Meet the New Zealand Brewers at Belmont Station

New Zealand Brewers - Tuatara Brewing, Parrot Dog, Panhead Custom Ales, Yeastie Boys, and Garage Project
New Zealand Brewers – Tuatara Brewing, Parrot Dog, Panhead Custom Ales, Yeastie Boys, and Garage Project

What is now the new tradition as a part of the Oregon Brewers Festival, each year the festival now features top breweries from a selected country. This began in 2014 when the OBF founder Art Larrance invited brewers from the Netherlands to be part of Oregon’s premier beer festival. This year the festival invited some of these brewers to return along with inviting an entire new group of brewers from New Zealand.

The exchange is a partnership between the Oregon Brewers Festival and Beervana, New Zealand’s preeminent craft beer festival. In August 2014 a select group of Portland brewers travelled to Wellington to attend Beervana. When describing their city’s passion for beer, the folks from Tuatara Brewery say, “It probably helps that we’re based in Wellington where beer appreciation is not so much a cult as a full-blown religion.”

Earlier this week Grow Wellington hosted a reception for the New Zealand brewers’ arrival to Portland. At this event all five breweries poured various beers that each of them shipped over. A few of theses beers are pouring at OBF while others we hope will make their way around town in the coming weeks. There are some fabulous beers being produced in New Zealand.

Angela Brownie at the New Zealand Brewers Reception
Angela Brownie from Grow Wellington at the New Zealand Brewers Reception

Tonight, July 23, Belmont Station has partnered with the Wellington’s Beervana and the 28th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival for a Meet the Kiwi Brewers from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Here one will be able to talk with any of the five brewers from the following five breweries Garage Project Brewery, Panhead Custom Ales, Parrot Dog Brewery, Tuatara Brewery and Yeastie Boys. This will be a rare opportunity to discuss the craft beer scene in New Zealand with all five brewers in attendance all in one location.

Come meet the Kiwi brewers and try the featured beers including:

Plus a few other guests will be in attendance tonight including David Cryer with Cryermalt and Beervana Beer Festival from Wellington, NZ along with Doug Donelan with New Zealand Hops and the Brewers Guild of New Zealand.

Stu McKinlay of Yeastie Boys speaking at the New Zealand Brewers Reception
Stu McKinlay of Yeastie Boys speaking at the New Zealand Brewers Reception

But this is not all that is happening this week while these brewers are here in Portland. Earlier this week the brewers collaborated with five local Portland brewers the brew a beer that us Portlanders will be able to taste in the coming weeks.

Here is a breakdown of the collaborations that took place.

When we spoke to Jos Ruffel from Garage Project, he was very excited to be here in Portland and to brew with a brewing legend John Harris at Ecliptic Brewing. The beer that this duo brewed is a big Pilsner using New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops.

Jos Ruffel of Garage Project speaking at the New Zealand Brewers Reception
Jos Ruffel of Garage Project speaking at the New Zealand Brewers Reception

Mike Neilson of Panhead Custom Ales had the opportunity to brew with Widmer Brothers Brewing at its pilot brewery in the Rose Quarter. The resulting beer from the brew day will be a dry hopped IPA in the 7% ABV range. Fortunately for those in New Zealand, Widmer plans on shipping some kegs back to Neilson’s homeland.

Panhead Custom Ales Hermann Holeshot
Panhead Custom Ales Hermann Holeshot

Parrot Dog Brewery teamed up to brew a beer with Gigantic Brewing on Monday of this week. For an added bonus the two breweries invited Robbert Uyleman of Het Uiltje from the Netherlands. These three breweries teamed up on a 3-way collaboration to produce an India Wheat Lager. Sun Never Sets is the beer’s name and is based on an American Wheat beer using New Zealand hops, German Pilsner Malt, and Czech Pils yeast.

Parrot Dog bottle of  Bitter Bitch
Parrot Dog bottle of Bitter Bitch

The most remarkable story of these collaborations comes from Stu McKinlay of Yeastie Boys. On Sunday while roaming Portland on a bicycle McKinlay took a hard crash on his bike. Brushing it off he never went to the hospital after this crash. Then on Monday morning he arrives at Lompoc Brewing to brew with Bryan Keilty but could barely move his body. Keilty eventually took him to the hospital to find out that McKinlay broke both of his arms. Prior to getting himself checked out at the hospital the two of them brewed Pacific Ale, an unfiltered American Wheat beer using what else, New Zealand hops.

Stu McKinlay of Yeastie Boys and Bryan Keilty of Lompoc at the New Zealand Brewers Reception
Stu McKinlay of Yeastie Boys and Bryan Keilty of Lompoc at the New Zealand Brewers Reception

Come Meet the Kiwis when these five fine brewers are in town during the Oregon Brewers Festival and for a special event on Thursday, July 23 at Belmont Station. If you cannot make it to tonight’s event the Kiwi brewers will still be in town hanging out at OBF through July 26th at Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Its well worth checking out some of the great beer that these brewers are crafting in its ever-growing craft beer scene.

Belmont Station
4500 SE Stark St.
Portland, OR 97215

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