Wānaka Brewery raising the bar for sustainable brewing practices
Brewing & Distilling
Brewing & Distilling

Wānaka Brewery raising the bar for sustainable brewing practices

Tom Gerlach, the General Manager of b. effect Brewing Co., shares the inspirational story of the Wānaka-based brewery, which aligns with the philosophy of the butterfly effect - small actions leading to significant change. 

As they celebrate their eighth anniversary, Gerlach reflects on the brewery's growth from contract brewing to opening their own taphouse. Despite industry challenges, including a saturated market, b.effect stays motivated by its commitment to the community and the environment, as captured in its "Be Good" initiative. 

"The name 'b. effect' is short for the butterfly effect, not beer effect, as most people assume... small changes can cause great effects, and so for us, that kind of flows through everything that we do." 

This approach influences not only their brewing methods but also their environmental consciousness and community involvement. B. effect's 'Be Good' initiative allows the brewery and its customers to support various community organisations, particularly those not government-funded. 

"We believe that if we are going to have an impact on the planet, it has to be local. You know, we've got to look after our own backyard." 

The conversation also delves into brewing trends, where Gerlach observes a shift towards clear, session-able beers with lower alcohol content. 

"The days of craft breweries making super hoppy high ABV beers for dudes in flannelette shirts with the sleeves ripped off and long beards are probably over." 

This reflects a broader movement towards inclusivity in the craft beer market. Highlighting the delicate balance brewers must strike, Gerlach and the host reminisce about Carlos Bagrie's 'Swifty', which perfectly embodies the desired harmony between rich flavour and approachability. 

B effect's Alpine Ale, another product of this philosophy, caters to both craft beer aficionados and casual drinkers, promoting the ethos of enjoyment without excess. 

Gerlach's insights provide a deeper appreciation for the brewery's mission to not just produce beer but also foster a positive impact on the local community and environment.

Listen to the full chat between Tom Gerlach and Dominic George above.

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