Panhead Custom Ales

Finalists - Emerging ProductsMike Neilson Panhead Custom Ales

Family Brewed

Wellington has forged an unchallenged reputation as the Craft Beer Capital, with breweries popping up like mushrooms. None has done so with more speed and momentum than Panhead Custom Ales.

Founder Mike Neilson started off as a home-brewer but his skill and passion where such that it wasn’t long before he’d bagged himself the brewer’s position at a leading craft brewery.

Three years later, Mike decided to be his own boss and Panhead was born. It’s a family affair - Mike’s parents have had a hands-on role in the brewery from the start, and wife Anna has been the administrative mainstay throughout, with pregnancy and childbirth barely interrupting the workflow.

From its first year – 2013 - Panhead has increased turnover 300%. Product has increased from 4,000 litres per month in the first month of trading to 60,000 litres per month currently. “The truth is that Panhead has never held enough stock to know what the true sales potential is,” says Mike. “Our stock is slowing building but sales keep just increasing – it’s going out the door almost as fast as we can bottle it.”

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