More than a year after it opened, Wellington's newest brew bar is finally brewing.
The Fork & Brewer in Bond St opened as a bar and restaurant a year ago, and its owners expected to be brewing beer there by early this year, although the first grain was poured into its steel tanks only yesterday.
The Fork & Brewer's layout has proved challenging, with the brewing tanks at the entrance to the first-floor establishment.
Operations manager Colin Mallon said to comply with earthquake safety regulations, an extra $30,000 was spent to give additional support to the large stainless steel tanks.
"One standard might be OK in an industrial site, but when you're in an environment where people are going to be drinking, you've got to be doubly careful, and we understand that."
Installing the tanks was also frustrated by a language barrier, with manuals for the Chinese-made equipment written in Mandarin.
With the problems finally resolved, brewer Lester Dunn went to work on a golden ale yesterday, the first of five beers initially planned.
Later the tanks are likely to be used to produce seasonal beers and collaborative brews with other brewers.
"One of the things I'm excited about is being able to brew product catered to the market. If we get customers saying, ‘This is the sort of beer we want to have', we can make it on the site," Mallon said.
"Food miles will be about five metres, and we'll be able to prove the provenance of the product too."
Initially it will cater for the Fork & Brewer's own customers, and then the Malthouse in Courtenay Place, which has similar ownership.
Mallon said the bar had also been approached by craft beer bars in Auckland in Christchurch wanting to sell Fork & Brewer's beer.
- © Fairfax NZ News