A wave of craft beers from New Zealand is hitting UK shores thanks to a new partnership with distributor Bibendum PLB Group.
Instil Drinks Co, part of Bibendum PLB Group, has been appointed UK agent for the New Zealand Craft Beer Collective, which was formed last year to bring beers from various brewers to Britain.
They are Tuatara on the Kapiti Coast, Marlborough-based Renaissance, 8 Wired from Blenheim, Three Boys from Christchurch and Yeastie Boys from Wellington.
Instil will initially import two “hero” beers from each craft brewery in a combination of keg and bottle: Stonecutter Scotch Ale and Voyager IPA from Renaissance; New Zealand Extra Dimensional APA and a Pilsner from Tuatara; iStout and Rewired Unchained from 8 Wired; Oyster Stout and New Zealand IPA from Three Boys; and Gunnamatta IPA and Pot Kettle Black Porter from Yeastie Boys.
They will be showcased at the Craft Beer Rising event at the Old Truman Brewery in east London from February 19 to 22 and hold other events during London Beer Week which runs from February 16 to 22. The first bars to stock the beers include Hop Burns & Black in East Dulwich, south London.
Instil will act as country managers and agents for all of the brands within The Collective while the broader Bibendum PLB Group will distribute core products through its sales channels.
The Collective will also appoint a number of “specialist” craft wholesalers for the more esoteric beers in each brewer’s range, which will be managed by Instil.
The sales strategy will be backed by brand ambassadors who will drive the education of New Zealand Beers with both the trade and consumers.
Stu McKinlay, “head boy” at Yeastie Boys and spokesman for The Collective, said: “Over the last six months we have been working very hard as a group to not only structure the internal workings of a collective, but also engage with potential partners in the UK.
“Working with Instil is a no-brainer for us as they tick all of our boxes. We want to work and invest together to build a category for top-end New Zealand beers in the UK and are very excited about what a company like Instil can offer us as a group.”
Mark Johnson, managing director at Instil, said: “We are very proud to be appointed agents for these great brands which represent a wide range of different styles and innovation within the craft beer industry.
“The Collective is a good fit with what we do and it will allow us to broaden our reach in the craft beer sector. The hype in the UK trade about New Zealand craft is totally justified. All you have to do is look at the awards that these breweries have won over the years to see this.”