01 October 2010

The iconic McCashin's Brewery in Stoke, Nelson has appointed Hancocks Wine & Spirit Merchants as its distributor for the New Zealand domestic market.

Both McCashin's Brewery and Hancocks are New Zealand owned and operated companies with a strong family history.

The partnership will see Hancocks responsible for McCashin's portfolio of premium brands, including Rochdale Traditional Cider, Frute Real Fruit Cider and 26000 Vodka.

McCashin's Brewery and Hancocks will also be launching a new range of premium beer into the New Zealand market later in the year.

Dean McCashin, of McCashin's Brewery is confident about the synergy between the two New Zealand companies.

"Hancocks has an impressive track record for both off-premise and on-premise led brand building and we are excited about the potential of this partnership," says Mr McCashin.

"We feel that with these strong credentials and complementary brand portfolio, Hancocks is the ideal partner to build on the successful growth of our brands in New Zealand."

Managing Director of Hancocks, Joe Jakicevich is also very positive about the partnership and excited about working with McCashin's range of brands.

"We are delighted that McCashin's Brewery has chosen Hancocks to manage its brand portfolio and are looking forward to developing these superb brands even further," says Mr Jakicevich. 

The McCashin's Brewery produces a unique range of beverages lovingly handcrafted from traditional recipes that have been the pride of the McCashin family for almost 30 years.

Hancocks has an extensive wine and spirit portfolio for many renowned local and international brands. Specialising in the sale of premium brands, Hancocks Wine and Spirit Merchants are one of New Zealand's leading brand marketers and distributors to the liquor industry.


The family who founded Mac's Beer, also make damn good Vodka.

06 September 2010

26000 Vodka's three flavours, Raspberry & Lemondrop, Crystalline and Lychee, each won silver medals at this year's San Francisco World Spirit Awards in the 40% and under category.  42 Below Vodka (now owned offshore by Bicardi) won a silver and two bronzes in the over 40% category.

26000 Vodka was started in Nelson in 2006 by Ken Telfar and Warryn Bermingham and was sold to the McCashin family in mid 2009.  Terry McCashin's oldest son Dean and his wife Emma shifted up to Nelson in April 2009 to re-open the Stoke brewery after Lion-Nathan's lease expired. 

The vodka gets its name from the 26000 year old water used in the making of it.  The water, which dates from the Palaeolithic era, has remained untouched by humans since the last ice age, when the North and South Islands were joined.  Family spokesperson Emma McCashin explains "the first law of vodka is that the quality of the water dictates the quality of the vodka, and you can't get water much more pure than this. People afre surprised when we do a blind taste test against other vodkas, how good the 26000 Vodka tastes.  The first word most people use to describe it is 'smooth'.  A few bars we supply are encouraging punters to sip it like a good cognac and have it straight or on ice.  Although a good vodka shouldn't be drunk cold as this masks the flavours.  Save the freezer for the cheap vodka."

Beer writer Geoff Grigg's reported in the Marlborough Express "While Lion plans Mac's return to the South Island [after relocating it to Wellington in 2008], the pioneering brand's original owners, the McCashin family, are set to restart brewing in Nelson. Having recently reopened the old Stoke brewery, the family is planning a full portfolio of beverages that will include water, ciders, beers, wines and spirits. The McCashins are already marketing a range of vodkas and alcoholic fruit drinks and in the past week I've also received samples of two ciders. According to the company's new website (, in the near future we can also expect to see "a range of ales, lagers and dark beers".

The website also highlights the family's role in shaping New Zealand's blossoming craft beer industry. "McCashin's success inspired a new generation of brewers, with many of these brewers having learnt their trade from McCashin's Brewery," it states."

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a record number of international entries, topping last year's high mark by 17%. On March 13th and 14th, 30 of the most prestigious spirits experts in the United States tasted 1,024 premium spirits during the judging held at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, making the oldest American spirits competition also the largest.  The 1,024 entries representing 58 countries and six out of the seven continents (only Antarctica was missing), making this a globally influential spirits competition.


McCashins Brewery Buys 26000 Vodka Brand

11 October 2009

A vodka made in Nelson which has achieved global recognition but fell victim to the world economic downturn has been revived by McCashin's Brewery in Stoke.


Emma McCashin said the company had bought the international award-winning 26000 Vodka brand for an undisclosed sum, and aimed to begin producing it at its distillery.

McCashin's also has plans to resume cider production at the Stoke plant, for which resource consent is being sought.

The trademark for Rochdale Cider was issued in the 1940s, and the McCashins took over the brand when they bought the Stoke plant in 1980.

Ken Telfar and Warryn Bermingham started 26000 Vodka in 2006, working from a corrugated iron shed in Mapua.

In 2007, they moved to the old Anchor Shipping and Foundry Company building on the Nelson waterfront. They recently sold their shares in the company to other shareholders, who then sold the brand to McCashin's.

The vodka is made from triple-distilled grain and ancient artesian water, and comes in pure crystalline and flavoured infused varieties. It retailed at premium prices in the United States.

The crystalline vodka has just won a bronze medal at the 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, backing up from last year, when it won a silver and two bronze medals.

The product is named for the artesian water, which was drawn from a Tasman district aquifer that dates back 26,000 years. The age of the water has been verified by Geological and Nuclear Science.

Mrs McCashin said the water drawn from the Stoke bore was from the same aquifer, which meant there would be no problems keeping the name.

An application has been made to take groundwater from two existing bores on the Stoke property. One is 350 metres deep and the other 40m deep.

Mrs McCashin said there had been some issues with the infusions changing colour, but rather than adding artificial colouring, the preference was to educate consumers that it was a natural product and that natural fruits faded over time, but the vodka did not lose its flavour.

An application filed yesterday in the High Court at Auckland to put the company, called Wakefield Quay, formerly 26000 Vodka, into liquidation would have no impact on the product's new direction, Mrs McCashin said.

"We have incorporated a new company, and bought the brand off the old company. The liquidation issue is with the previous owner," she said.

The McCashins plan to focus on building awareness of the product in New Zealand by creating relationships with bars, restaurants and bottle stores.

Mrs McCashin said they were already getting a lot of interest from overseas, and were working with contacts who had a "great deal of interest in quality products from New Zealand".


Halliday's return a winner

26 February 2009

New Zealand racing driver Matt Halliday made a successful return to Porsche GT3 racing at Taupo Motorsport Park over the weekend. The Californian based Kiwi star was especially signed to drive a Giltrap Group owned Porsche GT3 in the feature "mini enduro" races which formed a part of the support programme for the New Zealand round the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

Halliday shared the car with rising young star Jono Lester which saw the duo dominate the weekend by winning both of the 50 minute races on Saturday and Sunday. The winning 26000 VODKA sponsored car was prepared and managed by Lyall Williamson's International Motorsports Team with whom Halliday has undertaken several Porsche GT3 campaigns over recent years. The race victories were notably pleasing for Halliday as he has not raced this type of car for twelve months.

The weekend did not go without its dramas as the early stages of each race saw plenty of door to door action as several drivers challenged the dynamic duo who eventually dominated through consistently fast lap times and a well devised tyre strategy. The Saturday afternoon race was won by a margin of 25 secs and Sunday's race by a margin of 18 secs thus confirming the dominance of their victories.

Halliday was quick to praise Lester for his ability and willingness to learn and is pleased his presence aided the team in acquiring the most suitable set up and race tactics:

"It was great getting behind the wheel of a Porsche GT3 again, especially at the A1GP meeting as both championships mean a lot to my good friend Colin Giltrap whose car I was driving. As a former driver for the Kiwi A1GP team and IMS Porsche driver I was determined to do my best to give Colin and Lyall the results they were seeking. It's also been a great debut for 26000 VODKA as my personal sponsors" said Halliday from Auckland earlier today.

Halliday will now return to his base in California where he is preparing to undertake some race testing duties.


2009 Millennium Cup Superyacht Regatta

26 February 2009

NZ Millennium Cup Pacific Series a Great Success

With the sailing races contested with great enthusiasm and an equal passion demonstrated for the night-time entertainment, everyone involved in the recently-completed New Zealand Millennium Cup Pacific Series in Auckland said it was a thoroughly enjoyable regatta.

"The main purpose of the Millennium Cup superyacht regatta is to profile the New Zealand marine sector and its very strong links to international markets, such as the luxury superyacht market where several New Zealand companies feature strongly as world-class designers and manufacturers," says Mark Wightman, chairman of NZ Marine which developed and organises the Millennium Cup. "The event also highlights New Zealand as a yachting destination for international sailors."

The Millennium Cup was first sailed in Auckland in 2000 between the Louis Vuitton Series and America's Cup events as an exciting way for New Zealand to host many influential people in the superyacht industry. The regatta was contested in Auckland again in 2003, and then followed the America's Cup to Spain in 2007 where a one-day regatta was sailed off Palma de Mallorca.

This year the Millennium Cup Pacific Series was again linked to the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series with organisers having just four months to put the event together.

The three-day regatta ran from 9 to 11 February and having won three of the four races, the crew of 33.8m sailing yacht (SY) Silvertip now happily holds the Millennium Cup until such time as the regatta is next run; this timing is dependent on when the next America's Cup regatta is sailed.

"On the waters of Auckland Harbour you could not have asked for better sailing from the Millennium Cup entrants," says Wightman. "Each of the three courses was very different. Out around the Hauraki Gulf islands of Tiri Tiri Matangi and Rakino, then back to Takapuna beach on the first day for Alloy Yachts race one, and then the Robinson Marine Interiors-sponsored close-hauled inner harbour race was sailed on day two. Wednesday's races followed a short triangular course off Takapuna beach, with Fitzroy Yachts race three in the morning, then Southern Spars race four to complete the regatta."

The race courses were developed by Millennium Cup organisers and officials from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who administered the IRC handicap system and ran each of the races.

Each of the six entrants were allocated a start time based on their IRC rating, which saw the smallest of the division one competitors, 32m SY Naos the first to start each race. The order was then SY Zenji, a 55.9m ketch, on the one day she raced, then SY Thalia, a 48.4m ketch. Silvertip started the first race from third with 39.6m SY Janice of Wyoming fourth. These two larger, quicker yachts swapped their starting position for the remaining three races. The sole division two entry, 19.8m SY Ragtime got her starting orders five minutes after the division one yachts.

Silvertip proving the quickest yacht in virtually all the varied conditions and despite giving the rest of the field nearly half an hour advantage in start times, the innovative Ed Dubois-designed sloop came through to cross the line first in three of the races.

"It was excellent racing on our courses near the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series," comments Richard Selby, Silvertip's captain. "Hal Wagstaff, the RNZYS-appointed race officer, did a great job with the handicaps, which made for interesting racing for all involved. In all, despite the small fleet, the races were all very good and the whole Silvertip crew enjoyed the functions very much."

Chris Wilson, captain onboard Janice of Wyoming, says their crew and owners also thoroughly enjoyed the sailing. "While we would have loved greater participation from other superyachts here in Auckland, that didn't lessen our enjoyment of being able to sail these great courses so close to Auckland city. The racing was really well run and the format couldn't have been better. The inner harbour race was particularly good fun and everyone onboard Janice of Wyoming has really enjoyed these few days, possibly even more than we enjoyed the regatta in Palma in 2007! It's been brilliant."

The Millennium Cup Pacific Series also featured the Integrated Marine Group golf challenge at the spectacular Gulf Harbour Country Club on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Twenty-two golfers teed off on the challenging 6,400 metre, par 72 course and enjoyed the hospitality provided by Gulf Harbour, IMG and Oceanbridge Shipping. Lunch and refreshments were served to players from golf carts and the clubhouse as they went past.

"Again, it was a thoroughly excellent way to get together and celebrate the Millennium Cup and what it means for the New Zealand marine sector," says Wightman. "As CEO of Integrated Marine Group, the golf event sponsor, we have been blown away from the positive response from all our competitors. Our hearty congratulations to Tom Sherwood, a guest of Millennium Cup sponsor Lufthansa Private Jet, who was the winner on the day."

An essential component of events such as the Millennium Cup is the involvement of relevant sponsors. New Plymouth-based Fitzroy Yachts was one of the out-of-Auckland sponsors and managing director Rodney Martin says the event is a great way to enjoy the Louis Vuitton series.

"The Millennium Cup works well alongside the competitive atmosphere of the Louis Vuitton series and the Auckland Viaduct Harbour is a great venue for events of this kind," says Martin.

"Fitzroy Yachts involvement at this and other international regattas is all about our commitment to the superyacht world, staying current with the latest builds, and the classics, and with the people in it. We really enjoyed catching up with the owners and crews of the yachts participating in this year's Millennium Cup and with such a well-run event, it makes our involvement very worthwhile."

Jakub Tayerle, sales and marketing manager for 26000 Vodka, says the fast-growing company was delighted to come onboard as a corporate sponsor of the Millennium Cup Pacific Series.

"The Millennium Cup is one of the largest sponsorships we've undertaken in New Zealand and we were absolutely delighted with the response to our premium vodka from the many guests at the event's functions," says Tayerle. "In terms of helping get our product known nationally and internationally, our involvement with the Millennium Cup was very worthwhile and we thank the event organisers, particularly project manager Cherie Brown, for their support and enthusiasm in creating a fantastic event."

The 2009 Millennium Cup Pacific Series was made possible with the support of Boat International Media, Alloy Yachts, Integrated Marine Group, Southern Spars, Fitzroy Yachts, Robinson Marine Interiors, Events Clothing, Viking Crew Management, Hall Spars, Electronic Navigation, Oceanbridge Shipping, Harken NZ, North Sails, IC Frith & Associates, Maxwell Marine, Mulcahy Engineering, Yachting Developments, 26000 Vodka, Lufthansa Private Jet, Lexus, Antipodes Water, Arano Juice and Domo Collections.