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16th January 2018

Yeastie Boys land leading UK brewer

Stu McKinlay & James Kemp

Pioneering New Zealand brewing company, Yeastie Boys, have taken a further step toward making United Kingdom their major focus by announcing the signing of renowned brewer James Kemp from Manchester’s Marble Brewery.

From mid-March Mr Kemp – a highly respected former brewer of both Thornbridge and Buxton breweries – will take over the lead brewing role for the small multinational New Zealand company with a focus on innovation, quality, and elegance.

Yeastie Boys’ deliciously irreverent ales – founded down under in 2008 and now brewed in New Zealand, Australia, and United Kingdom – have made a considerable impact in the UK since arriving in 2015 and the business recently announced that they had tripled UK sales in the 2017 calendar year.

“We’ve got off to a cracking start in the UK, from absolutely nothing, but we’re always thinking of the future and this was the perfect place to bring someone on board” Yeastie Boys’ founder Stu McKinlay explained. “Bringing James into the team is an investment in our brand as well as the product. We’ve long been known for innovation but in the UK we’ve focused on our core range products, only bringing in very small volumes of seasonals and specials from New Zealand.”

“As our reach expands nationally and into Europe, and often outside the traditional ‘craft beer’ venues, it’s important to us that we continue to excite and delight the independent trade” McKinlay added, “and that needs to happen from here in the UK rather than back in New Zealand. I can’t think of anyone better to do that than James Kemp. I’ve known him for over a decade and his dedication to innovation and quality make him one of the very best brewers that I know.”

“I’ve been a fanboy of Yeastie Boys since I first tried Pot Kettle Black almost ten years ago” stated Mr Kemp, “and I’ve always considered them to be one of the most exciting and edgy breweries in the world. I’m really looking forward to having a lot of fun making great beer and helping take them to the next level.”

“We’ve not mapped out an exact plan of what we’ll brew, yet, as we really want to let James focus all his energy on his last couple of months at Marble” added Mr McKinlay, “but expect a good dose of easily accessible seasonal beers, possibly with melon balls, followed by a really exciting long-term focus on elegant and very special beers.”

Yeastie Boys – who celebrate their tenth year in 2018 – are rather unique in the craft beer world, in that they brew across three different countries. They are now just over two years into in brewing in UK and are a year into production in Australia.

“Exporting our products around the world is becoming less of an option as we see local beer scenes really exploding in terms of both diversity and quality” remarked the now UK-based McKinlay, “and the setup of Yeastie Boys UK and Yeastie Boys Australia allows us to build a base making local beers with a New Zealand accent. We’ve got to the point where we really needed someone far better than me to oversee all this production and James is the perfect person for that job!”


About Yeastie Boys: 

Yeastie Boys is an award-winning, post-craft New Zealand based brewing company, who split their time between New Zealand and United Kingdom. They have brewed super-premium, deliciously irreverent ales all over the world (from Invercargill – through the likes of Adelaide, Boston and Suffolk – to Aberdeen).

The brainchild of Stu McKinlay and Sam Possenniskie – two of New Zealand’s leading beer activists and visionaries – the Yeastie Boys have been picking up trophies, poking their tongues out at convention, and receiving critical acclaim since their launch in 2008. They occasionally release press releases in comic sans.

Despite brewing less beer per year than Sierra Nevada brew in a single shift, Yeastie Boys’ products are currently available in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and United Kingdom.


Stu McKinlay Benevolent Dictator Yeastie Boys +44 7909432770

Yeastie Boys – logo Yeastie Boys – UK range Stu McKinlay and James Kemp, brewing “Liquid Cuddle” in April 2017. Stu McKinlay and James Kemp, performing “Liquid Cuddle” in April 2017. This press release as a PDF.