On friday I helped bottle beer. In juxtaposition to the general idea of brewing as art in a fermented form, bottling is entirely unromantic. It is a process characterized by the loud whir of machinery, the water which seems to spew from everywhere in the process, and the repetitive nature of the human tasks involved along the way. That being said, I quite liked bottling. Not only was it physically grueling enough to make me feel I had actually done a days work, but there is something satisfying about doing a repetitive task over and over again, perfecting your motions along the way.
I have also noticed a unifying feature of all the Green Man beers. They are straightforward. Nothing about the beer is radical or screams for attention. They are just solid beers, containing the standard range of beer flavors and aroma. This is a reflection of the brew master's philosophy which is to make good beer the traditional way. Perhaps even more than that, it seems to be a reflection of his german origins and training, which emphasize the importance of tradition and culture.
I witnessed another symptom of developing beer culture yesterday. I walked to the home brew store in Dunedin (a walk which took me quite some time, through the hood, where I got offered a ride by a middle aged man driving a beat up red sedan with his dog in the back seat...I politely declined). While it is the only home brew store in the city, the owner and customers in the store really knew what they were talking about. And while I can't exactly diagnose the state of home brewing in the country from this one trip, it is certainly an encouraging sign that there seems to be a healthy home brewing culture here in Dunedin.
Going on a nature excursion today. Post to follow.