The use of 'Palaeo Water' in Stoke beer

Saturday, January 4, 2020

A few years ago I happened upon the McCashin's Brewery in Nelson, the home of Stoke beer. I did the tour and drank plenty of their fine beers. A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon with friends.

I recently spied the Stoke IPA at the supermarket so I grabbed some. It's a great tasting beer, and one I'd happily drink again.

And when drinking one, that's when I noted something strange, the back of the label referred to 'Palaeo Water' and what's more, it was apparently trademarked.

This intrigued me as, what on Earth is so-called 'palaeo water', as water is just water.


I wondered if the beer was trying to market itself as part of some questionable paleo diet

Regardless of the spelling, the association was amusing and smacks of marketing which I would have thought ordinary beer drinkers would be too smart to buy into as a reason for buying what is an excellent IPA beer.

I see another New Zealand beer blogger has wondered about this before.

Turns out McCashin's 'Palaeo Water' is simply water that is sourced from an ice age era water reservoir in the Nelson region of the South Island of New Zealand. The water is said to be 14 thousand years old. Luckily the well was found underneath the brewery.

So it makes sense for the McCashin's to promote their Stoke beer as having excellent quality water because good, clean water makes for excellent beer brewing results (for example unwanted 'beerstone' in equipment can form for example when water has too much calcium).

My second thought was was this another case of a beer company trade marking something 'common' to their own advantage? My mind immediately went to the moment when Dominion Breweries trademarked the term 'radler' which irked many beer drinkers and brewers in New Zealand.

So it appears McCashin's have simply branded water from the Nelson region (i.e. from their water well in their brewery) as Palaeo to give themselves some kind of marketing edge in the bottled water market:

palaeo water nelson

Which to be fair, is simply some sharp marketing of New Zealand water.

looked up the trademark for Palaeo on the Iponz site, and sure enough, the mark is owned by Roc Mac Ltd, of which many members of the McCashin family are shareholders.

And unlike DB's questionable success in trademarking 'radler', palaeo water is a simply clever marketing innovation by a family of great beer makers which doesn't prevent any other local brewers from finding ways to extol the virtue of the water used in their beers.

The irony of all this is perhaps that if you are actually following a paleo diet, you can't drink beer, even that with Palaeo water, as beer didn't exist during the paleolithic era...


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