Yeastie Boys founder Stu McKinley with James Kemp, who will be joining the company in March
While aficionados of the kickable bladder wait to see where Sánchez will be plying his trade at the end of the month, New Zealand-based Yeastie Boys have pulled off the big transfer, attracting Marble brewer, James Kemp, to their growing UK operation.
From mid-March, James — who previously plied his trade at both Thornbridge and Buxton breweries — will take over the lead brewing role for the small multinational New Zealand company with a focus on innovation, quality, and elegance.
Yeastie Boys’ deliciously irreverent ales — first brewed in their home country in 2008 and now created in New Zealand, Australia and over here — have made a considerable impact in the UK since arriving in 2015, and the business recently announced that it had tripled UK sales in the 2017 calendar year.
Founder, Stu McKinley, said: “We’ve got off to a cracking start in the UK, from absolutely nothing, but we’re always thinking of the future and this was the perfect place to bring someone on board.
“Bringing James into the team is an investment in our brand as well as the product. We’ve long been known for innovation, but in the UK we’ve focused on our core range products, only bringing in very small volumes of seasonals and specials from New Zealand.
“As our reach expands nationally and into Europe, and often outside the traditional craft beer venues, it’s important to us that we continue to excite and delight the independent trade, and that needs to happen from here in the UK rather than back in New Zealand.
“I can’t think of anyone better to do that than James Kemp. I’ve known him for over a decade and his dedication to innovation and quality make him one of the very best brewers that I know.”
Exciting and edgy
James said: “I’ve been a fanboy of Yeastie Boys since I first tried Pot Kettle Black almost ten years ago and I’ve always considered them to be one of the most exciting and edgy breweries in the world. I’m really looking forward to having a lot of fun making great beer and helping take them to the next level.”
Stu added: “We’ve not mapped out an exact plan of what we’ll brew yet, as we really want to let James focus all his energy on his last couple of months at Marble, but expect a good dose of easily accessible seasonal beers, possibly with melon balls, followed by a really exciting long-term focus on elegant and very special beers.”
Yeastie Boys — who celebrate their tenth anniversary this year — are rather unique in the craft beer world, in that they brew across three different countries. They are now just over two years into brewing in the UK and are a year into production in Australia.
Stu, now based in the UK, added: “Exporting our products around the world is becoming less of an option as we see local beer scenes really exploding in terms of both diversity and quality, and the set-up of Yeastie Boys UK and Yeastie Boys Australia allows us to build a base making local beers with a New Zealand accent.
“We’ve got to the point where we really needed someone far better than me to oversee all this production, and James is the perfect person for that job!”
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