From Humble beginnings
Water + Malt + Hops + Yeast + People = Lakeman Beer
In 2011 our brewery was an implement shed with a dirt floor and a few gates. Now it is home to our brew house and after a couple of additions has the capacity to brew 400,000 litres annually. You will also find a canning line with its own dedicated room and once packaged cans are rolled around the corner into the chiller. With the beer being packaged on-site either into kegs or cans it heads straight from our backdoor to yours or into your local restaurant or liquor store.
brewing daily with passion to
Experiment and perfect
Brewing daily, you’ll find the team producing a variety of beers with a mix of everything from the staple classics like lagers through to stouts and crowd-favorite hazy IPA’s. Our beer is best when it is fresh and that is why we do small-batch brews which keeps our brewers busy, but it also means our turnover out of the brewery is high.
While we love perfecting our core range it is the new brews everyone gets a little excited over. We experiment with different malt profiles, hops, and yeast strains but also fermentable sugars for example agave syrup or honey off the farm. We also run a barrel-aging program. Currently, we have imperial stouts developing in Jack Daniel barrels.
in true lakeman style
it's all hands on deck
A key to the brewery is that we do our own distribution. Lakeman beer is not pasteurised and keeping the beer chilled is crucial to maintaining its quality. Our beer is shipped every weekday from our chiller to stores and bars around the country or direct to your home. This helps us ensure the product arrives in its best possible condition for you to enjoy the flavours and hop aromas as we intended.
With the brewery sitting in the middle of the farm there are a few great crossovers. The spent malt is fed to our young cattle and it’s a bit like having hot porridge on a cold winter’s morning. All wastewater irrigates surrounding paddocks, and the John Deere tractor is on hand to load the orders directly from our chiller into the delivery truck. There is also usually a heading dog or two keeping a close eye on the goings-on.
the art of
Brewing the perfect brew
In striving for the best brews we take pride in sourcing the highest quality ingredients to mix with the pureset of waters, which creates our beers unique profile.
The water used in the brews is sourced from a bore located eighty meters directly below the brewery. It is this water as farmers in the catchment that we endeavor to protect so it is full circle that we are then able to use it in our brews. The water is of exceptional quality and fortuitously has an ideal mineral profile for brewing.
We use quality malts from Gladfield Malts, a Canterbury-based operation owned by farming couple Doug and Gabi Michael. We have been using Gladfield Malts for a number of years and their values align closely with ours and they produce an exceptional product.
Depending on the style and flavour profile of a particular brew we use hops sourced from NZ Hops based in Nelson or import hops from the U.S. We have recently become part of the Bract Brewing program in conjunction with NZ Hops in which we can access trial hops in return for feedback on their brewing characteristics and aroma and flavour profile.
Three strains of yeast are predominantly used in the brew house which as a living organism needs to be handled carefully.
The fifth ingredient to any beer is people. The team takes absolute pride in putting out our best brews. We are always tasting and tweaking the brews with an aim for perfection. We have two full-time brewers who lead the production team in the brew house.
In 2018, Lakeman’s Hairy Hop took out the Champion IPA trophy at the New Zealand Beer Awards. Elissa said “For New Zealand beer it was the equivalent of winning the Sauvignon Blanc trophy at the NZ wine awards.”
In 2019 Lakeman followed up with a second trophy for the Hairy Craic an imperial stout for Champion barrel-aged beer.
The team continues to enter competitions to ensure consistency and receive critical feedback and if we are not winning medals, we are doing something wrong!
In 2022 eight beers were sent to the Australian International Beer Awards with all eight beers receiving medals with three golds, four silvers, and one bronze and at the 2022 NZ Beer Awards, Lakeman bought home thirteen medals.