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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Two Cowboys: New Zealand Beer in a Can Made Perfectly Every Time with WilliamsWarn in Dunedin, New Zealand

Kiwi In A Can

We all know that beer doesn't travel well. Light, movement and temperature fluctuations are some factors contributing to the rapid degradation of the flavour profile of freshly brewed and fermented beer. How can you then send beer halfway around the world and ensure that it is as fresh as it should be the day it is poured?

I think WilliamsWarn in New Zealand has the answer. They send New Zealand's best brews as malt extract in a can all over the world, and leave the last steps of the beer making process - fermentation, pouring and consumption - up to their customers. At the same time, they liberate their brewers from some of the heavy-handed taxations that accompany man's oldest beverage.

It's like the tea and coffee business. The manufacturer does all the work with the best ingredients they have, and all you have to do is add water or pull a shot of espresso. In the case of WilliamsWarn, add water and yeast, give it a little time, chill and pour yourself a clean, crisp, fresh New Zealand beer!

At Speights with WilliamsWarn

Award Winning Home Brewer - Nick Koppers

Chef Jason van Dorst - Experimental Brewer


We were hosted by Sean Toohey of WilliamsWarn at Speights Brewery. He wanted us to see first-hand, where the deliciousness of WilliamsWarn's beer came from.

The brewery is in one of New Zealand's iconic beer locations - Dunedin. It is rich in history and famous for its "Pride of the South" branding. James Speight, Charles Greenslade and William Dawson handed in their notices at Well Park Brewery in 1876 to establish their own brewery in Dunedin’s Rattray Street. Dawson was the brewer, Greenslade the maltster and Speight the businessman. The rest is history, as they say.

Today, the business is part of the Lion Group of companies. Not only do they still brew the famous Speight’s Gold Medal Ale, but the facility is now also a key producer of malt extract for food producers, craft, micro and home breweries the world over. Almost as much as half the capacity of the facility is dedicated to this niche line of products that are made uniquely and exclusive with New Zealand brewing ingredients. Yes, you heard it right. New Zealand hops, malt and specialty grains are added to the famous water from the spring underneath the Brewery to produce perfect wort extracted in a can of malt, and then they send it to us here in Canada courtesy of WilliamsWarn.

WilliamsWarn's patented BrewKegs unlock this Kiwi goodness for us when we add water and yeast, and a little hops to taste, and send us on a taste journey back home to our Island, and to the people that are proud of their South and their beer.


The beer business is complicated. Brewing is even more tricky. You can be a lover of beer and hate everything that comes with the industry. It is tricky not only due to the way it is done but because of the players, grandstanding, dress-ups, technologies, regulations, taxations, ingredients, branding, tariffs and more.

Amongst all this complexity of what should be a relatively simple matter - like baking bread - we are sincerely thankful for someone that can obscure it all, and deliver to us a simple, failure proof way, we too can take charge of our beer.

What we've learned now, thanks to our visit to Speights, is that not only does WilliamsWarn liberate us and our beer by making it simple and easy to make our own beer, it also sends us goodness from home, extracted in a can of malt. What an ingenious way to do it!

Thank you for our New Zealand beer - in a can!

Hendrik van Wyk
Beer Cowboy

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