Food & Dining
Cantabrian Kirsten Taylor is hoping Wellington beer aficionados will brew up a storm at new beer competition.
Ms Taylor has been named as the head judge for the inaugural Black Rock Homebrewing competition, which is part of next weekend's Beervana festival at Westpac Stadium.
"It's very exciting to see so many new beers. The thing with all the different brews, it's interesting to see what's popular at the moment," she said.
"It's seems to be that Kiwi Pale Ale is the flavour of the month, but people are becoming very experimental. Yeastie Boys are really pushing the boundaries and doing it really well, and so are others."
Ms Taylor, who has 17 years' brewing experience, said it was pleasing to see the variety of flavours being used.
"Three Boys have used oyster extract, which is interesting. There's a Belgian wit [white] beer that has coriander added to it. That's one of my favourites. Other brewers have added lemon or tangerine."
The inaugural Black Rock Home Brew competition provides an opportunity for aspiring brewers to have their brews judged by experts.
As well as Ms Taylor, Joseph Wood from Liberty Brewing will be part of the judging panel. Beer aficionados Simon Morton and Richard Scott, from Radio New Zealand's This Way Up programme, make up the rest of the panel. Ms Taylor said they would be judging the beers on aroma, flavour, colour, style, and whether there were any faults.
Homebrewing has come a long way over the past decade, she said.
"When I started out, homebrewing was seen a project for men of 60-plus, who made mediocre beer in their garage. Now people are producing great beers, trying new things and there is a lot of passion."
Ms Taylor became interested in brewing beer while studying towards a bachelor of technology at Massey University.
"One semester was on brewing and that's when I thought I would like to do that for a job."
She went on to become the founder of Christchurch's KJD Brewing Company, and has judged national and international brewing competitions.
For a list of events, see beervana.co.nz.-Beervana, August 17 and 18. .
- The Wellingtonian