Modern New Zealand history is a most finite commodity. While in the UK there are breweries that can trace their history back hundreds of years, here, brewers who date from the 1980’s are seen as the old guard.
There is one New Zealand brewing dynasty however that can trace its history all the way back to the 1850’s.
The Duncan family are currently the driving force behind the Founders Brewery. Founders was formed in 1999 but various generations of the family have been brewing in Nelson since 1854 when Duncan family ancestor Joseph Dodson, bought into the Hooper & Co Brewery.
Hooper & Co was eventually renamed J R Dodson and Sons, then Nelson Breweries, before being sold to Dominion Breweries in the 1960’s.
As a mark of respect for where they have come from, Founders have just released the first two of a new range of revolving seasonal beers called J R Duncan and Sons.
First up Nelson Pilsner is a fruity and zesty New Zealand Pilsner late hopped with NZ Cascade, and dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin to create a big aroma of tropical fruit with a hint of grassiness.
Also under the J R Duncan and Sons banner we have the excessively named ‘Surprise Me AKA AK 4.7’ or AK4.7 for short. AK 4.7 is a hoppy amber ale which was brewed for the Marchfest that happens in Nelson’s Founders Park each March.
Now that the festival is over the beer has been released into the Wellington market.
AK 4.7offers up a big fresh New Zealand hop character, alongside a firm toasty malt body and is perfect for the cooler nights of autumn.
As AK4.7 was brewing John Duncan came across a label in the provincial museum from 1945 for a beer brewed by his ancestor called J R Dodson & Son A.K. Brilliant Ale.
A coincidence? Or blessing from the ancestors?
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