The iconic alehouse has been a fixture at the top of Mt Eden Road for over a century and has been home to Galbraiths since 1995, providing top quality beer for decades.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“Keith Galbraith’s passion for beer had early beginnings. Raised in Hamilton (until he was old enough to escape), he remembers well the smell that used to drift across the river from the brew kettles of the old Waikato Brewery not far from the family home. Keith opened his eponymous alehouse in 1995 with the heart-felt desire to reintroduce real ale – the beer of our forebears – to New Zealand. With the introduction of modern techniques around the 1930s, traditional, old-world brewing was pretty much done away with. In the wake, mass-produced, mass-appeal beer became the norm, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of Keith Galbraith.”
“Having worked in New Zealand’s wine industry during its infancy, he could see that beer would similarly evolve to a new and dynamic level. A renaissance man who appreciates a quality beer, Keith set out to make the best ale he could and share it with New Zealanders. He always says that he wants to be able to put his hand on his heart and say this is the best beer we can put in a glass and the best pub food we can put on a plate.”
“The result is Galbraith’s, a proudly independent traditional English-style pub serving unique European-inspired ales hand crafted with authentic, natural ingredients.”
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“Redemption 2.5% (New World Beer & Cider awards 2017 GOLD) – 4 Pack 330ml, 30L Key Keg, 50L Keg.”
“Bohemian Pilsner (International Brewing Awards 2017 GOLD) – 6 Pack 330ml, 30L Key Keg, 50L Keg.”
“NZ Pale Ale (New World Beer & Cider awards 2017 BRONZE) – 6 Pack 330ml, 30L Key Keg, 50L Keg.”
“Munich Lager (New World Beer & Cider awards 2017 SILVER) – 6 Pack 330ml, 30L Key Keg, 50L Keg.”
“Pilsner – Czech Style – 500ml, 30L Key Keg, 50L Keg.”
“Pale Ale – New American Style – Czech Style – 500ml, 30L Key Keg, 50L Keg.”
“Santana Double APA – 500ml, 30L Key Keg, 50L Keg.”
“Rurik – Russian Imperial Stout (International Brewing Awards 2017 GOLD + International Brewing Awards 2017 Champion Strong Beer) – 500ml, 30L Key Keg, 50L Keg.”
“We personally know our malt and hops suppliers and these relationships ensure we have the best ingredients money can buy. All malts and hops are selected by Keith and shipped to our warehouse in Auckland. From farm to pint, we have complete control over our brewing and can trace the origin of every pint we sell.”
“We source all our malts from three traditional floor malting companies, two of which are in England and one in the Czech Republic. We have the only Government-approved licence in New Zealand for the importation of whole hops. We firmly believe the pellet versions others use lack the aromas and flavours that are lost during the pellet-making process. Our UK-based hop merchant ensures we get the best aroma and buttering hops each season, sourcing our requirements from specific growers in the UK, mainland Europe and the USA.”
“All our beers are made with different yeast strains in order to give a distinct and unique profile to each individual beer. We have sourced yeasts from many of the world’s old breweries.”
“Luckily, Auckland water is soft, which means it has very low mineral content. The brewing water we use is purified and then mineralized so that we can copy the water profile of the region from which the beer originates. Water plays a big part in the final product and we profile the waters of Pilsen, Munich, Dublin, Burton-on-Trent and Edinburgh – to name a few.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“Some big things are in the pipeline, but more on that at a later date!”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability?
“Available at all good supermarkets, Glengarrys, off-licences and bars – distribution through Hancocks Wines & Spirits.”