Stu McKinlay has been listening to brewers' stories for more than a decade, and is now brewing one of his own to top them all.
Mr McKinlay, who founded Yeastie Boys with fellow beer aficionado Sam Possenniskie, has taken a long-standing penchant for beer brewing and taken the step every proud home brewer dreams of.
The Yeastie Boys, who launched their first commercial crop last week, are targeting premium palates.
Mr McKinlay said 10 years of home brewing and his knowledge of beer had set him up to attempt the sort of brew he thinks elite beer drinkers should be drinking.
Too many beer drinkers settle for ordinary beer, he said, with many top-selling brands a long way from their origins under the watchful eye of a professional brewer, with some up to six months old.
"The whole idea behind Yeastie Boys is to do seasonal beers. You'll never be drinking a beer that is more than six weeks old."
Beers were not made to age and can suffer from incorrect temperatures and bad bottling processes, which make them taste a lot different than they did at the brewery.
Despite the ever-increasing price of beer, few beer drinkers demand quality, he said.
"People will go out of their way to get a good coffee but not for a good beer. There's as much passion and love that goes into a top beer as into a top wine."
The name was an irreverent rev-up for New Zealand's "too serious" brewing scene, Mr McKinlay said.
Yeastie Boys has invested $10,000 in a 1200-litre contract brewing arrangement with Invercargill Brewery. Expansion will happen as time and cashflow permits, but at the moment Yeastie Boys breaks even, with each brew paying for the next one, Mr McKinlay said.
The first brew, Pot Kettle Black, was launched at Wellington's Bar Edward last week. The second, Golden Boy, is due in December and will be the "summer ale I have always wanted other breweries to produce".
A 1200-litre brew will only last a couple of weeks in the 10 bars that serve Yeastie Boys around the country, but that's the idea.
"It's like an album release. Everybody buys it in the first couple of weeks."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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