The Beerhive

Dominion Post reporters Michael Forbes and Shane Cowlishaw are not exactly expert home brewers - but they're willing to give it a go. Join the pair as they explore the craft beer capital one bottle at a time.

Not another Fork & Brewer

01:00pm 04 Jul 2014

SHANE COWLISHAW

If you're wandering around Wellington, there's a good chance you've walked past a brewer or two.

The species seems to be attracted to the place, constantly flying in and out of the "craft beer capital" for beer launches, collaboration brews or just a quick pint.

One brewer that has made the move permanent is Taranaki boy Kelly Ryan.

fork & brewerHeld in high esteem by both his peers and the beer community, Ryan has moved down with his family to take over the brewing responsibilities from Lester Dunn who has done a fantastic job at the Fork & Brewer.

Lester has really got to know the brew pub's tight set up well and their beers have improved markedly this year.

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These are dark days, indeed

01:00pm 18 Jun 2014

SHANE COWLISHAW

OPINION: It's a common phrase down at the pub, the old "I don't like dark beers".

One of those blanket sentences trotted out by the general population ever since they had their first and only sip of Speight's old dark, you would swear some people had been asked to drink molasses when offered a glass.

Old DarkBefore I get carried away I should be honest -  it's a phrase I myself employed for most of my early twenties.

A friend of mine was a big fan of dark beer, and to my discredit I would make fun and laugh whenever he ordered something out of the ordinary.

Thankfully I got over that stage and I'm immensely glad I did as dark beer opens up a whole new world of tastes and flavours.

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Chili and beer - a perfect match?

11:00am 16 May 2014

SHANE COWLISHAW

Spicy food and beer. Is there a better combination?

Aside from the time where you really need that mango lassi to cool you down after getting carried away on the vindaloo, beer is almost always the best accompaniment to fiery food.

For perhaps this reason, the craft beer community and chilli-lovers seem to gravitate together.

scorpionOn the beer side, brewer Joe Wood, of Liberty fame, is well-known for his love of chillies and Youtube videos featuring himself sweating through the latest flammable fruit he's managed to get his hands on.

In fact, there are an astounding number of videos on the internet of not just Joe but countless people eating hot chillies in all manners, be it raw or blending them up in a shot glass.

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Homebrewing goes mainstream

11:00am 30 Apr 2014

SHANE COWLISHAW

OPINION: It's almost a year since we started this blog to document not only the growing beer scene, but also our own stumbling journey into brewing at home.

We've learnt a lot, but we're still rookies.

Along the way we've picked up tips and tricks from brewers we've met and some great online communities, but there have also been times when we've been completely lost at sea (or beer).

Even though the general processes are relatively simple, it can be pretty daunting when confronted by technicalities such as correct PH levels and mystifying words such as lovibond, flocculation and saccharification.

Despite the confusion it's been an enjoyable experience. Homebrewing really is on the up, so much so that one man has decided he can start a business so people can brew their own beer without owning all the equipment that goes with it.

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Hopstock, bring it on!

05:00am 23 Apr 2014

MICHAEL FORBES

OPINION: It’s always a bit sad when Easter come to an end.

You get to spend four days painting eggs, going to church at midnight, dragging your homemade cross around and having some ripping good chats with your mates about the death and resurrection of Jesus.

But then it finishes and all-of-a-sudden you’ve got nothing to worship.

If this is your current dilemma then don’t freak out, because the craft beer equivalent of Easter (otherwise known as Hopstock) begins today.

Hopstock is the time of year when those who pray at the craft beer alter celebrate the death and resurrection of the almighty hop.

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