“Local and proud” is the guiding principle for Christina and Joseph Wood, the couple behind Helensville’s Liberty Brewing Company. From small beginnings as a home brew supply store, Liberty is now firmly established as a craft brewery of note.
Last year Liberty took out what they understand to be the most awards given in one year to a single brewery in the history of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand’s Beer Awards. Liberty won six golds, five silvers and three bronzes, two Champion awards (for Medium size Brewery and Champion overall Exhibitor), the Packaging award, and the Trophy for New Zealand Styles and International Pale Ale.
“I can’t describe how that felt after 10 years of really hard slog,” says Christina. “We’re super proud of ourselves and super proud of our team for getting here and we’re looking forward to what the future brings with all these new shiny medals!”
Meanwhile, the ingredients for success remain the same; great beer, genuine connection with their community and commitment to sustainability, which includes a close and collaborative relationship with local suppliers and their local recycling centre and using New Zealand-made glass bottles. Christina says she loves the feeling of glass in her hand as it’s a “little bit classier”. “It’s a nice product to drink out of that stays colder for longer. 75% of the glass content is recycled.” Christina also loves that their glass bottles are made and recycled here in New Zealand and sent back to Liberty as new bottles. “That’s absolutely fantastic,” says Christina, “we love using New Zealand-made glass.”