Into the trenches

IMG_1678So a lot has happened since our last update. We had a very successful run of events during The Road to Beervana which was a blast but complicated by the fact that we were spread thin trying to commission the brewery, man the events and package the last of our contract batches at Panhead. Mistress fate dictated that we were to miss our collaboration brew with Barley Browns with the brewery missing the date by a week. We did however host Tyler Brown for a day, took him to lunch , sniffed hops and came up with a recipe that we will brew in a fortnights time or so.
Beervana was a huge success for us. We went to town on our bar utilising a friends caravan , some Astroturf and a picket fence to bring a little bit of Waikanae Beach to the cake tin. The Salt and Wood beers went down well as did Blanc de Houblon which ended the festival at number 13 on the leader board and top rated Belgian style beer. Our new winter seasonal Old Island Burton Ale was also a hit, leading to us considering a very late winter production batch of the beer.
After Beervana there was no rest and we were straight into preparing the brewery for our maiden brew. The saintly Jim Holly flew up from Christchurch where he holds the position of head brewer at The Twisted Hop, booked into the motel next door to the brewery and spent 2 and a ½ days helping us get the brewery going and doing the first brew. Carl from Tuatara dropped in a couple of times and helped with loaned equipment and gifted minerals. Our first brew ended up being our collaboration with James Kemp legendary ping pong pom brewer extraordinaire who counts Fullers, Thornbridge and Buxton among his resume and now is the brewing consultant for a major homebrew outfit. The brew was branded a collaboration with the Grainfather brewing system and took the form of Sceptred Warrior an English hopped assertive IPA.  Maiden brews are always plagued by problems and this was no exception however we successfully got wort fermenting in the FV only to have a series of problems with the glycol system. The jury is out on the fate of batch # 1.

The main thing however is we are off! We have another 2 brews scheduled this week , as long as I can shake the head cold that has stopped me in my tracks and given me time to write this blog post. Cheers!

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