Eagle Brewing’s Dave Gaughan is the latest Kiwi brewer to join JD Wetherspoon’s International Craft Beer Showcase.
Dave’s a good Yorkshireman, and had tried some of Adnams’ brews before he emigrated to New Zealand. “Yeah I used to drink their beer. I think the most famous one they do is called Broadside (pale ale 4.5%). Ghost Ship (pale ale 4.5%) is another one. Up in Yorkshire you didn’t see it a lot, other than bottles in supermarkets. English breweries are quiet localised. But Adnams do about 10ML a year so it’s not all sold on their door step.”
The Eagle/Adnams collaboration will be a summer blonde ale called Ar Reet (4.4%). “My late mother was Rita, 'Ar Reet' is Yorkshire slang for 'Our Rita'. It’s a blonde ale and hopped with New Zealand Cascade and Motueka, that’s the plan anyway. We’ll be making about 76,000L by my calculations – that’s more than I brew in a year!” Ar Reet will be sold in JD Wetherspoon pubs in the UK and Ireland.
Dave joins a respected bunch of Kiwi brewers who have taken part in the Wetherspoon Showcase, including Brew Moon's Belinda Gould, Epic’s Luke Nicholas, Fork Brewing’s Kelly Ryan, and Yeastie Boys’ Stu McKinlay. "With me coming here from England, then learning to brew in New Zealand and opening my own brewery, I think Wetherspoons liked that story."
Despite a tight schedule, Dave plans to catch up with Stu while he’s in the UK. “I’ll make sure I catch up with Stu one way or another. He’s releasing the collaboration he made with Fullers on the day that I leave, so it might be worth a detour to check that one out before I head to Heathrow. It might be a bit mad but I’m sure it’s doable.”
Dave is brewing in the week before our Beervana festival – brewing Monday and Tuesday, having a beer with Stu McKinlay, flying out on Tuesday night. “I land back here on Thursday morning, then Thursday afternoon I’m on another flight straight to Wellington for Beervana. Be gentle with me – I’ll probably be a little bit worse for wear!”
Eagle’s Beervana stand is featuring its core beer range, plus four new beers – one at each Beervana session – brewed in blink-and-you'll miss-it 20L batches.
“It’s been a big year for us really. We’ve taken over the Eagle vs Dog brewery, rebranded, won about 10 medals, and for me this is like the icing on the cake, being able to go back to England and brew with an outfit like Adnams.”