, including our Taranaki Amber - an East India Pale Ale-esque NZ Draught that drinks super clean and smooth.
We'll also be tapping the last keg of our 2019 Bourbon Barrel Aged Vintage Stout which should be a hit. Also, our Hazy Skunk Juice, and our West Coast IPA Challenge bronze medal-winning The Twins IPA will hopefully knock a few socks off. We'll also have an interactive element to our stand that celebrates 'Drinking Beer and Doing Good', so keep an eye out for that!
What are you personally looking forward to at Beervana this year?
This will be the first time we've had a dedicated stand at Beervana, so I'm pretty pumped to introduce what we're about to the Wellington contingent. I'm also really excited to be the new Beervana neighbour of Mahurangi Oysters - I have plans to see how many (dozen) oysters I can get through before the end of the weekend. I haven't actually been to Beervana in about six years so it'll be cool to see how the festival has come along since then. Can't wait to see everyone there!
Beervana takes place on 20-21 November. Grab your crew, and lock in your Beervana tickets! Visit beervana.co.nz.