Brewing up awards in the Bay of Plenty – Meet Tammy, head brewer at Mata

Brewing up awards in the Bay of Plenty – Meet Tammy, head brewer at Mata

An overseas experience – or OE – is a rite of passage for many New Zealanders. And, for Mata – Aotearoa Brewing’s owner and head brewer - Tammy Viitakangas – it was life-chaning. It was the first step in her beer and brewing journey which has now seen Mata move into its new home in Whakatāne . In late 2017, Tammy opened a new brewery and a tasting room, and in 2018 she brewed a stream of award-winning beers, including the Trophy winning Cola Cuz.

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Fork Brewing: Champion Small New Zealand Brewery 2018

Fork Brewing: Champion Small New Zealand Brewery 2018

The team from Fork and Brewer might have been the only ones in Wellington surprised about being awarded Champion Small New Zealand Brewery at the 2018 Brewers’ Guild Awards. Head Brewer Kelly Ryan is known and loved in the brewing community and has 18 years’ worth of experience under his belt. The brewery was a top pick by many. It’s one of the great places we visit on our beer tours.

We spoke with Kelly and part-owner Colin Mallon about the background to Fork and Brewer / Fork Brewing / Fork Brew Corp; winning their champion brewery award; their new branding; and the things they were most looking forward to into the future.

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New Zealand's own Beer Baroness

New Zealand's own Beer Baroness

Ava Nakagawa is a familiar face in the New Zealand beer scene, and the hospitality scene in Christchurch. She owns a brewery that produces her Beer Baroness beers. She also manages Pomeroy’s freehouse and its delightful Bed and Breakfast, along with Little Poms Café.

We took some time to talk with Ava about how she manages so many successful businesses and a busy family life. And, we asked her about things beer and brewing.

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Happy birthday Heyday Brewing Co

Happy birthday Heyday Brewing Co

On 24 November, Heyday Beer Company turns one. We took some time to chat with founding owners, Hannah Blackwood, and brewer, Sam Whitney, about the lead up to opening the brew pub and all things beer.

 Heyday is just one of the great Wellington brew pubs we visit on our Craft Beer College Walking Tours. They are perfectly located at 246A Cuba St, and open from 11am daily until late.

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