Joint venture excites

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United Brewing Company founders Kevin Downie (left) and Chris Montgomery holding some of the Catlins Brewery craft beers while standing next to the jersey of their favourite Dundee United football club they used as inspiration for the name of the company.

THE organisers of Invercargill’s first craft beer festival Hop ‘n’ Vine, Kevin Downie and Chris Montgomery, have established their own United Brewing Company and production of their Needs More Hops beer is under way.

Mr Montgomery said having their own beer had always been something they wanted to do.

“The time and cost involved in establishing a brewing operation was not something we were going to be able to commit to anytime soon, so the opportunity to contract brew with Catlins Brewery and get our beers out to market this year is very exciting,” he said.

Mr Downie said: “Catlins Brewery owner Norman MacLeod has a great set-up and technical expertise as well as an understanding of the brewing process to translate what we want into a physical product. Our beer will be different.”

Craft beer was a growing market in Invercargill, he said.

“Invercargill is a little bit behind the rest of the country when it comes to craft beer, but the people here are catching up really fast.”

They plan to hit the market with their Needs More Hops beer in October.

The Next Hop ‘n’ Vine festival is scheduled for April 7, at ILT Stadium Southland.

“It will be fun to have our own stand at our own festival,” Mr Downie said.

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