From Drinker to Brewer

Forced into brewing to suffice his need for quality imbibement, reporter Jono Galuszka blogs about his journey from beer drinker to beer brewer from the depths of the Manawatu swamp land.

Blaming your beer-making tools

11:00am 28 Jul 2014


A good tradesperson never blames their tools.

I am no builder/carpenter/constructor of useful objects, but I know that is nearly always the case.

But what if the tradesperson makes their own tools for years, has been using them to build some of the best houses in recent history, and then has trouble using a new tool he bought? Media brew

In that case, I think they would be justified to mutter a few expletives before throwing their new hammer into the nearest bin.

And while Carl Vasta may be a big man - large enough to spawn Game of Thrones references - the staff working at Tuatara Brewing on Monday last week must have be glad he is not strong enough to throw 500L copper tanks across rooms.

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Eating your beer

10:32am 03 Jul 2014


In case you have not figured it out yet, I like drinking beer.

But one thing which may trump that is eating it.

I'm not talking turning beer into ice cubes to put into glasses of lemonade to create Frankenshandies, but cooking with it.

My colleagues at work already know how well beer can go with food, thanks to Nigella Lawson and her decadent chocolate Guinness cake.

But to get the best out of the recipe, switch the Guinness - often too thin and lacking in flavour - for something a bit bigger.

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How you like that umami?

08:33am 20 Jun 2014


I am one of those people who will always pick savoury over sweet.

Sure, I love cake as much as the next person, but there is something so much more satisfying about savoury food.

For a long time I was not able to put my finger on it, but everything clicked when I learned what exactly we taste.

There's sweet, salt, sour and bitter. That is what we are taught when we are young.

But there is also that fifth taste - umami.

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Caught on the hop

11:37am 12 Jun 2014


There has not been much drinking of beer going on this week.

No, I'm not in rehab. Here is hoping my beer consumption never gets to that level.

Instead, I've been sick. 

When it feels like a concrete mixer has poured its contents down your nostrils, tasting beer is the last thing on your mind.

But when lying on the couch at home, full to the brim with green tea and chicken soup, I managed to see something profound on, of all places, the internet. Caught on the hop

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A pre-loaded idea

02:26pm 28 May 2014

Anti-government types are often annoyed at how often our elected representatives interfere in day-to-day life.

They dictate what we can smoke, when we can go to the pub and how our taxes get spent.

So some of them must have been happy when the Alcohol Reform legislation was passed last year.

The reforms did a lot of nothing on the surface - minimum pricing was ruled out, no ban on RTDs being above 6 per cent ABV, no movement of the purchase age - but a big shift took place.

City and district councils were given more power to control how alcohol was sold in their patches, including deciding opening hours and imposing conditions on licensed venues.

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