Lakeman Brewing came about after owners James and Elissa Cooper wanted to diversify away from farming. James came up with the idea when a mate handed him a bottle of Coopers when on holiday in Australia. James, having the same last name, had a light bulb moment and thought that it would be great to start a family-owned brewery.
The rest, they say, is history. The small team, including brewers Rory Donovan and Kenny Rivers pride themselves on bold branding and brews that are brewed on a farm in Taupo.
Winning a New World Beer and Cider Award for 2020 is definitely a highlight for the brand. “We think they are difficult to win, and being judged by our peers is some validation we are on the right track,” said James Cooper.
Following the Government’s announcement on lockdown, the team quickly pivoted to online sales and this helped to supplement their sales from the closure of on-premise accounts.
Cooper believes that customers, particularly following the pandemic, are looking to support local small and medium producers and to learn more about their products, engaging with them in their stories. “They also will always be looking for consistent, good quality beer that is reasonably priced, things we know we can provide.”
The team have just released Hairy Juice, a West Coast IPA that is clean and balanced showcasing the hops. It is the teams’ favourite brew at the moment. Hairy Jafa, a chocolate orange stout has also been recently released just in time for Winter. It is a very approachable stout with a lower ABV and a great price point.