August 9, 2015 by Doug Coutts
A craft brewer has appeared in the Wellington District Court today on charges of perverting the course of artisanal zymurgy.
Roy Knights-Cabott, 27, of Melrose, pleaded not guilty to seven representative charges of brewing craft beer from just water, hops malt and yeast, and was remanded on bail for three weeks to enable specific gravity testing. If convicted he faces a fine of several thousand dollars and forced attendance at next year’s Beervana festival.
The prosecution was brought by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, which oversees craft brewing in New Zealand. Speaking on behalf on the Ministry, local artisan brewer Pat Mork-Rappinit said the defendant’s action went against the grain. “Section 3 of the Misuse of Microbreweries Act, a seminal work in my opinion, makes it clear that beer is not a natural, simple-to-make product. It takes creativity, lateral thinking and access to supermarket dumpsters for new additives, to make a truly award-wining beer.”
Mr Mork-Rappinit said local craft breweries were leading the world in innovative beers. “Nowhere else will you find anyone putting lawn clippings, roadkill or used pizza into their ales, lagers and wheat beers,” he said. “And that’s what sets us apart.”
Mr Knights-Cabott declined to comment but his lawyer told WWNews the charges lacked merit. “They’ve tried it on before, these guys. They’re all froth and no substance, but it tends to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.”