Matt Lang Memorial IPA - Raising funds in tribute for a mate who lives on in our hearts

Posted on Thursday 17/12/2015

You may remember last year, we released a Matt Lang Memorial brew in memory of our dear mate and colleague, Matt Lang, who passed away suddenly from Cardiac Inherited Disease in December 2013.

Today sees the launch of our second Matt Lang brew - a massively hoppy, Pliny-like, 7% American IPA, which is pouring on tap at the brewery Tasting Room, The Third Eye and select craft beer bars from today, with a special launch in Wellington at The Third Eye. All proceeds from pints sold will go towards support for those with Cardiac Inherited Diseases (CID) and Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) like Matt.

Matt was our Northern Regional Sales Rep, and integral in establishing the Tuatara brand in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga (and off other beaten tracks!). He passed away five days before Christmas, at the age of 27.

All funds raised from last year’s brew went directly to purchasing three defibrillators (with help from Philips Electrical) to help those like Matt who suffer from CID.

“Having met people whose lives have been affected by CID, and those who work tirelessly to help them, we decided we wanted to do it again, and in doing so drive more awareness around CID,” said Blair Harley, Tuatara’s National Sale Manager and Matt’s team manager.

“This year we really would love to exceed that effort!

“Matt loved hugely hoppy, Pliny-like pale ales, so that’s what we've brewed for him with the help of his father, Bruce (affectionately known as Bru, but now: “Brew”), who came down from Auckland, and Tom Donoghue from the Cardiac Inherited Disease Group (CIDG) for Matt’s brew day at The Third Eye.”

Neither Matt nor his family were aware he was vulnerable to the genetic disease, which is acquired at birth and can be difficult to identify as symptoms rarely display and are, characterised by abnormal electrical activity in the heart. Left undetected, this abnormal electrical activity can lead to sudden death, often in one’s sleep. It can affect people of all ages, but commonly presents in young people, especially men in their late teens to early 40s.

While treatment is available, identifying the disorder can be difficult. Though, relatively common, awareness and knowledge of CID is still developing. Two types of CID, LQTS and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) affect 1/2000 and 1/200-500 people, respectively. Once the disease is identified within an individual, family members are screened, as there is a 50 per cent likelihood they will also be affected by the condition. Its occurance is as common as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as Cot Death), yet there is very little public awareness about CID.

Jon Skinner, Clinical Leader and CIDG Chair, says it is the role of CIDG, a group of New Zealand medical professionals, to prevent working to prevent sudden deaths caused by CID with ongoing research, by simplifying the screening of at-risk individuals and families, and educating people and health professionals around awareness of CID.

“Tuatara wanted to raise funds and awareness by brewing a beer in Matt’s memory, and approached us to work with them, and find out the best way the money could be used.

“We suggested proceeds of the sales be donated for the purchase of AEDs (Advisory External Defibrillator), a portable defibrillator for at-risk patients with CID. These devices have the potential to save lives, and we want to see them widespread in the community.”

Matt Lang Memorial Beer will be launched at Tuatara’s inner city bar, The Third Eye on Thursday, 17 December. Members of CIDG will be attending, as well as Matt’s family and friends.

We hope you’ll join us in raising funds for CIDG, and raising a glass to Matt, a mate who lives on in our hearts.

For more on CID and the CIDG:

The Matt Lang Memorial IPA can be found on tap at:

  • Hopscotch Beer Company - Auckland 
  • The Brewers Co-operative - Auckland 
  • My Bar - Auckland 
  • The Fine Wine Delivery Company Lunn Ave - Auckland 
  • The Fine Wine Delivery Company Constellation Drive - Auckland 
  • The Hamilton Beer & Wine Co - Hamilton 
  • Phil's Place (via Liquorland Tauranga) - Tauranga 
  • The Third Eye - Wellington 
  • Tuatara Brewery Tasting Room - Kapiti 
  • Little Beer Quarter - Wellington 
  • Malthouse - Wellington
Matt's pints will be sold in the above bars for $15 and $20, with the additional amount for donation going to the CIDG. All proceeds made by Tuatara Brewery from the sales of kegs and pints of Matt's beer will also go directly to CIDG. 

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