10-year-old's craft beer idea

HANNAH MCKEE
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2013
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ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ

SHAKESBEER: Garage Project brewer Pete Gillespie with children Madeleine, 10, and Aidan, 6, at the release of dad and daughter's collaborative beer, Burning Globe.

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A new brew on the craft-brewing scene was a hit at its weekend release, which is not bad for the first-time brewer, 10-year-old Madeleine Brooks Gillespie.

Of all things, the inspiration for Madeleine to brew a new beer was her love of Shakespeare, and it did not hurt that her dad, Pete Gillespie, is a brewer at Garage Project.

When Madeleine learned that London's Globe theatre burned down 400 years ago in 1613, she decided to merge her and her father's passions and pitch a beer idea to him to commemorate the theatre – Burning Globe.

"The idea was that we would use oak-smoked wheat malt because that linked to the theme of the burning Globe, which was made of oak," Madeleine says.

"What also makes the beer relevant is that, when the Globe burnt down, nobody was hurt but someone had their trousers catch on fire and it was put out with a bottle of beer."

Pete Gillespie recalls coming home one day and Madeleine saying she had an idea for a beer.

"I thought, 'Yeah, yeah, dear, I'm sure you have,' kind of rolling my eyes because she's 10, but then when she explained I thought it was a great idea and started paying more attention."

The dad-and-daughter duo brewed a small 40-litre batch of the smokey ale at the Garage Project pilot plant over one weekend in October.

They released their creation at Southern Cross bar on Sunday, poured straight from traditional barrels, and were joined by the Playshop Theatre group, which put on a performance of This Fair Verona, directed by Lori Leigh.

The intention of Burning Globe was not necessarily to recreate an Elizabethan beer but more about having fun, Gillespie says.

"I remember learning about Shakespeare at school and it was pretty boring but, at the time when people watched Shakespeare, it was actually quite a rowdy affair, people were drinking beer and getting engaged, and that's really quite fun."

Beer should never get too serious, he says. "Wine, I guess, has a tradition of being a bit more serious ... but beer has always been a low-brow thing, you're allowed to have fun with it."

The proceeds from Sunday's sales of Burning Globe have gone to Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand, an organisation that supports the understanding of Shakespeare's works and performance.

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