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SOURS LEAVE SWEET TASTE IN MOUTH FOR MOA

SOURS LEAVE SWEET TASTE IN MOUTH FOR MOA

A hark back to brewing the way it was 7,000 years ago has seen Moa Brewing Co. take away three awards for its sour beers at the Australian International Beer Awards in Melbourne last night.

Moa’s Sour Grapes 2014 Vintage and Cherry Sour 2013 Vintage each scored a silver in the 'Other Belgian/French Style Ale' category to pip offers from Italy to the US and even China. Moa’s Sour Blanc 2012 Vintage was then awarded a bronze in the 'Best Belgian/French Style Ale' section otherwise dominated exclusively by Belgian beers. 

A further six gongs were tallied up across the evening via variants from the brewery’s diverse range, totaling nine awards across the evening.

The AIBA, conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), is the largest annual beer competition in the world assessing both packaged and draught beer. 

Sour beers have an intentionally acidic and tart taste to them, made by allowing wild or naturally occurring yeast strains into the brew.  The result is most akin to how beer was brewed naturally some 7,000 years ago.

“We’ve been working on our sour program for six years now, and we’re really pleased at how the beers have developed over the last few years in particular.  With sours being the hot category in the US craft scene right now, it’s fantastic to get some kudos that we’re delivering some world class beers,” says head brewer David Nicholls.

New Zealand brewer’s growing reputation for excellence was highlighted by ParrotDog, Epic, Lion and DB picking up trophies, with ParrotDog also picking up the title of Champion Small International Brewery.

The full Moa medal haul is as follows:

  • Silver - Moa Sour Grapes 2014 Vintage (Other Belgian/French style Ale)
  • Silver - Moa Cherry Sour 2013 (Other Belgian/French style Ale)
  • Silver - Moa Southern Alps White IPA (Best Wheat Beer)
  • Silver - Moa Rum Barrel Quad (Wood Aged - Best Specialty Beer) 
  • Bronze - Moa Original Lager (Best Australian Style Lager)
  • Bronze - Moa South Pacific IPA (Intl. Pale Ale) 
  • Bronze - Moa Festive IPA Red Edition (American Style - Best IPA) 
  • Bronze - Moa Sour Blanc 2012 Vintage (Best Belgian/French style Ale)
  • Bronze - Moa Tripel Sauvignon 2014 Vintage (Other Specialty Beer)

The full list of winners can be found by clicking here.

FROM BOOTLEG BREWER TO NEW ZEALAND'S FIRST CERTIFIED CICERONE

FROM BOOTLEG BREWER TO NEW ZEALAND'S FIRST CERTIFIED CICERONE

Josh Scott is not your typical winemaker. It is not often that a person qualified in viticulture absconds to the Napa Valley by way of France to study winemaking techniques and returns with intel that he uses to create premium beer.

 

It is also not every day that someone who has dedicated their life to alcohol completes six Coast to Coast multisport races, the most recent of which was clocked just last month (placing him 20th overall in the competition).

 

And it is even more unlikely to somehow manage to train for these multisport races and concurrently sample 1,000 beers from all around the world in a bid to become New Zealand’s first qualified Cicerone (a Sommelier of the beer world).

 

But that’s exactly what Josh Scott did and has done.

 

When Josh Scott laid down his first commercial brew on 13 June 2003, Moa Brewing Co. was born.  Back then you could count the number of craft breweries in New Zealand on one hand.  Now there are over 100 and growing by the week.

 

The son of renowned Marlborough winemaker Allan Scott, Josh’s interest in all things liquid can be traced back much further than his wine studies and subsequent travels to a bootleg wine/raro mix operation he was running out of boarding school. Back then he was the go-to for rocket-fuelled party starters that impressed his comrades based on potency rather than palette.  And it appears Josh is even more surprised than his Dad to fast forward to 2015 and find himself responsible for the 13-year strong Moa Brewing Co., with  its focus on producing super premium handcrafted beers that (following his qualifications in winemaking) have at their roots a winemaker’s approach to brewing.

 

Moa’s Estate and Reserve range of beers are 100 per cent bottle conditioned. This is a secondary fermentation in bottle in line with the way Champagne is made. This traditional technique naturally carbonates the beer (rather than adding CO2 like you do with a SodaStream maker), significantly enhances shelf life and longevity, creates dynamic and complex flavours that change over time (like a good wine), and gives the brews an elegant, champagne-like mouth feel.

 

Today Josh is at the forefront of the craft scene, and is the only qualified Certified Cicerone in New Zealand.

 

The Cicerone program was developed in 2010 as a way to recognise the complexities and extent of the beer market in much the same way as professional sommeliers and the ‘Master of Wine’ program has.

 

Growing up in a winemaking family, Josh was no stranger to the term ‘Master of Wine’, a three year study and gruelling course based out of London.  When his friends in brewing circles began talking of the same deal for beer, called a Cicerone, his ears pricked up.  With three levels – a Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone and a Master Cicerone – the mix of theory, tasting and education hones in on what makes a good beer good, then uses that knowledge to improve all facets of the beer-drinking experience.

 

Studying for a full year before having the nous to reach his certification, Josh has already been tested on everything from the proper way to pour a beer to the anatomy of a hop plant. About 3,500 people have passed the beer server exam (level 1), and only 200 (a 30 per cent pass rate) have achieved the Certified Cicerone status he sat in January, where he gained a 99 per cent score in the tasting section. 

 

“I tasted some 1,000 beers in the lead up to the exam, forking out hundreds of dollars per week importing exotic beers from all corners of the world and tasting, photographing and documenting my own personal notes in anticipation of the blind tasting. It was of course Murphy’s Law that the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that tripped me up from scoring a perfect 100 in the tastings was what I call my epiphany beer, the one that propelled me to pursue brewing in the first place,” says Scott.

 

Perfect scores aside, Josh is excited to continue the program and become one of only a dozen beer wizards worldwide who have made the cut as a Master — a person who can legitimately claim to know almost all there is about various beer styles, proper serving procedures, beer pairings and the rest.

 

“Beer’s not just for guzzling.  The Master Cicerone will be my driver for 2015. My biggest strength is my palate and thankfully this has the largest weighting in the Masters.  Although the stakes are as high as the fail rate, on the plus side, it’s not every day that you’re encouraged to drink in class,” he finishes.

 

Josh will sit the final Cicerone Master test in November.


About Cicerone

The Cicerone Certification Program certifies and educates beer professionals in order to elevate the beer experience for consumers.

Founded by Ray Daniels in August 2007, the Cicerone Certification Program was initiated to identify those with significant knowledge and professional skills in beer sales and service. As the wine world has their designated expert term, “sommelier”, beer expertise can now be recognised by Cicerone certification.

The Cicerone program has three levels as follows:

 

1. Certified Beer Server

A 60-question multiple choice exam, administered online requiring competent knowledge of beer storage and service issues as well as modest knowledge of beer styles and culture.

 

2. Certified Cicerone®

A written exam with short answer and essay questions, a tasting session and a demonstration component. Those who reach this certification have a deep and well-rounded knowledge of beer and beer service as well as competence in assessing beer quality and identity by taste. They have excellent knowledge of modern beers and styles, beer history and historical styles. They also have good understanding of beer ingredients and familiarity with the variations of brewing processes plus knowledge of beer pairing principles and the ability to recommend reasonable beer pairings for common foods.

 

3. Master Cicerone

The certification for Master Cicerones includes a two-day examination including multiple written, oral and tasting components. The written component consists of essay questions to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their knowledge in each section of the Master Syllabus.  Oral examinations are conducted by industry experts and often involve hands-on demonstrations of knowledge. Taste assessments will include sampling a broad range of off-flavours, blind assessment of beer styles and advanced assessment of beer acceptance.

Those who attain this final Cicerone certification possess widespread knowledge of beer and highly refined tasting ability. Master Cicerones® demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of all issues related to brewing, beer and beer service. A Master Cicerone must have theoretical and hands-on knowledge of draft systems and a mastery of beer styles by engaging in advanced tasting experience and also food-pairing practice. They are able to describe beer flavours using specific terms that accurately describe its full range of flavour.

www.cicerone.org

RAISING A GLASS TO THE NEW LOOK MOA RANGE.

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.

MOA LUCK OF THE IRISH FOR NEW ZEALAND BREWER IN DUBLIN CRAFT BEER CUP

Moa Brewing Company struck Irish gold with the biggest medal haul of any brewery worldwide at the Dublin Craft Beer Cup held over the weekend.  Moa picked up a total of seven medals – one gold, four silvers and two bronze – to beat over 80 other breweries from around the world.  The timing could not have been any better with Moa’s first shipment to Ireland only weeks away from hitting the water.

“It’s great to see our beers continue to feature at the sharp end of beer competitions all over the world, especially given the likes of Anchor Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewing, Flying Dog, Left Hand and other highly regarded American breweries entered beers into these awards”, says Moa Head Brewer, David Nicholls.

“We’re also chuffed to have some other New Zealand breweries sharing in the spoils with Schippers Brewing Company picking up three silvers and a bronze, Invercargill Brewery a bronze, and our good friends down the road, Renaissance, also picking up a silver”, added Moa Founder, Josh Scott.

Danish brewery Coisbo claimed the highly coveted trophy for best beer with their Russian Imperial Stout.

The Moa medal haul includes:

Gold

  • Moa Noir (Lager – Styles of European/German Origin)

Silver

  • Moa Pale Ale (Ale – New World Style Ale)
  • Moa St Josephs (Ale – Styles of Belgian and French Origin)
  • Moa Southern Alps (Ale Other)
  • Moa Royal (Ale – Other)

Bronze

  • Moa Five Hop (Ale – Styles of British Origin)
  • Imperial Stout (Other)

The full list of awards can be found here.

SHANE WARNE AND MOA BREWING COMPANY CRAFT ‘99 NOT OUT’ PARTNERSHIP

Legendary Australian cricketer, Shane Warne, has embarked on an exclusive collaboration in the development of a new Pale Ale with the Moa Brewing Company (“Moa”).

This new partnership marks Warne’s first foray into the craft beer market, and is the result of a dedicated and intensive hands on period of exploration and development with Moa.


Sporting a bold and striking label, the name – 99 Not Out SKW Pale Ale (“99 Not Out”) – is a play on the infamous innings of Warne when Australia played New Zealand back in Perth in 2001.

 
 

Caught out on 99 by Mark Richardson at deep mid-wicket while going for a slog sweep off the bowling of Daniel Vettori, the result robbed Warne of achieving his maiden Test century. Unfortunately for Warne, the umpire had not picked up Vettori’s ‘no ball’ for over stepping in an era before the advent of high performance cameras and the umpire decision review system. Unaware of the injustice at the time of the dismissal, Warne still carries the scars of coming so close only to be denied in the cruellest of circumstances in the form of an unwanted record – most Test runs without a Test century.

“The story makes the Warne legend even stronger, and when the collaborative opportunity was first discussed 99 Not Out was a naming opportunity too good to refuse, especially given the great on-field rivalry between Australia and New Zealand”, said Josh Scott, the Founder of Moa.

“99 Not Out is a sessionable ‘new world’ style Pale Ale of 5% alcohol. Hopped with New Zealand Kohatu and Cascade hops, it displays spicy / earthy hop notes, a strong malt backbone, and a nicely balanced bitterness.”

“We’re really proud of the end product. Fundamentally, it’s a great craft beer, bottle fermented and conditioned in the Moa style, and to Shane’s credit he wasn’t shy about his opinion on the style and what he wanted.  He worked closely with our Master Brewer David Nicholls to create a quality beer that was crisp, dry and elegantly savoury. The objective was to create the perfect beer for summer and we believe we’ve created something special”, added Scott.

“To create your own beer and to be able to make it up exactly how you like it is pretty exciting. It’s really important that you have something that you believe in. I believe in this. This is fantastic, and I’m hoping everyone else will like it too”, said Warne.

99 Not Out will be available in a classic 330ml bottle (boxed sets of four available) around Australia in leading off- premise (retail) outlets Dan Murphy’s from mid/late December, followed by BWS in January 2014. In addition, selected ALH Group on-premise venues (bars, clubs and pubs) such as Archer Hotelin North Adelaide, Stones Corner Hotel in Queensland and Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel in Sydney will start pouring 99 Not Out from 4 December 2013.

MOA GETS BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

Everyone loves a surprise when you’re celebrating your birthday.  And for Kiwi craft brewer Moa, the anniversary has been feted with more international honours for the mantelpiece.

For the third year running, Moa has hauled in the most awards of any New Zealand brewery at the fourth annual Asia Beerfest in Singapore. And the icing on the cake?  The medals were handed out on June 13, the same day the Marlborough brewery celebrated its 10th anniversary but made official today.

The big award went to the Marlborough brewer’s Moa St Josephs beer which, in addition to picking up a Gold, was also judged Best Australasian beer.  Moa St Josephs is a classic, very approachable and drinkable Belgian Tripel.

Moa-St-Josephs_Best-Beer-in-Australasia1-610x813.jpg

Altogether Moa picked up three Golds, one Silver, one Bronze and a Trophy in a field of more than 600 beers contesting the 2013 awards.  All entries are blind tasted by a panel of international judges.

Moa won Gold for its Moa St Josephs, Moa Noir and Weka Apple Cider in the Australasian Cider category. Weka also nabbed a Silver in the International Cider Category while Moa Pale Ale was awarded a Bronze medal.

“Asia Beerfest is becoming more and more competitive every year so to maintain our record there and bring home so many medals is fantastic and reinforces the outstanding quality of beers coming out of our brewery. It also proves again how well our beers travel, Singapore being on the equator there is no harder market to maintain beer quality”, says Moa general manager Gareth Hughes.

“The fact is entry numbers have almost doubled to more than 600 in only two years so it’s a big pat on the back to the team.”

Moa Head Brewer David Nicholls says he’s particularly rapt that Moa Noir has been recognised.

“I’m really chuffed we picked up the gong for Moa St Josephs, but Moa Noir is a bloody good beer and most people do not understand the style. Dark lagers are the poor cousins to golden-pale lagers, yet the dark beers have richer, more complex flavours.”

Moa founder Josh Scott says product quality is everything.  “We never take lightly just how important the quality of our product is to the success of the business. And it is great to see the quality of our beers recognized yet again on the international stage.”

Moa Noir is a traditionally brewed, bottle conditioned European-style dark lager with an abundance of distinct aromas and flavours.

Weka cider is made from Nelson-grown apples. Fermented with French Oak at cool temperatures to preserve the fruit flavours and crispness on the palate, Weka Apple Cider has a typical green apple aroma and the clean refreshing taste is finished nicely with medium sweetness.

The Asia Beerfest this year was a bit of a prize-fest for Kiwi breweries, Hughes says with McCashins Brewery picking up Gold medals for their Stoke Lager, Stoke Pilsner and Bohemian Ale, and two Bronze medals for their 2 Stoke and Rochdale Apple Cider, and Tuatara picked up a Bronze for their Tuatara Pilsner.

Since 2011 Moa has won 17 Gold, 17 Silver and 27 Bronze medals in international and national beer festivals.