Craft beer is this country’s fastest growing category of beer according to an ANZ research report entitled New Zealand Craft Beer Industry Insights which reveals that off-premise retail sales were up 42 percent last year and the number of New Zealand craft beer brewers has doubled in the last five years.
While beer consumption overall is decreasing, analysis by ANZ reveals that the craft beer segment of the total New Zealand market has grown from nine percent in 2013 to 13 percent of total beer sales.
The appetite for craft beers is not only confined to New Zealand either, with 615 craft breweries opening in the US in 2014 alone and an 18 per cent growth in the craft beer industry in the USA each year for the last two years - with the most popular category being India Pale Ale at 23 per cent of total brands.
Notably, more than a third of New Zealand craft beer brewers surveyed by ANZ are already exporting their brews and a further third have ambitions to do so within two years.
The report notes that exports to Asia have more than doubled in recent years with China being the biggest Asian market for New Zealand craft beers as its rapidly-growing middle class cultivates a taste for these more specialist drops.
Five of New Zealand’s independent and award winning breweries have joined together under one umbrella to take on the UK market with a distribution agent in Britain.
The New Zealand Craft Beer Collective is made up of Wellington brewers Yeastie Boys and Tuatara Breweries; Renaissance Brewing from Blenheim, 8 Wired Brewing Co from Warkworth and Three Boys Brewery from Christchurch.
According to the Brewers Guild NZ there were only three craft breweries in New Zealand in 1980 but in 2015 the ANZ Craft Beer Industry Insights report said there 111 craft breweries operating in the country.
However, a graphic produced with the ANZ report depicts a total of 124 craft breweries with 27 in Auckland/Northland, nine in the Waikato, 19 in the Bay of Plenty, two in Taranaki, six in Gisborne/Hawkes Bay, 17 in Wellington/Wairarapa, 13 in Nelson/Marlborough, two on the West Coast, 19 in Canterbury, seven in Otago and three in Southland.
With more than 100 craft breweries now operating in the market, the types of commercial space being used cover the spectrum from industrial units and semi-rural warehouses through to heritage buildings.
According to the Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand, there are no special health and hygiene requirements for a brewery beyond those for any food production facility required by the local council.
However a prospective brewery will need to comply with current health and safety regulations and with any resource consents around emissions and waste water.
The business will also need to contact the NZ Customs Service about creating a Customs Controlled Area (CCA) and register to pay excise duty. An off-licence or on-licence needs to be sought and gained according to usage.