The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Hawke’s Bay brewery launches Cyclone Gabrielle fundraising beer

Zeelandt Brewery’s Luciana and Chris Barber.

Eskdale craft beer producers, Zeelandt Brewery, has released ‘Back on the Horse’ – a Cyclone Gabrielle fundraising beer.

After floodwaters destroyed the brewery, all stock and equipment following Cyclone Gabrielle in February, Managing Director and Head Brewer Chris Barber says Zeelandt has also made the decision to move to contract brewing.

“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we rebuild, and what the future looks like,” he says.

“[In] the short term we are contract brewing in Auckland so we can continue getting Zeelandt beer to customers, with the first batches of beer being available towards the end of April.

“We are also launching a new fundraising beer, called “Back on the Horse”, to benefit local first responders and our local community trust.”

Back on the Horse is a New Zealand IPA inspired by a small wooden horse that remained standing on Chris and Luciana’s property after floodwaters receded.

Chris’ father Les built the horse in the vege garden for his two grandchildren to play on and while the force of the floodwaters took away the sheds and cars that surrounded it, the horse remained.

To Chris, this was a sign that the only way for the community to move on from this event was to ‘get back on the horse’.

“Despite the Eskdale community suffering large losses, Zeelandt is in a position to help,” says Chris.

“With the generosity of our suppliers we are launching a new beer with all proceeds (after excise tax and freight) going to local organisations involved in the emergency response.”

Back On The Horse can be purchased directly from with all funds raised going towards Bay View Volunteer Fire Brigade, Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter, and Bay View Community Charitable Trust.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the love and support shown by Kiwis during the aftermath of the cyclone, and to our suppliers for getting behind this fundraising beer,” says Chris.

“We hope that Hawke’s Bay people will support Back on the Horse and enjoy drinking it, so we can donate as much money as possible.”

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