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Thursday 24 July 2014

Cloudy Bay hits out at ‘dirty tactics’ accusation

9th September, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Famed Marlborough estate Cloudy Bay has hit out at “dirty tactics” accusations by Moa Beer for trying to prevent the brewer from expanding its operations in the region.

Cloudy Bay and Moa beer

Cloudy Bay has appealed against Moa Beer’s plans to expand its operations in the grape growing region of Marlborough

Last month, Moa Beer, which has been based in Marlborough for a decade, was granted resource consent to carry out a NZ$6.1m expansion of its brewery near Blenheim.

Cloudy Bay, owned by French luxury goods giant LVMH, has appealed to Marlborough District Council in opposition of the plan, along with local residents Philip Rose and Simon Matthews.

“We have a vintage once a year. A brewery producing 12 million litres of beer a year would be like vintage every day, 365 days a year. A brewery has no link with the land, it does not have to be there,” Cloudy Bay’s director, Ian Morden, told the Marlborough Express.

Morden is concerned that Moa’s plans for “an industrial-scale brewery” will negatively impact upon Marlborough’s “unique rural environment.”

Moa Beer has accused Cloudy Bay of "dirty tactics"

Moa Beer has accused Cloudy Bay of “dirty tactics”

Moa however, has accused Cloudy Bay of “dirty tactics” in order to “stifle” the expansion plans, believing the company to have funded Rose and Matthews for their collaboration in the appeal.

“What we have here is a French-owned company, who trades on our Kiwi identity trying to dictate the terms of operation to a genuine New Zealand business.

“It seems ironic that they are taking issue with our new building, which would easily fit inside just one of their five huge buildings,” Moa’s chief executive Geoff Ross, told the Marlborough Express.

“It reeks of French snobbery. Every other wine region in the world has active craft brewers. So too should Marlborough,” he added.

Morden has hit out at the claims, calling them “a complete fabrication”. “The allegation that Cloudy Bay is funding other appellants is a complete fabrication. Frankly, it is rather disappointing that Moa Brewery would make such unfounded allegations,” he told news website Wellington.Scoop.

In order to appease Cloudy Bay, Moa is considering housing its new facility within a winery.

“We’ll consider creating a building, smaller than one of Cloudy Bay’s wine rooms, calling it a winery, and putting our brewery inside,” Ross told Scoop.co.nz.

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