Ready, Sett, Go!
Queenstown-based Crimson Badger are ramping up for their busiest winter yet in their sixth year of operation. They’ve been busy badgers over at The Sett as the business continues to grow and demand for their popular mulled products does too. This year, they’re introducing a new non-alcoholic offering in addition to the mulled wine and mulled Ginger Bear, which will be offered up the mountains and at various establishments throughout town.
Winter is the busiest season for the business thanks to their warm offerings. Throughout season their mulled range has proven to be a favourite – starting out with mulled Ginger Bear before adding mulled wine to the mix and now, Humble 0% Mulled Apple Crumble.
“It started to grow slowly like everything else, we started to order more and more, and saw growing demand for the units. This year has been surprising in the demand we’ve had for mulled Ginger Bear, mulled wine, and Humble 0% Mulled Apple Crumble,” says founder Wesley McAllister.
The initial idea behind launching a mulled Ginger Bear was sparked when McAllister was approached by NZSki’s head of food and beverage at the time to create a warm version of the drink in an easy-to-pour unit. He went to work and came up with the mulled boxes you’ll now see.
“This winter, we decided to try something new and build on the success of our existing mulled offerings,” says head brewer Harvey Hill. “We wanted to take a slightly different tack and appeal to a different corner of the market with our non-alcoholic offering. It’s a break from the norm, and it’s delicious – it’s like sipping a lush liquid apple crumble.”
The unique mulled units that pour their offerings are all hand-crafted by the team. These devices allow bars and restaurants to serve piping hot beverages from a standard keg, making them a desirable option for businesses.
“A lot of work goes into the preparation for these, whether that’s constructing new units, maintaining existing ones, or producing the winter-specific products – it’s no small task. The vast majority of the units are installed within Queenstown and nearby surrounds, however, there are one or two lucky customers from further afield that we have worked out arrangements with so they can have these options too, including Mt Hutt. As we continue to grow, we’re looking at ways we can branch out to more locations as demand is proving to be increasingly high.”
Crimson Badger has built a strong reputation within Queenstown and Wānaka, and both Wes and Harvey feel humbled to see how popular their offerings are. Their goal is always to innovate and make things as easy as possible. “The convenience of just being able to order a standard keg of one of our products and dispense it through the unique system is the height of convenience for a lot of customers.
“The fun thing about making these mulled products is that they’re different every year, and every year we take it as a new challenge to improve. We’ll take previous recipes, look at how we can tweak and build on them by modifying the additions in a way which complements the base product. For instance, the base wine for our mulled wine changed this year – there’s a lot of wine out there and we wanted to pick the perfect one, then we had to adjust the spices and modify the process to best suit what we’re working with – it really gets the creative juices flowing,” says Hill.
McAllister and the team are looking forward to the future and continuing to grow. They’re continuing to expand production at The Sett and are fortunate to have a small but strong team to keep up with demand.
“We’re extremely lucky, and it’s awesome to have the crew that we do, so I really couldn’t have asked for more,” says McAllister.
You can find out more about where to find the mulled offerings at Crimson Badger’s social pages or at crimsonbadger.co.nz