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Two beers in the TOP 30 - New World Beer & Cider Awards 2019

The New World Beer & Cider Awards took a different approach this year with the judges selecting the Top 30 entries not in any particular order. We are thrilled to have taken not one but two spots in this group of outstanding entries with our IPA and our Session IPA. The Sawmill Chocolate Stout and Passionfruit Sour also made the TOP 100 list (Highly commended).

Judged by a 24-strong panel this year's awards were the biggest yet with over 630 beers entered from 100 breweries. 

The gold medal winning IPA and Session IPA can be found in all New World stores nationwide from the 27th of May. 

"It's a great recognition of the hard work and consistency from the brewers over the years. Highly drinkable beer with a Sawmill edge." 

Click here for more information on the New World website and here for the TV ad about us

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The Art of Beer Series #2 - Fresh Hopped White IPA

In the Art of Beer Series we worked with Iain Cheesman on labels for limited release beers, firstly the India Pale Lager (see below). Secondly, the Fresh Hopped White IPA. Once a year brewer's get an opportunity to use fresh hops as they are harvested in Motueka in Autumn (the rest of the year they are use in a dried form). 

This juicy number was brewed with a Belgian Witbier grain bill including wheat and flaked oats. On top of this base is a borderline insane amount of fresh Nelson Sauvin hop cones which give big aromas of tropical fruit, grape, and herbaceous notes. The spicy, fruity yeast character mingles seamlessly with the juicy, oily hop presence and the beer finishes dry for balance.

 A highly refreshing and interesting take on a fresh hop beer, which maintains drinkability with a huge hop flavour.

Available from the 15th of April around the country and at the Smoko Room from the 12th of April. Beer launch at the Smoko Room on the 12th of April from 4.30pm, all welcome! 

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The Art of Beer Series #1 - India Pale Lager

We have always worked with artists for our beer labels and this year we have brought it a lot closer to home. Iain Cheesman is represented by The Vivian Gallery and his work has hung in the Smoko Room since we opened. Using historical references, personal stories, abandoned bird boxes, embroidered felt disks, stacked bowls, hand-carved totems, and of course his signature hand-painted wooden and bronze arrows, Iain's work is both instantly recognisable, and utterly unique. 

In the Art of Beer Series we worked with Iain on labels for limited release beers, firstly the India Pale Lager, a version of the single hopped brew we made earlier this year using Mosaic, a dank, sweaty sulphury hop from the States. The Sawmill emoji on this label started off in felt and this original will be generously auctioned for charity by Iain and Scott Lawrie from The Vivian Gallery later in the year. 

Our huge thanks to Iain, Scott and Craig from The Vivian for making this project happen. It was loose, fast, intuitive and a joy to be part of.  

Available from the 8th of April around the country and at the Smoko Room from the 3rd of April. Beer launch at the Smoko Room on the 4th of April from 4.30pm, all welcome! 

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Home Block Fresh Hop Pale Ale

There aren't many rural breweries in New Zealand and being one of them has given us a great opportunity to grow our own hops onsite. It has been really gratifying to see how interested people are in the bines (not vines) and is a great opportunity for them to engage more in what goes into their beer. 

Hops are a perennial and grow voraciously from about September to harvest of the cones in February. We initially set up the harvest as a fundraiser for Homebuilders but the hops started to dry out and had to be picked straight away. So instead our whole team was hauled out of the brewery and we got them all picked by morning tea. The cones have an extraordinary aroma when you pick them. Our hops are all New Zealand Cascade. They have a pleasant, flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality with a slight grapefruit characteristics. Cascade hops are grown all over the world but here in Matakana they will have distinctive profile, different even from those grown in Motueka because of the terroir. Ours have been particularly floral and herbaceous. 

This very limited run Home Block Fresh Hop Pale Ale is available on tap in the Smoko Room from early March.  

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Rebecca Wardell - A long way home

On Wednesday the 6th of March the inspiring Rebecca Wardell - formal Olympian heptathlete and International Olympic Committee staff member - spoke at the Smoko Room. Starting in Switzerland, Rebecca has been cycling home to NZ and raising money to help young women achieve their sporting goals as she goes. She has tripped through Europe, Turkey, Iran, China and SE Asia; often accompanied by sporting friends and her parents through Laos. She's cycled a lot solo, too.

The final track ahead takes Rebecca down the length of NZ but she stopped with us in Matakana first. The night ran as a fundraiser for the Forward Foundation, with a request for $10 donation per person.

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Wairau Maori Art Gallery Fundraising Auction

In October 2018 the Wairau Maori Art Gallery in Whangarei held an auction in association with the Tim Melville Gallery in Auckland. More than 30 New Zealand artists donated significant artworks to the auction, supported by ART + OBJECT, to raise funds towards the creation and development of the Wairau Maori Art Gallery in Whangarei. This new Gallery will occupy the ground floor of the extraordinary Hundertwasser Art Centre due to open on the Whangarei waterfront in late 2020. It will become a critical cultural pulse for Maori artists and curators and will provide an artistic hub, education space and showcase Maori from across Aotearoa to an audience from around the world. 

From Sawmill's perspective we have close family ties to Northland and a deep personal affection for this beautiful part of New Zealand and we were really proud to support the Auction. Nearly $100.000 was raised for this ambitious project.  

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Opening Preview from Sally Gabori at The Vivian Gallery

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori was born about 1924 on Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria. She only started painting around 80 years of age, and her career lasted only a decade or so, before she passed away in 2015. Her legacy was a life-affirming body of work that has no parallel in Australian art history. 

Love and adored by institutions and private collectors around the world, The Vivian is pleased to announce a major show of Mrs Gabori's work which will run from 23 March - 12 May 2019. The opening preview is on the 23rd of March from 4pm - 6pm. Presented in conjunction with The Estate of Sally Gabori and Alcastan Gallery, Melbourne, these rare works have never been seen before in New Zealand.  

The Vivian is a purpose built space on 3 acres of landscaped grounds, and is unlike any other gallery in the country. The Vivian shows internationally renowned and local artists in curated and group shows - interspersed by talks, performances, and events. We are extremely proud supporters of the Vivian and we share their appreciation for creativity, talent and being straight up.  

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Be The Change. 

We, like other breweries are an energy intensive manufacturer. And in 2018 we decided it was time to do what we do best - do things our own way. We started using solar energy about 12 years ago in our old brewery in Leigh but now with the support of Zen Energy we have a grunty system on our roof capable of meeting the daytime needs of the Brewery and Smoko Room.

It is the largest solar power system in use by a New Zealand brewery and we hope other breweries can use the data we gather to help them make decisions about alternative energy. This year we will put in live monitoring of the system so that it is transparent to anyone visiting the brewery where our energy is coming from. 

IPA_and_Session_IPA

Top 30 - New World Beer & Cider Awards

Fresh_Hopped_White_IPA

The Art of Beer Series #2

IPL

The Art of Beer Series #1

Hop harvest_1

Hop Harvest 

Becky_5

Rebecca Wardell 

Marori_Art_Gallery_Fundraising_2

Wairau Maori Art Gallery Fundraising

Sally_Gabori

Sally Gabori 

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Solar panels