Moa heads stateside

Moa recently caused a bit of a hubbub in the brewing community after pinning its craft beer manifesto to the wall. And it soon might be creating hubbubs in America after securing some big US distribution deals.

Whole Foods is America’s largest organic supermarket chain and it has committed to launching Moa Breakfast Beer in all 250 licenced stores across the US. Moa Methode, Moa Pale Ale, Moa Blanc Evolution, Moa Imperial Stout and Moa St Josephs will also be available in selected stores alongside other Kiwi beers like Yeastie Boys and Tuatara (much like our own New World supermarkets, each store’s range differs depending on the tastes of the owners)

“Whole Foods receives thousands of submissions from brands wanting to be ranged there and very few make it through,” Moa general manager Gareth Hughes says. “Moa is the first Australasian beer to be ranged nationally in Whole Foods.”

Moa has also won a high-value deal at the Yard House chain of restaurants and bars, enabled in part by the company’s use of environmentally friendly recyclable “key kegs”.

Each Yard House location features a centre-island bar and fleets of tap handles which will now feature the specially designed Moa “fist” tap. The glass-enclosed keg rooms, housing as much as 19,000 litres of beer, will be home to the Moa key kegs.

The cardboard outers and plastic inners of the kegs are completely recyclable, which means there are significant cost savings and a substantial reduction in environmental impact because they don’t need to be returned to Moa as traditional metal containers would.

Topping off the US invasion, Moa will now be served in some of the most prestigious venues in Las Vegas, including the Wynn, Aria, Caesars Palace, Venetian and Palazzo casinos, thanks to a new distribution deal with Nevada’s Southern Wines and Spirits.

Ex-pat Kiwi Clyde Burney heads up the beer division for Southern Wines and Spirits and has helped drive the distribution deals.

“I call Moa ‘the Chimay of the South Pacific’. Our team loves this beer and we believe it stacks up alongside the best that the Belgium trappists have to offer. Vegas is a non-stop party town and Bloody Marys or Champagne breakfasts are the norm. Now our Moa Breakfast beer will be on the same menus. It is a great opener for us.”

Pure Advantage trustee and Moa executive chairman Geoff Ross says the brewer’s craft credentials attracted the suppliers, but its green credentials made it possible.

“Moa is a natural beer, with no chemicals or preservatives, which sits well with discerning Americans. The fact Moa is bottle-conditioned and fermented, just like beer used to be, means it travels well too. And the very fact it’s from New Zealand appeals to American consumers. They see New Zealand as a pure place which is ideal for brewing a natural beer. While we do have challenges of distance in creating international business, we have advantages in our purity credentials, a ‘Pure Advantage’ most other countries don’t have. It gives us a competitive advantage. There is no way we could have secured these deals without it.”

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