We need another $10,000 dollars to fund the editiing of the final episodes of the Mash Up series. Therefore we need to sell approx. 10,000 more bottles. Below people have taken photos of the bottles of Mash Up they have drunk to show there support. We are naming these great people here and thank them for their support. 

You to can submit you photos here 

Brent Marquis (Beerginner)
Simon Hurley
Brett Curry 
Glenn Wignall 

Mash Up - NZ Pale Ale - 6.0% abv - 50 IBU

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Mata / Aotearoa: Journal Entry

Tammy & her dad, Jouni, of Aotearoa BreweriesFrom NZ Craft Beer TV journal entry, 19/2/11:

The day broke, slightly sulphurous (we were in Rotorua after all) and we got the camper van cranking and headed towards Kawerau, the home of Aotearoa Breweries. The small shop frontage was somewhat deceiving and we walked in to find a small sales counter and glass bottle fridge in front of a row of gleaming stainless steel fermenters, glycol piping and a brewhouse at the back. The former butchers had been converted to a fantastic little brewery with the large cool store space utilized for stock and conditioning and bright beer tanks. The brain child of head brewer Tammy Viitakangas and partner Jaysen Magan along with Tammy's parents, Jouni and Gloria, the brewery produce the fantastic range of Mata beers. 

The first thing I noticed about the range was the striking packaging. These guys have thought long and hard about how their beer should look. As important as what's inside the bottle is, I think that it's pretty important to make the beer look as cool as possible. The Mata team have rocked this… striking black and yellow lettering, a simple, easy to pronounce word and a fantastic 4-pack box made me want to buy the beer without knowing anything about it. A win for sure. 

We met head brewer Tammy and her father Jouni (originally from Finland) and began chatting about the brewery and the beers. Tammy had studied a Technology degree majoring in Bioprocess Engineering and had previously worked in the food industry before her and partner Jaysen decided that they wanted to open a brewery. Tammy began perfecting her home brewing technique before they leapt at the chance of buying a second hand brewery and began the challenge of running one. Tammy traveled around to a bunch of breweries and obviously asked the right questions and picked up bits and pieces of information before they put the brewery together, five or so years ago. They did it all themselves and self-taught along the way - from the brewery installation and commissioning, right through to brewing technique. An impressive feat.

The great thing about the Mata range is that Tammy really wanted to capture the essence of New Zealand. Something we've heard a lot along our Craft Beer TV route and something that New Zealand brewers should be proud of. From the artesian water that they tanker from down the road to use in the brewing process, through to the quality ingredients, everything is sourced from as close to home as possible and they even reflect other uniquely New Zealand flavours in their brews. We kick off the tasting with a lager brewed with Manuka Honey. It's gentle and delicate and subtly floral. Tammy insists on keeping this beer light on hop and big malt flavor to allow the expensive and delicate honey characters to float around on the nose and the tongue. A difficult thing to do, but one she has perfected over multiple brews. 

We then try the Artesian lager. A bit more hop forward this time, with a hint of dryness and bitterness and massive drinkability. We then move on to another uniquely New Zealand brew, the Mata Feijoa. Tammy sources her Feijoa fruit from a local fruit winery and has experimented a lot to get the flavor from this intensely perfumed fruit just right. Feijoa is really challenging to brew with. Not only does it have a massive perfume and sweetness, the skins also provide a tart, sour character and through multiple trials, Tammy has got the balance between Feijoa intensity, tartness and the character of the beer itself just right, resulting in something with great drinkability and just the lightest fruit character coming through.

At last year's BrewNZ, the theme for a speciality beer was "Go Native" and the Mata team went all out with Mata Taniwha. A traditional NZ Maori form of cooking is the Hangi, in which a fire is built, usually with Manuka branches and large river stones are heated in the embers. The fire itself is set in a pre-dug pit and the rocks retain the heat, effectively turning the earth into an oven. Prepared vegetables, meat and fish are wrapped, placed in baskets and lowered into the pit, then covered with wet sacks and finally with earth and the Hangi begins cooking/steaming. After a few hours, the dirt and sacks are removed and you have an amazingly smokey, earthy and moist character to all the food. It's awesome. 

What Tammy decided to do was actually put the malt for the beer into the Hangi pit, along with a bunch of diced Kumara (NZ Sweet Potato) and potato. This was then used to brew an incredible 7.3% Hangi-infused Reserve Ale. Luscious and smooth with the faintest trace of earthy smoke, this velvety beer is full of soft, dark maltiness and a lovely caramelized character. A well deserved Gold Medal winning beer and testament to the inventiveness of the Mata range.


Mata / Aotearoa: About

From the Mata website:

We are a family run business. Our Managing Director and Head Brewer is Tammy Viitakangas who is passionate about brewing Kiwi beers with unique New Zealand flavours along with the rest of the team being her mum and dad and Uncle Esko.

Our award winning micro-brewed Mata beers are handcrafted in a boutique brewery in Kawerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. A place that is surrounded by stunning ranges, vast forestry and abundant lakes, rivers and the renowned Tarawera Falls.

We hope you approve of our “new look” labels. We were delighted to win best packaging award at the BrewNZ Awards 2010 along with ever more award winning medals for our increasing beer range. 

Mata's Range of Beers: 

Mata Artesian - 5% ABV - Mata Artesian is a German style Kolsch with a Kiwi twist. This beer is a crisp and refreshing light bodied lager, with medium bitterness, gentle carbonation and delicate malt flavour. This beer named after the source of water all MATA beers are brewed with.

Food Match Idea:
Well suited to red meat, chicken, pork or fish, particularly smoky or spicy dishes. Would be difficult to find a better partner with delicate fish as Mata Artesian will not overpower. Is terrific with all salad combinations too.

Mata Feijoa - 4.5% ABV (Seasonal beer) - Mata Feijoa is a palate cleansing, zesty fruit beer that bursts with the unique and distinctive taste and aromas of fresh NZ grown Feijoas. Relax and quench your thirst with this very refreshing champagne of beers.

Food Match Idea:
Makes a great aperitif. Mata Feijoa will compliment your favourite soft creamy cheese and crackers or antipasto. Good with prawns or pizza too. Yummy with banana cake and fresh cream!

Mata Brown Boy – Amber Ale 5% ABV - Mata Brown Boy is a luscious full flavoured amber ale that pours a striking reddish brown. The specialty 4 malt blend brings caramel, toffee-like, malty characteristics balanced by refreshing hop flavour and aroma, medium bitterness, and a dash of pepper from NZ's indigenous horopito. Kiwi magic!

Food Match Idea:
A great addition to the typical Kiwi barbeque or roast. Beef, chicken & lamb all work well with this beer. Also great with burgers, pizza and really spicy meals such as Mexican or Thai. Good too with mature cheddar cheese.

Mata Blondie - Belgian Wit 5% ABV - Mata Blondie is a refreshing, cloudy Belgian style wheat beer brewed with a specially selected Belgian yeast strain. Mouth-watering aromas and flavours of coriander and citrus are evident and traditional to style along with a secret indigenous NZ spice.

Food Match Idea:
A fantastic match with your favourite bowl of mussels. Great with salads, sushi and sashimi, any fish, omelettes, bacon and eggs or grilled open sandwiches with smoked salmon.

Mata Black Bru - Dark Ale 5% ABV (Seasonal beer) Mata Black Bru pours a rich creamy head settling to black with a deep red hue. This very drinkable Irish style stout is full of alluring flavours and aromas of coffee, chocolate and roasted barley which linger with every mouthful.

Food Match Idea
Lace your hearty beef stew with Mata Black Bru, then enjoy one with your meal. If in the mood for your favourite slice of chocolate cake or dessert this beer will make a perfect match.

Mata Taniwha - 7.0% ABV (Limited Release) - A hangi pit (a New Zealand style earth oven) is filled with malted barley, sweet kumara and potatoes to enhance the flavours and aroma of a hangi before brewing this beer. Mata Taniwha is a silky smooth full bodied malty ale infused with smoky, earthy, barbeque notes and whiskey like character.

Food Match Idea:
Try with a hangi meal, ham, dried meats, hamburgers, barbeque flavoured crackers or snacks, stilton or mature blue cheese, earthy dark chocolate.