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“Maori King” beermaker, Funkwerks offer ‘explanation’ [full-text]
He has asked that we publish it in it’s entirety.
To whom it may concern,
I’m Gordon Schuck, brewer and co-owner of Funkwerks, and I’m the one that named Maori King. Let me tell a little about Funkwerks, the origin of the beer, and ultimately why I chose that name. I’m hoping this will clear-up the misinformation that is out there and shed light on my intentions.
First of all, Funkwerks is a small brewery, really small. When I came up with the recipe for Maori King last November the total amount of beer sold for the year was maybe 10 hectoliters, we only had two employees, and our beer was distributed no further than 5 kilometers. We are not some big, arrogant company as some articles seem to imply.
We opened our tasting room at the brewery last year and wanted to make an extra special version of our Saison, that’s when the idea for an “Imperial” Saison was floated around. We have always used organic ingredients in our beers and I wanted to try an organic New Zealand hop I had read about called Rakau. Well, in short, the beer turned out wonderful. The unique character of the beer is directly the result of these New Zealand hops so I wanted a name that tied in with that. So I did what most people do, I went to Google. I learned about the Maori people. I learned about the New Zealand hop growers using Maori words to name new varieties of hops. I learned about the Maori King movement. My first thought was to name the beer Kingitanga. As much as I like obscure hard to pronounce words, I knew we needed a name that was easy to pronounce. So I chose Maori King. What could be more New Zealand than the native people of New Zealand? What could be more imperial than king?
There is a saying, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Maori King name was meant as homage to the Maori people and their fight to have their own leaders. I don’t know the entire history of the Maori people but if it’s anything like the Native Americans, I’m sure they’ve gotten the short end of the stick. I’m very sympathetic to native people. My fiancé is part Native American. I never meant this name to be construed as an insult and for that I am deeply sorry.
We get a quite a few people visiting our brewery and asking “What’s Maori?” At that point they get a brief explanation about the Maori people being the native people of New Zealand. I hope that the Maori people will realize that in a small corner of Colorado there are a few more people that know more about the Maori people. At the very least that is a good thing.