Hawke's Bay lovers of fine craft brews can now sip on fresh ales straight from the brewery in the wake of two craft beer devotees setting up an online marketplace which they have appropriately called Beerhug.
Adam Prentice and Dan Phillips have been working on setting up a "fresh taste on beer retailing" for some time and on October 7 they stepped up and launched it.
"We want to help awesome New Zealand craft breweries get their beers into beer lovers' hands, and mouths, in the best possible condition," Prentice said.
"It all starts with taste — fresh beer simply tastes better and there's a big gap in the market for a retailer that can deliver on this fresh promise day in and day out."
Co-founder Phillips said the "traditional journey" from a brewery to a consumer's fridge typically involved warehousing and a few weeks, or even months, on a retailer's shelf.
"It's not a process built for enjoying beer at its best ... all those amazing craft beer flavours that brewers create and people love can dull with time."
It is generally accepted that craft beer, which isn't typically pasteurised, can lose some of its vibrancy after about four weeks and that process can speed up through being stored in warm places or under bright lights and multiple handling.
So they created Beerhug.co.nz
"Selling and delivering beer based on its date of birth is a global first — it's pretty exciting," Prentice said.
"We're offering an amazing selection of beers, always changing, all shipped direct from the breweries, all on the one site."
Phillips added that new beers would be added daily as brewers released their very latest ales.
Beerhug had drawn in a wide range of craft brewers including Sawmill, Urbanaut, 8-Wired, Hallertau and ParrotDog, and part of the mix would be the inclusion of exclusive releases.
"That's the joy of this platform — an amazing range of beers from a bunch of great brewers and all super fresh and all in one place."
Phillips said each brewery would deliver direct "so you won't get hit with multiple shipping charges even if you're buying from breweries in Hastings, Auckland or Wellington".