Meet the Makers – Matt Warner & Matt Kristofski from ParrotDog
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Meet the Makers – Matt Warner & Matt Kristofski from ParrotDog

Written by
Vintage Cellars
February 16, 2017
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The head brewers over at New Zealand’s ParrotDog chat beer and hands-on brewing.

Can you describe yourselves as brewers? Do you have a certain philosophy or style to your craft?

We only brew beers that we ourselves want to drink. We take the idea of what we would like in our own glass as a finished product, and then work backwards to create and refine this product until it meets the initial idea. 

How did you get started? Both personally, or the business you’re involved in. 

We started out as aspiring home-brewers while living and studying together at university. After some encouraging feedback on our home-brews from commercial brewers, we gained the confidence to go commercial and have never looked back.

What is the inspiration behind what you make? Who or what has influenced the drinks you make? 

Local brewing pioneers, as well as international brewing icons. We look to take bits and pieces from all brewers and styles around the world and then formulate our own take on particular styles.

Can you describe your process for us? Is there anything unique or unusual about your process?

We have a very hands-on brewery at present, due to our naivety as young, start-up commercial brewers. These time-consuming processes allow us plenty of time to hone in on exactly the particular beer formulations that we want to brew.

In your opinion, what do you think makes a good beer?

Ultimately, balance is key. A nice balance between malt character and hop character (and sometimes yeast character) will almost always produce a fine beer to drink. A little something unique, but not overly done, has its merits in making a distinguishable product too.

How do you feel your role or work impacts the final product?

Having absolute and total control of the entire production process, from the ingredients through to packaging means that we impact the final product at each and every point along the way.

How does your personality show through in what you produce?

We are down-to-earth, real people making real products. No gimmicks. 

What are the most enjoyable parts of what you do?

Having a rewarding finished product at the end of a hard, long day’s production is very enjoyable. The team, environment and culture that we have created and are always continuing to nurture here at ParrotDog is also a very enjoyable aspect.

What are the most difficult parts of what you do?

The most difficult part is trying to squeeze as much beer as we possibly can out of our very small and hands-on brewery.

Where do you see yourself and your industry headed in the next few years?

The brewing scene in New Zealand is going from strength to strength and we think that it will keep growing onwards and upwards this way, ultimately leading to a decent variety of high quality products for the end consumer to choose from.