Craig Cooper is proudly born & bred in Hawkes Bay and is also fortunate to have lived in many cities around the world pursuing a career in what he loves – beer and spirits. Growing up in New Zealand also gave him a great appreciation for its coastal lifestyle – early years spent at his grandparents bach on the Mahia Peninsula, and following years staying with mates in baches at Waimarama and other iconic kiwi locales. These experiences created a deep passion for craft beer along with the lifestyle associated with the sea, lakes, beaches and coastline.
When the opportunity arose to buy a share of the award winning Limburg Brewery (started in 1998 in the Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand), Craig saw his chance to bring together his two greatest passions. With the help of business partners, family, and friends, he further built the business and brand portfolio including the highly recognized Hopsmacker and Czechmate beers. However the craft beer market was developing more slowly than anticipated and in 2008 the business was closed. Craig retained the Limburg Beer Company, brands and recipes along with a dream to bring them back to life again.
The next five years brought many changes. Craig took a general manager role in an international liquor company and moved to Canada. Here he met his wife and had a son. After only a few years they moved to Melbourne, Australia for a general manager role in Australia’s largest beer company. A daughter was added to the family. The constant travel and demands of a corporate lifestyle brought success but took him away from what mattered most – spending time with his family and friends, his beloved coasts, and being the master of his own destiny.
In 2013, Craig moved with his young family to New Zealand to fulfill his dreams of combining his passion for craft beer and his homeland in a new craft beer venture – Bach Brewing. He dusted off a couple of the original Limburg recipes for Hopsmacker and Czechmate, tweaked them for today’s tastes, and is proud to be bringing them back to the shelves and taps of the best craft beer establishments around New Zealand and beyond.
Like some other leading craft beers, Bach Brewing has chosen to contract brew our beers with one of the best in the brewing business; Steam Brewing Company in Auckland. Nigel, Shane and the brewing team at Steam have won hundreds of awards over the last decade including their own former Cock’n Bull beers and other contract brewed beers. Czechmate Pilsner won its two back to back trophies for best international style lager and was brewed at Steam in 2006 and 2007.