Yeastie Boys tips for home beer brewing
Craft beer fans should be grateful that Stu McKinlay doesn't like the idea of working a chef's hours. The Yeastie Boys brewer briefly considered a career in cuisine a few years ago, before settling on brewing instead.
"I thought about the horrendous hours you'd work while everyone else is out having fun so it seemed less appealing than brewing, which you can do any time of the day - you can brew in the morning, night, weekends, whenever you want."
Taking those first steps into home-brewing can be a bit scary, but the amount of information available for someone starting out is incredible, Mr McKinlay says.
Compared with when he began, the difference is remarkable. "When I first started looking into things I just had this slow dialup modem and couldn't find much on it at all.
"You had to find old books from the library or track down old magazines with brewing tips in them. But now, with the internet, the world is your oyster."
For someone who is interested in trying their hand at brewing - or even just looking to learn more about beer - the best place to start is with a beer in hand.
"Just get in among it and try lots of beers. Think about what it is that you are drinking and the way you would describe the flavours. That's the best way to learn, because you'll start to develop a vocabulary for the flavours you are going for."
Wellington's beer community is a great place for those looking to try brewing, with tastings, regular brew events, and plenty of beer bars embracing craft beers.
"You can learn so much from talking with other brewers, tasting beers, and discovering how all of the vocabulary fits together."
Learning how to brew a good beer is a lifelong project, with every new beer teaching you a new thing or two, he says.
"You get to a point where you can make some quite nice beer and you're proud of the way your friends react to it, but we are all constantly learning and trying to push the boundaries in different ways. I'll never, ever stop learning, and I'll always be a bit nervous when we put a new beer out there."
Yeastie Boys will be on tap at Beervana at Westpac Stadium on August 17 and 18. Beervana brings together craft beer brewers, local food, and beer seminars. Tickets from beervana.co.nz.
The Dominion Post