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Current as of 26/11/14 07:40PM NZST

Moa Beer enters Canadian market

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Moa's marketing manager Sunil Unka (left) and chief executive Geoff Ross (right) enjoy a beer with NZX boss Tim Bennett after the company listed on the NZX in November. Photo / Greg Bowker
Moa's marketing manager Sunil Unka (left) and chief executive Geoff Ross (right) enjoy a beer with NZX boss Tim Bennett after the company listed on the NZX in November. Photo / Greg Bowker

Boutique beer maker Moa, which listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange late last year, has now added Canada to its list of export markets.

At the same time as it looks to cash in on a growing Canadian craft beer market, the Marlborough brewer is continuing its drive into China.

Moa Group said its first container of beer was currently en route to Richmond in British Colombia and would be distributed by a local company Aqua Vita Imports.

General manager Gareth Hughes said Canadian craft beer drinkers, like those in the US, had a thirst for high quality product.

Hughes said the company also had its eyes set on building a profile in high end liquor stores and restaurants in China, through a local distribution partner.

The brewery was this week sending its fourth shipment to China, comprising 1,000 cases.

"There is an emerging sophisticated food and beverage culture in China and we have the right distribution partner to gain share in the luxury beer segment," Hughes said.

"Our strength is the Moa Magnum where the Champagne bottle style and experience counts as a status symbol."

The US craft beer market, which was worth $8.7 billion in 2011, continued to be another major focus for Moa, Hughes said.

The company was finding particular success in Texas, where there was demand for barrel-aged brews and New Zealand hops, he said.

"Outside Texas we're also seeing great results on the east coast.

"New York and New Jersey are competitive markets but Moa is developing a real presence among craft enthusiasts."

Moa's sharemarket float in November raised $16 million, which was being used to expand capacity at its Blenheim brewery.

Shares initially traded at an 8 per cent premium of $1.35 each but have since eased back and were trading at $1.26 this morning.

Moa was now being consumed in 10 countries and its main markets were New Zealand, Australia and the US.

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