Craft Beer Goes South – Way South!

Almost anywhere you go in the world, you'll find craft beer.  This might be the resurgent craft beer scene in America or in Europe and the UK.  It might be a traditional brewing method for a culture, such as what you'll find in many South American nations.  However, all around the world, people love and brew craft beer.  Nevertheless, there is one area that is not usually associated with beer of any kind – Antarctica.  In fact, when most people think of the massive chunk of snow, ice and rock at the bottom of the world, they picture penguins, seals and glaciers, not a frothy mug. 

Well, while that might have been accurate, those are not the only things you'll find there any more, particularly if you decided to visit New Zealand's Scott Base.  Actually, the bar at the base – The Tatty Flag – has been selling beer for years, but it's all mass produced stuff.  A casual visit to the bar would give you access to a cold Heineken, for instance, or maybe a bottle of Tui.  Moa Brewery is setting their sights on changing things in the world's icebox, though.  2,000 bottles shipped out in early January, headed to Scott Base on the frozen continent of Antarctica.

Why send perfectly good craft beer to a land where the only people are scientists and explorers?  Well, apparently it's good for business.  While that might sound a bit paradoxical, according to the supplier for the bar at Scott Base, the staff there go through 30,000 cans and bottles of beer every year.  While that might not sound like much for an average bar in an urban area with a solid clientele, that's still a lot of beer.  Moa Brewery thought it sounded like a great place to land a contract, as well.  After all, 30,000 bottles of beer is 30,000 bottles of beer, whether it's sold on the south island or in the big freezer at the bottom of the planet.

The beer on its way down is a bit different, as well.  The beer is bottled in plastic, for one thing.  This means lightweight trash – everything down there is returned and recycled.  The bottles all have special labeling, art and names, too – just for those who stay in the frozen wastes of Antarctica.  Moa Brewery hopes to expand their sales and delivery down there, as well – international bases need beer too, right?

Posted on January 22, 2011 and filed under The Business of Beer.