Humble home brewing beginnings have seen a couple of old schoolmates take out a top spot in the latest beer awards.
And it was one of Jaden Hatwell and Fraser Graafhuis of Bootleg Brewing's original beers which has cemented its place in the top 30 of New World's Beer and Cider Awards.
Their T-Straight Burnout Smokey Stout is also one of only two stouts to feature in the top 30.
The win was exciting for the pair, whose Matangi brewery is set up in an old dairy factory but is growing fast. They now have four other co-owners on board, including two of Graafhuis' siblings, Simon and Natalie, friend Nick Binnie and brewer Elton Ward.
Hatwell said they now have 15 beers on tap but also rotate four taps of other independent Kiwi brewers.
They were stoked to get into the top 30 - a first for them - and it meant the stout would be distributed to all New World supermarkets around the country.
The stout was one of eight beers they entered into the awards with Hatwell saying although they didn't know what the judges were keen on, they wouldn't enter them if they didn't think they were all awesome.
"One made it to the top 30 so that's awesome for us. You're just always hopeful they will make the top 30," he said, adding they'd had other beers make the top 100 in previous years.
"It was cool because it's a stout and there was only one other stout in the Top 30, so that's cool."
Hatwell described the stout as a "little bit different" from an ordinary smokey stout.
"It is smokey and by smokey it's actually got a little bit of smoked malt in it so it's not really overpowering, it's kind of really well balanced.
"Sometimes with smokey stouts they're just overpowering and people who don't like smokey things say 'oh, it's just horrible' but this one's only got a little bit.
"It's only 5.9 per cent so it's one of our lower alcohol beers that we do but it tastes like a bigger beer. It's got lots of flavour and lots of body to it, so it tastes bigger than it is."
Seeing the stout reach such glorified heights was even better as it was the first beer they made after setting up at the Matangi site.
The stout would now share the prestige with their feisty Apehanger IPA, which won best IPA at the Brewers Guild Awards in 2017.