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1. Kelly Ryan
What an amazing addition to the Epic team. Not only has Kelly expanded the knowledge base, and abilities of Epic, but it has been amazing fun to brew with him, create new beers with him, as well as travel around the country and do beer launches, over the last year.
2. Hop Zombie
We pushed the envelope again. Hop Zombie - New Zealand's Hoppiest Beer. What an unbelievable beer, initially brewed for ourselves to drink, and given a funny name, it has become an incredible overnight success. Unfortunately there are a couple of hop varieties we use from the US which we are unable to secure supply for till the 2012 harvest, which means we are unlikely to have another batch out before January 2013 :-( (It even gave rise to a new Tshirt, which is now highly sought after.)
3. AS SEEN ON TV
In 2011 finally we saw the episode from Discovery Channel - "Brew Masters" series - on the making of the Portamarillo with Dogfish Head, which screened on TV's around the globe . Also Epic was featured on TV3's - What's Really In Our Food - Beer episode
4. NZ Craft Beer TV
Kelly and I took to the road in a campervan and visited most of the brewers in New Zealand. 17 days on the road we travelled 4500kms, tasted 222 beers and visited 44 breweries. Getting all of this on filmwe ultimately work with each brewery to come up with a beer (Mash Up) that represented the taste of craft beer in NZ in 2011.
5. Best IPA in New Zealand
Best IPA in New Zealand for the 3rdyear in a row - Epic Armageddon IPA. Winning Gold and Best in Class trophy at the New Zealand Beer Awards 2011.
6. Flying Nun 30 Year Ale
What an honour! In the tradition of brewing a beer for their significant anniversaries, the iconic independent record label Flying Nun asked us to make a special brew to celebrate their 30th anniversary. The beer was available during the month of "Nunvember" around the country and at the special gigs held around the country - 30 gigs in 30 days.
7. Champion Media Brew - Beervana
The origination of the much loved Coffee & Fig Stout was at our ePICO brewery. Brewed for the Beervana Media Brew Challenge with Victoria Wells, editor of DISH magazine. We brewed 20 litres of what was originally called Collision. We liked it so much (and after winning the award) we brewed 5000 litres, bottled it in 750ml wine style bottles under the "Epicurean" label and released it just in time for Christmas.
8. Twitter Reaches 10,000 Followers
We stared 2011 with 7300 followers and ended with over 10400. As the first brewery in the world to use Twitter (March 2007) I still today use it as EpicBeer's first means of communicating to the world. If you want to see the latest pictures, what we are brewing, drinking, and thinking, than follow us hereto be first to know.
9. NZ's Best Value Beer - Epic Pale Ale
Epic Pale Ale - NZ's Best Value Beer Joel MacFarlane of Brew Nation, come up with a formula to work out what quality of beer you got for what price. It was kind of scientific but ended up showing that for the price you can't bet Epic Pale Ale for the quality and flavour in the bottle (actually 4 pack)
10. Four Horsemen Collaboration
Four Horsemen of the Hopocalyse – what an amazing collaboration with four of the most hop driven brewers in New Zealand. Joseph Wood from Liberty Brewing, Steve Plowman from Hallertau, Kelly Ryan and myself from Epic. Could you add anymore hops to one beer?
Not sure how we are going to top 2011, but we have a few ideas up our sleeves.
Thank you for your wonderful support during the year, and look forward to having a beer with you in 2012.
Happy New Year
Epic Brewing Company