Beer lovers in the Top of the South have long been spoiled when it comes to craft beer production.
Our region was one of the first to determinedly look beyond New Zealand’s bland, big-brand beer stranglehold, and instead explore and enthusiastically embrace something far more exciting – lovingly created mouth-satisfying real beers and ales.
In this pursuit no local name rings louder than Sprig & Fern.
Since 2009 Sprig & Fern Brewery and taverns have consistently delivered their exceptional range of expertly crafted beers – thirst quenchers that perfectly match the sunny laid-back lifestyle of this blessed part of the country.
Today there are 15 products in Sprig & Fern’s core range, plus a Nitro tap and two limited-release beers at any one time.
New 888ml glass bottles
Now the award-winning brewery is releasing a craft beer selection in all-new 888ml glass packaging. The beautifully designed bottles will be available in eight-bottle cases from this month.
“Our customers have asked us for a competitively priced, larger, re-sealable glass bottle,” says Lee Brown, Sprig & Fern’s general manager. “We believe, as leaders in our industry, we have a role to play in providing a glass alternative to our PET range.
“It’s important to us that we are responding to environmental sustainability – glass is the world’s most natural and sustainable packaging.”
Award-winning design update
The new selection is resplendent in Sprig & Fern’s 2017 brand makeover, which saw the company’s long-established black and white imaging embrace colour, with each beer on offer given a different colour representation created by award-winning New Zealand artist Gina Kiel.
“It was challenging to change things up visually but the end result was really pleasing,” says Lee. “Each design is now an experience for our customers, where they can discover key flavour elements in the swirling patterns that reflect the particular beer within.”
For example, Tasman Reserve is described as ‘bold and bountiful’, and the labelling is just that, featuring metallic gold outlines of Abel Tasman, the Bounty, hops, crowns, natural women and more.
“We understand the importance of shelf appeal – after all, a beer should look as good as it tastes,” says Lee. “We were delighted when our new look was recognised with a 2018 Brewers Guild of New Zealand packaging trophy.”
Exciting new releases
Master brewer and Sprig & Fern Brewery owner Tracy Banner is equally excited by the move into the distinctive 888ml glass range. “This move allows our products to continue to develop in presentation,” she says, “and the larger glass bottles enable us to push boundaries in terms of recipe development, to meet evolving consumer palates.”
The new packaging release coincides with the release of two new products in the range: a Dry Hopped Pilsner and West Coast I.P.A.
“The Dry Hopped Pilsner is a classic style with a true Pilsner crisp finish,” says Tracy, “while our West Coast I.P.A. lives up to the reputation of brewers on the USA’s West Coast for really pushing the hop envelope.”
It is obvious that innovation remains at the forefront of Sprig & Fern’s thinking, and that the company’s determination to elevate craft beer to ever greater heights continues to brew away happily.