A shared passion for creativity

Starting in a shed on Vasta’s Reikorangi farm on Wellington’s Kapiti Coast back in 2000, Tuatara Brewery was born. Carl’s purpose was to brew beers that he and his mates enjoyed drinking. 17 years on, with significant growth in the NZ craft industry and two NZ Champion Brewery wins (the only brewery to achieve the accolade twice), the Brewery promise to “create memorable and uniquely Aotearoa beer experiences”.

Sponsorship as an experience
Tuatara focus their sponsorships mainly on the arts. They’ve found a natural niche partnering with those that share a passion for creativity whether you’re an ‘artist’ or an artisan of, in their case, beer.

A few examples of previous and ongoing sponsorships include:

  • Wellington City Gallery
  • Coastella Music Festival on the Kapiti Coast
  • Friends of the Dowse – ECC Student Design Awards
  • Wellington Jazz Festival
  • Newtown Festival
  • NZ Opera
  • Providing space to NZ artists and musicians at The Third Eye (Tuatara’s trial brewery in Wellington city)

Through their decision to support the Arts, Tuatara are able to be part of a wider holistic experience for people which they hope to be considered a key part. They see it as a privilege to be associated with the likes of NZ Opera, Wellington City Gallery etc. It is very much a symbiotic relationship.

A local perspective
Although Tuatara generally focuses on promotion of the arts including film, music, galleries, etc., their sponsorship opportunities aren’t just set aside for artists. They aim to be active in their local and regional communities, and aim to support events and organisations in their own backyard.

“If our local communities are healthy, then local businesses will thrive”

Alongside supporting their local communities through sponsorships, Tuatara also aim to make a difference by collaborating for a cause. Through brewing special flavours or specific styles of beer, they often create products that generate donations.

For example, their collaboration with the RSA, Foxhole Commemorative Pale Ale, has been going for several years now. Foxhole is a beer that’s brewed around Anzac day each year. The proceeds benefit the RSA.

Tuatara also support  causes and organisations that have specific meaning to them as a company. Their annual Matt Lang Memorial IPA is brewed in honour of a much loved staff member who died from an undetected heart defect. Matt loved massively hoppy, Pliny-like pale ales, so each Christmas they brew such a beer, where the funds raised are given to the Auckland Hospital Cardiac Physiology (AHCP) Unit for the purchase of AEDs (Advisory External Defibrillator), a portable defibrillator for at-risk patients.

A creative edge
Having a specific focus on fostering the arts helps the business to retain a creative focus. In a competitive business environment, such as craft now is, there is a temptation to let continuous challenge and innovation slide and stick with the status quo of what works now. Being involved in a creative context wider than craft beer reminds Tuatara to continuously challenge themselves, and stay true to their promise to mix ‘edge of the world creativity with classical inspiration to produce world class full flavour Kiwi beer’.

Not only does this impact how Tuatara perform in the market, there’s also an altruistic impact on their staff culture to know that they’re making a positive difference in their communities.

BrandsBrian Steele