The brewery at the centre of a storm over racism, Eagle Brewing and Port & Eagle Brewpub, is now Five Peaks Brew Co.
The brewery and pub, based in Kaiapoi, north of Christchurch, was forced to rebrand after previous majority shareholder, brewer and founder Dave Gaughan unleashed a racist tirade on a Facebook post in May.
The huge negative publicity around the post made national news and was followed by a wide-ranging boycott from pubs and retailers, making the Eagle brand untenable.
As foreshadowed at the time, Gaughan resigned as a director on June 12 and was replaced by his wife Marilyn Gaughan. At the same time, he handed over his 50.92 per cent shareholding to Marilyn, who already had a 40 per cent stake in the business.
The other 9.08 per cent of the company is owned by a range of shareholders who contributed to a capital raise through a crowd-funding process.
Five Peaks takes its name from the design of the brewpub which features five triangular-shaped roofs.
The brand has redone all its labels and had to relaunch on Untappd as a new brand, with no reviews. Eagle Brewing still exists on Untappd, where it has almost 25,000 reviews.
Gaughan, who started Eagle Brewing in 2010 under the name Golden Eagle, responded to a news article posted on Facebook in May about two shootings in Napier by saying: “Māori are the scurge [sic] of New Zealand. The quicker we put them in prison the better.”
Gaughan later apologised while at the same time restating his belief that cultural differences are at play when it comes to violence against women.
“I am aware of one of my comments posted on a NZ news page which is misconstrued as racism. I would like to apologise for the way in which this post has been perceived. I denounce all forms of racism and I am in no way biased to any one culture.” He went on to say his intention was “to highlight the unacceptable issue of violence against women, which is statistically higher in some cultures.”
The recognition of what the brand has been through seems tacitly acknowledged on the Five Peaks website, there the About Us page states:
“Our philosophy is this, forget mission statements and goals, but treat the business as a journey, one where we learn and improve to help our community be a better place to live. Five Peaks represents the iconic roofline of where we call home, from where we are helping to lead the charge to be more sustainable, supporting local businesses and local people. We are passionate about making our food, our beer, our community, and the lives of those that eat and drink here better.”