Royalburn farmer launches new beer

Royalburn Station owner and farmer Carlos Bagrie chose Saturday’s Wanaka Beer Festival to launch his new beer on to the New Zealand market.

Swifty is a 4.2% alcohol by volume (APV) beer and is the result of a collaboration between Royalburn Station and Wellington-based brewery Garage Project.

The hybrid brew was named after the Swiftburn Stream on Royalburn Station.

Mr Bagrie is a fifth-generation farmer and co-owns the station with his wife, Nadia Lim.

The farm business focuses on diverse ethical, regenerative products and has been growing barley for more than 100 years.

"It was one of the first farms to supply the Speight’s beer factory," Mr Bagrie said.

"We’re still producing 300 tonnes of premium-quality barley each year, so it made sense for us to develop our own beer brand, in collaboration with Garage Project. We’ve had a lot of fun doing so."

Carlos Bagrie, of Royalburn Station, launched a new beer, Swifty, at the Wanaka Beer Festival on...
Carlos Bagrie, of Royalburn Station, launched a new beer, Swifty, at the Wanaka Beer Festival on Saturday. PHOTO: RAY TIDDY
Spray-free barley is harvested and delivered to Garage Project and brewed into Swifty. The beer is available on tap around the Southern Lakes and Central Otago regions and Mr Bagrie has plans to expand throughout New Zealand.

"We are really stoked with Swifty ... It’s a hybrid beer that’s pilfered from a medley of malts, styles and hops, creating something of exceptional quality that’s still simple and classic," Mr Bagrie said.

Garage Project co-owner Jos Ruffell said collaborating with the Royalburn team had been a "fantastic" experience and "a brewer’s dream".

Royalburn Station recently won a New Zealand Food Award for its Royalburn Fine Lamb.

The 485ha alpine station is a large-scale, farm-to-plate operation and also produces pasture-raised eggs, vegetables, honey, oils, seeds, grains and wool.