"Whisky Beer" awarded BrewNZ Trophy for Innovation

Published: Mon 8 Aug 2011 10:57 AM
"Whisky Beer" awarded BrewNZ Trophy for Innovation
Postmodern craft brewing company the Yeastie Boys have been rewarded for their conceptual approach to brewing by being presented the Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand 2011 BrewNZ Awards.
Rex Attitude - the world's first single-malt, peat-smoked golden ale (or "whisky beer") - was launched amid a barrage of worldwide press in April 2011 and quickly went on to become the Yeastie Boys fastest selling beer ever. The use of 100% heavily-peated Scottish distilling malt, a world first, results in an innocuous-looking golden ale that is one of the smokiest and most polarising beers ever released.
"Being recognised for Rex Attitude at BrewNZ has helped make all the hard work over the last year worthwhile" said a wildly grinning Sam Possenniskie, Yeastie Boys' Directive Creator. "Winning any award, for any beer, is a fantastic achievement but this trophy is one step beyond. It's direct recognition, from our peers in the industry, that our entire process and brewing ethic is changing the landscape of craft beer. It's even more exciting given that the last couple of years have probably been the most exciting and innovative in the history of brewing in New Zealand."
Creating Rex Attitude went far beyond the months of receipe development with the Yeastie Boys enduring an anxious 4 months wait between unveiling their trial beer in late 2010 and being able to brew the commercial version. "This type of peated malt is usually used in such small quantities that only a few hundred kilograms are held in New Zealand... but we wanted 2 tonnes of the stuff!" laughed Yeastie Boy's 'Peat Professor' Stu McKinlay, "Waiting for that malt to ship out from Scotland was a bit like waiting for the birth of a baby. We'll be forever grateful to our malt supplier for working hard to make it happen."
Respected beer judge and writer Kieran Haslett-Moore, of specialist liquor retailer Regional Wines and Spirits, nominated the beer for the trophy: "Rex Attitude has not only carved a whole new beer style for itself but has also potentially carved a whole new retail category." said Mr Haslett-Moore. "Rex Attitude has appealed not just to craft beer drinkers but has had significant traction amongst the single malt drinking community. As a product it certainly straddles the dividing line between beer and malt whisky."
Despite its polarising smoky character, the beer has been so successful that the Yeastie Boys have just received another 2 tonne shipment of the special malt they use for the beer.
About Yeastie Boys: Yeastie Boys is the multiple award-winning brewing brainchild of notorious beerhunter Sam Possenniskie and award-winning homebrewer Stu McKinlay. These beer activists are no strangers to bucking trends and burst onto the scene in the winter of 2008 with their style-bending ale Pot Kettle Black.
"PKB", as it is affectionately known, subsequently went on to win its class (Stouts and Porters) at BrewNZ 2009 and the People's Choice award at the accompanying Beervana festival. It was the first (and remains the only) beer to have won two trophies at BrewNZ in a single year.
About The Morton Coutts Trophy: The Morton Coutts Trophy for Innovation is a Brewers Guild of New Zealand award presented to a brewery that has clearly demonstrated a high level of innovation over the last 12 months and which, through that innovation, has contributed positively to the beer industry in New Zealand. A panel of independent industry personalities with brewing backgrounds - including knowledge of technical areas - look for recipients who demonstrate “something special” that involves fresh thinking around an existing process or new concept.

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