Direct link to audio here.
Luke: The one thing that’s come up a couple of times this weekend when people have been talking about your beers, or I guess your brand, is that there is almost a bit of skepticism. You know, you guys have a strong brand and typically people associate that with gimmickry and not (having) so much substance behind it. It’s interesting chatting to people who are beer lovers and they sort of say ‘oh I haven’t really tried any of their beers because i think they are just a bit gimmicky. Do you find that a lot and is that a risk that you guys are running with going so heavy on big marketing, or branding.
Jos: No, I think our attitude is that we put a huge amount of work into the beers and we want to present them in a way that reflects that and so that means putting a huge amount of effort into the way that the labels and the art, but again, going back to some of the conversation points earlier; it’s fun working with lots of different artists and it’s really exciting when have a beer idea that we’re really into and then seeing it come together as a piece of art on top of that, that’s pretty cool.
I think it lets us work with different people. We get to bounce ideas round. It’s frustrating as hell when we’ve got art that’s not working or it’s not coming together the way we want but you know, Pete and I are totally driving those ideas. We are getting the artists, we’ll choose from about 10+ artists we’ve worked with now, who we think will work well on a particular piece. We’ll always come with a brief or some idea, the core idea that we’ve got or at least be heavily involved in chatting through what we might want. Right the way through to the feedback as it’s coming together and then every single piece of text on the can, Pete writes as well.
So I haven’t come across people, I guess they wouldn’t say it to me outright, “I wasn’t going to try your beer because it looked like you guys were just all show and no substance.
Luke: I guess it’s come up maybe two or three times this week and I thought it was the first time I heard and it was interesting.
Jos: It’s not something I’ve come across but we always have to have something. The absolute starting point for us is that what’s in the bottle or the glass or the can is world class, is fantastic. And we won’t put things out if we’re not happy, and then if we can layer in really interesting art and presentation on top, you know, that’s great for us because we feel really proud and excited when we put something out. We have things like, this isn’t even that flashy but this guy I’m looking forward to showing and unveiling this.
Luke: What is it you’ve just held up? A sample can, is it?
Jos: Well I mean, sample can is a very flattering description for what is a printed piece of A4 wrapped around a blank can and stuck in with a piece of sellotape, but yeah, this is a new beer that we will be canning next week.
It’s a beer that we, for this one, we didn’t have to do anything on the label. We could have’ve been really really straight up but we wanted to get one of our designers involved, we wanted to do something that we’d be proud of and I think would stand out and get people’s attention and this particular one is a beer called “Hop Trial #1”.
For the last year we’ve been working quite closely with NZ Hops and Plant and Food,, supporting the breeding program and the trial hops they are working on down in Motueka at the research station. We’re at the point now we are going to actually try release a beer that’s been brewed exclusively with one advanced selection so they can start to see what it might be like at a commercial scale as opposed to the very small batches that we do for them which never see the light of day. It’s a single hop, we can’t even say what the hop is, it’s got a number, we can’t say the number, we can’t…
Luke: That’s great
Jos:: We basically came up with just saying that it’s classified on this. But you know, we’ve put some thought into this in that the baseplates for this can can change without too much work so we can have multiple colours, we can have multiple beers in the series, there is multiple trial selections.
Luke:: Are we able to chuck a photo up on the shownotes so that people can get an idea of the can?
Luke Cool, we’ll take a photo before we go.
Jos: And you know, I think it’s showing respect to the drinker, showing respect to the people we working with on this, to our beer; to think about and sweat the details and you know, if you look at great products around the world and things you might… objects that you love day to day, a lot of care and attention and detail goes into them and you can’t just stop at the actual thing. Maybe food analogy again would be a restaurant working with the best ingredients, making a delicious piece of food and then just slapping it down on the plate. They would never do that.