Craft brewer prepares new avocado beer for Katikati A&P Show

By David Porter -
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Bron and Stu Marshall who own Rocky Knob Brewing Company are experimenting with an avocado beer. Photo / File
Bron and Stu Marshall who own Rocky Knob Brewing Company are experimenting with an avocado beer. Photo / File

The avocado industry has enlisted Stu Marshall of craft brewery Rocky Knob to come up with an avocado-flavoured beer for next month's Katikati A&P Show. However, the "experimental" brew has yet to be put to the taste test.

Mike Swan, marketing manager of avocado company Southern Produce, which is part of export marketing group Avoco, said the idea had come from one of the organising committee members planning the avocado showcase at the event on February 4-5 .

"She'd seen a report of an avocado beer being brewed in California, and there was a bit of information online," he said.

"It is just to help showcase the industry. There's lots of interest in the craft beer industry at the moment. We spoke to Stu and he said he'd give it a crack. But it remains to be seen how it will come out."

Marshall confirmed the new brew was part-way through the fermentation process and would be ready for taste-testing in a week.

"There aren't many beers out there that have been made with avocados and I'm not aware of any having been made in New Zealand."

Marshall said they had developed and tasted the base beer, which is a saison, originating in a French-speaking part of Belgium which is traditionally brewed for seasonal workers.

"The base is light in colour and has a peppery and fruity taste to it," he said. "We've added the avocado and now it's in the fermenting stage."

The brewery is producing just 40 litres as a pilot and the avocado stand will offer A&P visitors free 60ml samples.

"I have told Mike I'm not guaranteeing anything," said Marshall. "It's a completely and utterly experimental beer. But I guess if it's a successful brew we might look at doing a seasonal release."

Craft beer sales nationally surged 35 per cent in 12 months to more than $100 million, according to ANZ's New Zealand Craft Beer Industry Insights report, released last year.

Craft brands now account for 15 per cent of the total beer market, up from nine per cent three years ago. The 168 craft breweries operating across the country are producing more than 1500 unique brews, the report said.

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