Nervous Cumbrian Brewer Matt Clarke Sends Pale Ale Home
Head brewer at Cumbria’s Hawkshead Brewery in England, Whanganui-born Matt Clarke, sent a New Zealand Pale Ale (NZPA) to Wellington for the 21st birthday celebration of renowned bar The Malthouse, as part of the annual New Zealand beer festival, Beervana.
Clarke said: “I am actually very nervous about this. If NZPA arrives on the other side of the world in anything less than a perfect state, I’ll not live it down!”
The brewery is flying the flag for the county after its “thoroughly modern” beer, the Cumbrian Five Hop, scooped a prestigious silver medal award in the Champion Beer of Britain 2014 competition at the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Great British Beer Festival at London’s Olympia.
The annual CAMRA competition is the biggest beer competition in Britain and involves several months of judging by blind tasters throughout the country.
New Zealand hops – varieties like Motueka, Riwaka and Nelson Sauvin – are among the most aromatic, flavoursome and expensive in the world. They are highly sought after and in short supply.
“I am keen on Matt developing this brewing relationship with his home country,” Hawkeshead Brewery director and owner Alex Brodie said. “As New Zealand hops catch on, and supplies get short, it helps ensure we get the hops we need.”
Original article by Anna Smith, The Westmorland Gazette, August 28, 2014.