Nestled in the natural beauty that is the Coromandel Peninsula, just a few short hours drive from Auckland, there is a brewery known simply as the Coromandel Brewing Company. Neil Vowles has been brewing beer since his student days. In the 80’s good beer in the UK was hard to come by; this combined with a student budget made brewing his own an attractive option. His passion for brewing carried on as a hobby until moving to the Coromandel in 2008, and finding a lack of craft beers in the area. The solution was obvious – start a small brewery and fill the void!
A few months ago, my better and more beautiful half Michele and I (the Master Chef) were down in Queenstown on a short break. Michele was working so I had time to find some craft beer places and try them out.I arrived early in the morning and by the time I had found Michele and checked in at the hotel it was about 11 and I needed a drink. I found myself at the Dux de Lux. I had just missed the head brewer by one day, so I couldn’t have a look out the back, but it was nice to have a beer at 11am and txt all the boys and mock them while they were meant to be working.
As Matt had been a-travelling down New Plymouth way, he had most thoughtfully dropped by Mike’s Brewery on the way back and collected some brews to share with us all.
In case you’ve not heard of them, Mike’s Brewery produce high-quality beer from Organic ingredients, in the small settlement of Urenui (that’s in the Taranaki, New Zealand). All of the beers they produce carry the Bio-Gro “Certified Organic” mark. Certified Organic is an assurance that the ingredients have not been in contact with any synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, and that the farming is sustainably managed for the long-term. Organic growing tends to be more labour intensive for these reasons, which often drives costs up compared with traditional farming – however it does mean that you’re not ingesting synthetic chemicals along with your beer, and that conditions are maintained for future generations. Both of these are good things, I think.
So what arrived at our table this Wednesday night were two infused porters for our delectation – one with Whisky and one with Coffee – and both certified organic! Read on to see what we all thought.
It’s been a while since we did any reviews; however tonight we have a selection of beers from Renaissance Brewing Company of Malborough, and it’s high time we wrote them up.
Renaissance are the producers of one of our all time favourites, the Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. But first up we have the Perfection Pale Ale.
Who said Auckland doesn’t have any decent Brew Bars? Here are a couple you’ve probably heard of, and one you probably haven’t. It’s a start, alright? And fellow beer fiend Rosalind Aymes has checked them all out for you. So what are you waiting for? Click on through! Off you go!