Hamilton's Good George Brewing takes on the Big Apple

Co-founder Brian Watson is in New York where Good George beer will represent New Zealand for an international beer festival.
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ
Co-founder Brian Watson is in New York where Good George beer will represent New Zealand for an international beer festival.

Kegs of Hamilton brewed craft beer have travelled more than 14,000 kilometres for thirsty festival-goers in New York. 

Good George brews will be poured alongside 90 other breweries' offerings from around the world at the Octfest Beer Festival on Governors Island this weekend. 

Eight kegs of IPA and eight kegs of Kiwi Sour were flown to New York and put straight into cold store. 

It's the only Kiwi craft beer to be invited to the two-day festival. 

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It feels good to be representing the country, said co-founder Brian Watson, who is in New York for the festival.

"Some of the best brewers in the world have been invited, so to exhibit our beer along with them ... we're thinking, man, this is very, very cool."

Good George Brewing began as a pub in Frankton six years ago. 

"We really had no idea whether the people of Hamilton would embrace craft beer or not," Watson said. "We're very fortunate. The people of Hamilton have really embraced what we're about and how we do it."

It was a relief, but also a surprise, to realise just how much locals liked it. 

"The three of us in Frankton, Hamilton, were going, oh, we're going to run out of beer!"

Today, it has six bars, restaurants and a brewing arm that supplies to hundreds of bars across the country. Good George beers and ciders are also stocked at supermarkets and liquor stores. 

As the company's best seller, the IPA was a no-brainer to bring along, Watson said. 

And the Kiwi Sour - a berliner weisse - is sour, refreshing and thirst-quenching, Watson said. 

"Which is what we're going to need here, because it's, like, 34 degrees," Watson said. "It's a lightly sour beer with a lot of kiwifruit juice in it, a mix of green and gold kiwifruit.

"And if you're going to New York, you're going to send something uniquely Kiwi."

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