From the Wigram Brewing Co. website:
After 10 years of full mash hobby brewing Paul McGurk’s passion for brewing took him to the next level of designing and building a 600lt commercial brewery and so Wigram Brewing Company was born, Paul’s mission “to produce quality full flavoured beer and educate the New Zealand palate”.
Paul completed his Dairy Technology study at Massey University and after working in the dairy industry for a while headed to Europe for his OE. After experiencing a lot of Europe’s finest ales it was to become Paul's ambition to start his own brewery. He returned to Christchurch late 1989, worked in a lab for a while where the shift work gave him the freedom to develop his own brewing techniques and put into action his plan for a brewery.
Under the watchful eye of Paul Cooper, a seasoned brewer and long time friend, Wigram put down its first commercial brew in December 2008. Paul and Caroline’s eldest son Joe took on the full time role of brewer while Paul and Caroline remained in their full time jobs to ensure financial investment continued and the brewery had everything it needed to start life.
The brewery formally opened in March 2003 with 3 beers Propeller Lager, Dakota Dark and Wigram Draught. In 2005 after only 2 years of brewing Wigram took 4 medals for their beers and a best in class trophy for their graphics - these were just the start.
In 2006 after the birth of their third son, Paul left his full time job and worked in the brewery. After investors came on board in 2007 and with Paul Cooper also taking on the role as Head Brewer, Wigram has continued to grow its range which includes 13 beers. Wigram offers a contract brewing service and in the past has brewed for Heritage Foods, Pomeroys, Simo’s, Reefton Racecourse Brewing and helped out many home brewers and those interested in starting out in the industry.
Wigram continues to consistently produce award winning brews and with the huge growth in the craft brewing industry the competition bar is being set higher and higher, exciting times in an exciting industry.
Wigram's range of beers:
Dakota Dark – 5.0% ABV - This lightly hopped dark ale has a roasted malt flavour with a touch of chocolate. This mild ale finishes clean and smooth for easy drinking.
Hefe Weizen – 5.0% ABV - This is a German-style cloudy wheat beer. It has a light malt flavour with pronounced clove and banana spiciness. This ale's predominate flavour is produced from the specialty yeast used in fermentation.
Munchner Dunkel – 5.0% ABV - This German-style dark lager has a slight toffee flavour combined with a hazelnut essence. This lightly hopped lager is pleasantly refreshing with subdued bitterness and a rich malt flavour. Gold Medal Best in Class 2007 Australia Beer Awards.
Bristol Best Bitter – 4.5% This English-style bitter has a nice hoppy aroma. This full flavour malt ale is enhanced by its noteworthy hop flavour and balanced bitterness.
Harvey Honey Ale – 6.0% ABV - This copper coloured ale has a faint honey aroma. This mild, medium body beer has a distinct honey flavour balanced well with a clean crisp hoppy finish. At the end, a slight sweetness stays on the palate.
Bavarian Pilsner – 5.0% ABV - This pilsner has a slight malty aroma. It has a clean hop flavour at the initial taste followed by a crisp finish. The pilsner malt flavour is complemented by a slight lingering bitterness. 5.0 %
Vienna Lager - 5.0% ABV - This Vienna-style lager has a deep golden/amber hue. The initial taste is of sherry with hints of vanilla and wood. The finish is dry and refreshing.
Mustang Pale Ale – 5.0% ABV - Mustang A.P.A is our hand-crafted Ale with intense hop bitterness, character and aroma derived from superb New Zealand Hops & Malt. Hop bitterness is typically in the range of 40-50 IBU. The rich copper colour is derived from imported speciality Ale Malts to give a beer with a colour of around 20- 25 EBC.
Spruce Beer - English Style Ale, infused with rimu, manuka and molasses giving distinctive bush flavour as based on Captain Cooks first beer brewed in New Zealand in 1773.
Czar Imperial Stout - Brewed in the authentic historical style of an Imperial Russian Stout, this big bold beer is crafted from rich roasted and toasted malts, fermented with a classic English ale yeast this Czarist favourite is an intense, living, bottle condition, full bodied Stout. At 8.5% abv The Czar lives up to it's name.
Morning Glory Golden Ale Breakfast Beer – 5.0% ABV - 6 cereals were used in creating this continental breakfast beer. This is not a fry up! The warm glow of the morning sun is captured in this generiously hopped golden ale. 5% alc/vol
Kortegast Sparkling Ale - A full strength Red Sparkling Ale crafted from the original hops, their location until recently lost, grown on the banks of the Hokitika River by pioneer Hokitika brewer, Mr William C. J. Kortegast. Red in colour, low to medium bitterness with the aromatic flavour of the Hokitike hops on the finish. This Sparkling Ale is decided to W.C.J & the pioneer brewers of Hokitika.