Marble brewer Kemp to join Yeastie Boys

New Zealand’s cuckoo brewing company Yeastie Boys has appointed former Buxton and Thornbridge brewer James Kemp as its head brewer.

Kemp will join the company, which describes itself as “post-craft”, in mid-March from Manchester’s Marble Brewery, where he is head brewer.

Yeastie Boys was founded in 2008 by Stu McKinlay and Sam Possenniskie and makes beer using other people’s brewing equipment in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

It started brewing in the UK in 2015 and claims to have tripled UK sales in 2017.

“We’ve got off to a cracking start in the UK, from absolutely nothing, but we’re always thinking of the future and this was the perfect place to bring someone on board,” said McKinlay.

“Bringing James into the team is an investment in our brand as well as the product. We’ve long been known for innovation but in the UK we’ve focused on our core range products, only bringing in very small volumes of seasonals and specials from New Zealand.

“As our reach expands nationally and into Europe, and often outside the traditional craft beer venues, it’s important to us that we continue to excite and delight the independent trade, and that needs to happen from here in the UK rather than back in New Zealand.

“I can’t think of anyone better to do that than James Kemp. I’ve known him for over a decade and his dedication to innovation and quality make him one of the very best brewers that I know.

“Exporting our products around the world is becoming less of an option as we see local beer scenes really exploding in terms of both diversity and quality and the set-up of Yeastie Boys UK and Yeastie Boys Australia allows us to build a base making local beers with a New Zealand accent.

“We’ve got to the point where we really needed someone far better than me to oversee all this production and James is the perfect person for that job.

“We’ve not mapped out an exact plan of what we’ll brew, yet, as we really want to let James focus all his energy on his last couple of months at Marble, but expect a good dose of easily accessible seasonal beers, possibly with melon balls, followed by a really exciting long-term focus on elegant and very special beers.”

Kemp said: “I’ve been a fanboy of Yeastie Boys since I first tried Pot Kettle Black almost 10 years ago and I’ve always considered them to be one of the most exciting and edgy breweries in the world.

“I’m really looking forward to having a lot of fun making great beer and helping take them to the next level.”