September 28th, 2012Desert Island Beers
Meet Josh Scott, founder and Executive Brewer of Moa Brewery of Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand. Founded by Josh in 2004, Moa began with a focus on brewing super premium beers – and that’s exactly what they have done since, as for the second year running Moa recently chalked up the biggest medal haul of any brewery at the Asian Beer Awards, with one gold, two silver and four bronze medals.
Their beers and ciders are fastidiously handcrafted with traditional brewing methods and rounded off through the use of wine making techniques, including barrel ageing, bottle fermentation and conditioning.
Josh brewed his first beer in an old shed out the back of his father’s Marlborough vineyard in 1987. It wasn’t very good and technically, because he was only 13 at the time it also wasn’t very legal. But that single event set the course for the next 20 years of his life. The very next day (officially, five years later when Josh was of legal drinking age which in New Zealand is 18) Josh and some mates from school (who were officially also all 18 years of age, even though they were still in Third Form) set about finding out everything they could about the biology and chemistry of brewing. No small feat in 1987 as the Internet hadn’t been invented, school libraries didn’t really cater to their needs and none of them could drive to a library that possibly could.
What followed was 15 years of trial and error, where Josh learnt the trade at the feet of some of the world’s most well regarded traditional brewers. Until finally in 2004 he felt comfortable enough to produce a beer that people wouldn’t actually mind paying for and established Moa Brewery.
A Moa was a giant bird (up to 12 feet high) that use to roam New Zealand. It was hunted out by the first Maori inhabitants some 600 years ago and Josh decided to name the brewery after this giant bird because the Maori hunters known as the ‘Moa Hunters’ lived not too far from the breweries location. There were also a lot of Moa bones found close to the brewery itself.
Since establishment Moa has become a staple beer at festivals worldwide, won the respect and loyalty of connoisseurs from Europe to the Americas and the brewery is currently one of the largest New Zealand beer exporters to the United States. Moa Beer also recently took over as the official beer of New Zealand’s 2012 Olympic teams and it’s packaging won gold at this year’s Brew NZ Awards.Tags: moa brewing, new zealand, Saison Dupont, tuatara