Archive for March, 2011

Marchfest

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I’m off to Marchfest this weekend. While I will be carrying a camera it’s mainly an opportunity to spend some time with family back where I grew up. I’m sure I’ll also bump into some old friends and make some new ones too. Good beer is good like that.

I haven’t photographed nearly enough brewers from the top of the south but here are an extra-large handful of them for your viewing pleasure. I’ll be stalking the rest at Marchfest.

Reuben Lee from the Mussel Inn

Mat the Monkey Wizard

Martin Townshend from Townshend Brewery

John and Matt Duncan from Founders Brewery

Søren Eriksen From 8 Wired
Søren Eriksen From 8 Wired
Andy Deuchars from Renaissance
Andy Deuchars from Renaissance

Croucher Brewing Co.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

I happened to be passing through Rotorua last week so I arranged to pop in and see the friendly guys at Croucher Brewing Co., Paul Croucher & Nigel Gregory. Here are my favourite photos from my time there.

Paul waits for malt to go through the mill.
Paul waits for malt to go through the mill

Paul mixes the mash.
That's a paddling

Paul prepares to transfer the mash to the lauter tun.
Organised chaos

Paul cleans the elements in the kettle.
Cleaning

Paul and Nigel do a bit of quality control.
Quality control

Now go take a look at the full set. There are some goodies. Let me know your favourites in the comments.

Cassels & Sons vs The Earthquake

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Monday last week, February 21, I started working through my backlog of photos from breweries in an effort to get The Beer Project back on track. I started with Cassels & Sons, a new brewery in Christchurch that I had photographed last October, a month after the 7.1 earthquake. Their temporary brewery survived the shake but there appeared to be some urgency in getting on with the earthquake strengthening of the old tannery building next door, the future location of the brewery, restaurant and bar.

I made good progress on the hardest part of the job: editing the 120 photos I took down to the best twenty or so photos that will go in the gallery here. I ended up with a rough edit of thirty photos that I decided to sleep on and look at with fresh eyes the following night. Except the following night my eyes couldn’t be pulled off the TV. Another earthquake had shaken Christchurch, this time with much more force. It was impossible to stop watching the footage of the aftermath and the broken buildings as my mind struggled to comprehend the scale of it. I lived in Christchurch for most of the ’90s and I kept remembering more and more friends I needed to contact to check they were OK. Favourite places that were likely to be rubble. And worried about the brewers I had photographed and their breweries.

On the night of the earthquake this appeared on Cassels & Sons Facebook page: “Brewery is screwed… Thousands of litres of beer destroyed. Nobody injured thank God! A dark day indeed.” They were not the only brewery to suffer damage. Grieg McGill, from the Society of Beer Advocates, has collated a useful summary of the earthquake’s effect on the Christchurch beer scene. Thankfully everybody is safe but it may be some time before they get back to business.

So what can we do to help? Donate to The Red Cross. Attend a Beer lovers solidarity session for Christchurch in your area this Friday, March 4. And, of course, drink Christchurch beers where they are available.

As I go to post this I see that Cassels & Sons have put the clip below on YouTube, a look at the damage to the brewery and what the future holds. “We will be brewing next week.” If some makes it to Wellington I’ll buy a dozen. I hope you will too.