Bootleg Brewery Wins Gold

Waikato's Bootleg Brewery recently won Gold for their Apehanger IPA in the 2017 brewers guild competition.

More info on Bootleg Brewery

Bootleg Brewery Ltd was founded in November 2016 by Fraser Graafhuis and Jaden Hatwell, two high school mates from Hamilton with a passion for brewing and drinking great beer. With no customer base prior to brewing the first batch, the beer went in the back of Holden Kingswood and Fraser cold called on establishments throughout the Waikato. With some support from some great local businesses, we managed to sell the whole batch! People really want to buy local independent beer, we’d rock up to trade events, other breweries had their range of beers, we just had the one, the “Blind Mule” an American Pale Ale (APA), we were like two proud parents! But, the beer was good, which is a credit to Mike’s Brewery in Urenui, whom have brewed all our beer to date.

Bootleg Brewery have now contract brewed four 1200L batches and have three beers on the market, The Blind Mule APA, Motorhorse India Pale Ale (IPA) and Apehanger IPA. Our beers have got better and better as we tweak the recipes and learn from process, the learning curve has been steep. Moving from a small 20L batch in the garage at home to 1200L is a massive jump in volume. We now sell our beer to over 60 customers throughout the Waikato, Coromandel, Auckland and Wellington.

We entered our Apehanger IPA into the 2017 brewers guild competition, the biggest industry competition. We knew we had a dam good IPA. In such a highly contested beer style, we genuinely wanted tasting notes so we could tweak the brew moving forward. Apehanger won gold and took the national trophy, beating over 120 other Strong Pale Ales in a blind tasting. Beers from all the great brewery’s in New Zealand.

Our short term goals besides drinking great beer and enjoying the ride are to continue to make our portfolio of beers better and better. Our long term goals are to operate our own brewpub located in Hamilton. Watch this space.