Of all the
sabbaticals you could embark on, flying halfway round the world to New Zealand
to work on crafting a new beer range surely has to be one of the most
desirable. And that’s the precise task assigned to US brewmaster Brian
“Spike” Buckowski thanks to a campaign run by Barnes, Catmur & Friends for Boundary Road Brewery. Utilising
brewing sites around the world, the agency put the call out for a genius
brewer, with a skill set that sits somewhere between genius and God-like, to
“come down and do his stuff”. And Buckowski, brewmaster and
co-founder of the Terrapin Beer Company in Georgia, did just that, crafting three bespoke brews for the brewery
and, after prolonged product testing by the lushes at Barnes, Catmur and
Friends, the beers will be launched later this month as ‘The Resident’ range.
the range are Spike’s Pilsner, an American craft interpretation of a pilsner
with a twist of tanginess and New Zealand hop flavours; Spike’s IPA, an India
pale ale created using a blend of New Zealand ale malt and olde world specialty
malts, and Spike’s Red Rye, a red-hued ale balanced with a kettle hop
bitterness and a rye malt addition.
may have an American twist, but Kiwi artist Otis Frizzell’s artistry is all over the label, which ensures Spike’s notoriety by
plastering his face on every bottle.
Buckowski, who apparently experienced some difficultly
pronouncing “Aotearoa”, says travelling around New Zealand and sampling various
Kiwi craft brews enabled him to “develop a real sense of what
Kiwis like in their craft beer”.
To coincide with the release, an eclectic and comical
documentary was filmed charting Spike’s beer quest.
It’s not the first time a call out to the public has
been used in the brewery’s promotional efforts. Last
year Kiwis were asked to choose their favourite variety of beer from a
newly launched ‘craft range’, with the winning brew eventually released