Hawke's Bay winery turning its hand to craft beer
Trinity Hill is one of Hawke's Bay's big names in wine.
Right in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels grape-growing district, the cellar door is a must-do for many visiting the region.
For the last few months the winery has had two new beverages for customers to sample, but instead of grapes this variety is flavoured with hops and malt.
The brewers of the Trinity Hill IPA and session ale beers are better known as the winery's cellar master Sebastian Hanse and logistics and inventory manager Roy Kamphuis.
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Last year they approached company CEO Michael Henley with the idea of having a craft beer or two as an addition to the cellar door.
He agreed and they have produced four batches of session ale and five of IPA since December last year.
"I came in, and we had no advertising, just a bottle [at the cellar door] and nothing said," Hanse said.
"It was three or four days into the Christmas holidays and we only had seven bottles left ... from 80 odd bottles."
The plan into the future was to keep it as a cellar door beer or kegs for events at the winery.
"We have had a few bloggers talk about the beer and rate it well so we are happy with that," Hanse said. "It's all a bit of a whirl-wind, we never expected it to sell that quick being a winery."
The pair have a small 50-litre brewery set up in a corner of the winery's barrell hall.
"We have a little nook there to get into the alchemy of things."
Kamphuis said they were focusing on creating a well-balanced malt with a sweet hop aroma for the IPA.
"The session ale is moderate in its bitterness and very lightly hopped, so the idea is it's nice and drinkable," Kamphuis said.
"We talk about wine all the time so I tend to just enjoy beer and not think about it too much."
They were currently busy with the harvest of this season's grapes and struggling to keep up with demand for beers, but hoped to build up some stock over winter.