Thursday, May 28, 2009

Emerson's, Bottling Part II, and Beervana

I would like to begin by welcoming anyone who happened upon my blog as a result of Real Beer NZ ( the online craft beer community for new zealand) which is now graciously listing my blog on their site. If an you you are in Dunedin and would like to grab a drink or trade some beer or thoughts on beer in New Zealand, let me know.

So I just got back form an awesome visit to Emerson's. Got a tour of the facility from production manager Chris O'Leary. It's quite an impressive production facility. Also had a lengthy chat with Chris about beer culture in New Zealand, distribution difficulties, beer philosophy and a whole number of other topics. Then I met Richard Emerson who graciously led me through a tasting of pretty much all of their beers. I was particularly blown away by their Smoked Porter (I think it's a brewer's reserve), which had an amazing ripe fruit hop aroma, a subtle roasted bitterness, and a gentle smokiness towards the back of the tongue. I look forward to tasting their line-up in bottled form, for reviewing purposes, and hopefully getting the opportunity to volunteer for them in the future.

Earlier in the day I helped out at Green Man, bottling Best Bitter and Stout. While I had previously stated I enjoyed the bottling process, today's experience was much more stressful. Whereas I had previously been removed from the more mechanized portions of the process, today I was in the thick of things. Besides the pressure to perform my task rapidly enough to not cause a complete breakdown in the whole bottling line, several bottle exploded a foot from my face when the ancient capping machine applied pressure where it shouldn't have to the smaller 330 ml bottled used by Green Man for some of their beer. Anyways, it was a tiresome stressful morning.

In other exciting news, I think I am going to be a volunteer at the national craft brew festival in New Zealand called Beervana. So to all the kiwi beer enthusiasts now hopefully reading my blog, I will see you there.

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