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Tuatara Appoints Richard Shirtcliffe as Chief Executive


Tuatara Brewing Company Limited (Tuatara) today announced that it has appointed well-known brand marketer and director Richard Shirtcliffe as its chief executive. Richard will take up the role full-time in the New Year.

The appointment follows Rangatira Limited, the New Zealand-owned investment company, taking a cornerstone shareholding in Tuatara in June, when it acquired 35% of Tuatara. Since then Rangatira has been working with Tuatara’s founders, Sean Murrie and Carl Vasta on key growth initiatives, central to which was the appointment of a brand and sales driven chief executive.

Tuatara chairman and Rangatira chief executive Ian Frame said, “Richard’s appointment marks the beginning of a new chapter for Tuatara. Sean Murrie and Carl Vasta established Tuatara’s credentials as a leading craft brewer that has won numerous awards. Richard represents the future. His challenge is to extend Tuatara’s presence and make our beer more readily available to discerning drinkers throughout New Zealand and offshore.”

Richard joins Tuatara from phil&teds, where he was brand director responsible for establishing phil&teds and Mountain Buggy as 'must have' brands, stocked by over 2000 stores in 50 countries. With a passion for building emergent NZ businesses, he has been a director of roof rack business Prorack and is currently Chairman of innovative Wellington start-up Hunter Safety Lab, and consultant to fast rising technology business ikeGPS. 

Tuatara director Sean Murrie said, “Richard coming onboard is exciting, as is the task ahead. However, the goal remains unchanged. Tuatara will remain focused on growing the New Zealand craft beer industry here and abroad. Tuatara’s unique vision for the craft beer – from religiously brewing true to style beer while pushing the boundaries, to staying small enough to deliver the highest quality beer, yet large enough to distribute the product widely – will remain core to the business’ future.”

Carl Vasta, Tuatara’s production manager and director, said, “Tuatara is a craft brewer. Growth for us isn’t about taking on Lion or DB in the premium beer market. Rather, we’re looking to create a platform to bring new and better craft beer to more deserving kiwis and, in doing so, build the craft industry.”

Established in December 2000, Tuatara currently produces and sells over a million litres of beer each year which puts it in the top three of New Zealand’s craft breweries. The company currently exports to Australia, Singapore, China, the United States and Europe. The award-winning brewing company has won the Deloitte fast 50 award for being the fastest growing manufacturer in the lower North Island in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Its new Paraparaumu brewery was opened late last year by the Prime Minister and currently has the capacity to produce at least two million litres a year with further potential to double production to around four million litres.

The core Tuatara range comprises Pilsner, Helles Lager, Hefe, Aotearoa Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, American Pale Ale and Porter.

Ian Frame said, “We look forward to working with Richard as he takes Tuatara to the next stage. Rangatira’s very excited about Tuatara and sees the potential for the brewer to emulate the success of Hellers - New Zealand’s largest bacon, ham and smallgoods company. When we took at 50% stake in Hellers in 2003, it was well-known in the South Island and wanted to expand its presence nationwide. Since then, it has grown production fourfold and developed its brand to become the market leader. Tuatara has the ingredients to become not only this country’s leading craft brewery but to impose its presence internationally.”


About Tuatara

Tuatara was founded in 2000 by Sean Murrie, Carl Vasta and Fraser McInnes.

It was started in response to the fledgling demand for craft beer that was not well served by the existing brewers. Tuatara focused primarily on creating great beer, with rigorous quality control. It was important to the founding shareholders that the brewery make beers of the greatest world wide styles and focused on quality above all else.

Over time the brewery won several brewing awards including best NZ brewery in 2008/09, and a host of other top awards from Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.

Tuatara’s intention is to keep making the best beer it can, whilst helping to educate drinkers about craft beer, and what makes it so different. People often say they don’t like beer, but when given true craft product they surprise themselves by discovering the amazing flavours that craft is able to impart


11:14AM Wednesday, 04 December, 2013

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