The perfect brew for success

Craft beer bar, Good George Brewing are at the top of their game after winning last year’s regional rising star category for the Waikato.

If you want to know what good brewing is - then these guys have the answer. 

Based in Hamilton, Good George can serve you anything from white, amber and sparkling ale to the flavourful Doris Plum cider or Drop Hop cider.

Sales and Marketing Manager, Shannon Thorpe, chatted to us about what it was like to enter the rising star category and how they distinguish themselves in the industry.

What is Good George and what is your role in the business? 

Good George is a Hamilton-based craft brewery. I’m the Sales and Marketing Manager.

What kind of journey have you been on with Good George so far?

A very busy, exciting one! One year ago we had 35 customers and only sold kegs. Now we have over 300 customers and an increased range of products available in cans, bottles and squealers.

You won the regional rising start category last year – how did that feel? 

Fantastic! It was humbling to win the regional category over some great local businesses.

What impact did it have on your business and staff? 

Really positive - it was great for the team to see that all the hard work is worth it.

How did you find the entry process?

I wasn’t part of this but I spoke to our GM Darrel Hadley who was. He said he "enjoyed the opportunity to take stock of what we had achieved. It was a Dragons Den style presentation so it was challenging but ultimately very rewarding as it forced us to think strategically about the future of the business."

How did you find the Fast 50 event overall?

A really enjoyable event. The speakers were really interesting, there were great networking opportunities and there was a good energy to the awards.

What would you say to others keen on entering this category? 

Go for it!    

What small piece of advice would you give other businesses who intend to grow fast?

Make sure that you employ staff that have the right attitude with the ability to roll up their sleeves and muck in as required and always ensure that your product or service has a point of difference from your competitors.

What is your stand out feature from other breweries? 

We take a fresh, fun approach to how we go to market. We pour our beers from the back of a Kombi at events, we retail our beer in a unique 946ml Squealer bottle and we collaborate with artists for our can designs. We are always looking for new ways to do things!        

Where do you see Good George in five years’ time? 

Good George will be a strong national beer brand available throughout NZ and exported to several key overseas markets. Good George will have a strong reputation as a fun, innovative, approachable brand that makes it easy for people to get on board with the craft beer revolution.


Emily is a Senior Advisor in the Deloitte marketing team who knows that behind every great business lies a great story. She loves talking to inspiring people who are thinking outside the box to create a thriving SME sector in New Zealand.