So the reason this report has been so delayed, it that I wanted to include photos from the trip. Photos that I took with my fancy-smancy android smart phone. Obviously smarter than me since I can’t seem to figure out how to get the photos out of the phone onto the PC. This is the bad part of getting old, in my opinion. The technology is no longer intuitive.
Looking at the photos, now, maybe I should give up on the digital camera-phone too. Sorry they are horrible!
When we last left our story, we were leaving Napier into the so-called “weather bomb”. We were determined to get to Wellington and through the pass before things got too hairy. Things were looking rough as we stopped to see friends South of Masterton and the road to their place was a lake. Not such a great thing when you are driving
a car which is very low to the ground. While we did make it to Wellington, we missed out on meeting up with the brewer of Peak, Rhys Morgan, based out of Masterton. I understand he sells his beers at the farmer’s market. (not confirmed) Once in Wellington, we caught up with Neil Miller at the Fork & Brewer. A nice space with a beautiful curved bar featuring more taps than you can shake a spatula at – spatula being one of the clever tap handles.
A short stay in Wellington and we were off North through Whangnui which showed the real devastation of the weather bomb. Our destination was New Plymouth where we hoped to catch up with Joseph Wood, of Liberty among others. Our accommodation was a lovely cottage at the foot of the mountain, which had the added benefit of free home brew! Wassail Brauhaus (www.brauhaus.co.nz) hosted by George and Marlene Busby is highly recommended for a comfortable stay. And the home brew was good too!
The location made it an easy drive up to the mountain or into town. We were lucky with great weather for hiking up the mountain. With our thirst built up, we were off in search of a good beer, which we found at Mike’s Organic. This brewery sits on a beautiful lifestyle block with Minorca chooks wandering the orchard. We were unable to tour the brewery as another large group of beer distributors and marketing people from Wellington had the staff quite busy. Instead we tasted each of the 8 beers available and fell in love with the Taranaki Pale Ale and the Imperial Stout. Bottled in large 2L plastic bottles, I couldn’t resist bringing some home. Joe from Liberty finally returned from Auckland where he was brewing along side Ian as part of the Galbraith’s Cask series. In catching up with him, we got a tour of his brewery (garage) with 3 shiny new 300L capacity tanks. Thanks to Joe & Christina for showing us around and sharing the C!tra (my favourite beer).
So there you are. North Island does have craft beer. We found lots and it was good.