Maurice “Mo” Alderslade of North Canterbury and Graeme James of Papamoa were recently contacted by the people at Moa Beer because they wanted to feature Mo’s Dad (also Maurice, now passed) and Graeme’s Great-Grandfather (one remarkable Samuel Turner, now passed) on their new look packaging.  

You can imagine their surprise.

Mo says he is over the moon that his Dad has found his way onto the side of Moa’s South Pacific IPA six-pack.  “He was a good man, my Dad – salt of the earth, honest, and not a bad word was spoken about him. He enjoyed a good beer too, so we couldn’t ask for anything more fitting.  I’m looking forward to sharing a beer with him again,” he says.

Graeme says he was chuffed that his Great-Grandad will feature on Moa’s Session Pale Ale six and 12-packs.  “I didn’t know very much about him, but Mum often talked about ‘Sammy’.  So when Moa rang me out of the blue to say they would like to use a picture of him on some of their new packaging, and told me a little bit more about him, I was blown away,” Graeme says. 

Sammy was almost one of New Zealand’s forgotten heroes.  He completed the first traverse of Mt Cook in 1906, made the first ascent of Mt Cook alone in 1919, and claimed the world record for skipping in 1911.  “It was wonderful to find out that sort of thing about our family, and to now have it recognized in this way is pretty special,” Graeme says.

Jeremy Meech, Moa's Head of Marketing, says the team spent months going through the National Archives looking for images of people engaged in a range of recognizable and uniquely Kiwi pursuits from an era that references their traditional brewing technique.  “We wanted to raise a glass to those inspirational, hard-working, adventurous New Zealanders whose pioneering deeds helped shape our country and our country’s identity.

“Finding these incredible images was just the beginning.  We then had to track down family members to seek their permission, which is another story altogether,” says Meech.

The new look packaging is one of a number changes the Marlborough-based brewery has made to its range. 

The previously limited release Moa Session Pale Ale has been introduced into its full-time range alongside Moa Original Lager in six-pack open basket and 12-pack formats, the popular Moa Southern Alps White IPA (also previously a limited release) is also being introduced into the full time range; the Estate range will now be available in six-pack open baskets (previously enclosed four-packs); and the brewery’s flagship Reserve Range will be now be available in 500ml bottles with crown cap (previously 375ml cork and cage). 

Josh Scott, Founder of Moa, says the changes were driven by trade and consumer feedback, and emerging trends in both local and overseas craft beer markets.  “We need to continue to adapt in order to meet the demands of a more dynamic and rapidly-evolving beer market.  A lot of the changes were designed to make our products more approachable and to help consumers more easily navigate our diverse range. 

“In some cases we’re changing our product names to better reflect the style of beer, and we’re hoping that adding a couple of extra bottles to our Estate range packs may help relieve some of the tension as BBQ weather settles in as there’s more to share with your mates and less of a need to fiercely protect your precious beer”, Scott says cheekily. 

“We’re really excited about bringing Moa Session Pale Ale into the full time range.  Sales of the limited release 12-pack have been fantastic, and the new look packaging should hopefully make it an even more attractive product,” Scott says.

The process of developing the new look packaging has also inspired Moa to seek out some more great Kiwi stories.  

“When we tracked down the families of the subjects in the pictures, what we discovered were some amazing, forgotten stories out there.  It got us thinking about how many other stories like Sammy’s have been - or are at risk of being - forgotten, so we’re launching a campaign to raise a glass to these and other inspiring Kiwis whose stories are worth sharing,” Scott says.

In late-November Moa will launch a nationwide search for some more great Kiwi stories and images out of the family archives. 

Keep an eye out on www.moabeer.com or www.facebook.com/MOABEER for announcements and more details.