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.

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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Last of the fresh hoppy ale

01:50pm 23 May 2014


The bines have been harvested, the beer has been made, the kegs are running dry and bottles are vanishing from the shelves.

Yes, the mad flurry that is the fresh-hopped beer season is coming to a close.

And while I've written before about how hop heads need to remember how important malt is, I genuinely do like fresh-hopped beers. Last of summer ale

Their resinous texture and unique bitterness - slowly building rather than an instant firebombing of your tastebuds like some highly-hopped beers - always make them interesting.

With Palmerston North still being a bit of a tap beer wasteland - New Zealand draught leering at you from almost every bartop - with only Tuatara's Conehead readily available by the pint.

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Beer blog: Crowdfunding brews

01:10pm 12 May 2014


Let's be honest, pretty much every New Zealand beer writer has had a rant about Moa at some point.

But the marketing department at the Marlborough brewery, while able to rile many, has nothing on Scottish upstarts BrewDog.

The self-proclaimed punk brewery has done everything from stuffing bottles of beer into dead animals, to projecting the images of founders James Watt and Martin Dickie wearing little more than branding material onto the houses of parliament.

Most recently, they told the United Kingdom's alcohol watchdog they ''are sorry for never giving a shit'' about anything said watchdog says, after being told labelling on their Dead Pony Club pale ale encouraged rapid drinking and anti-social behaviour.

But one thing everyone can agree on is BrewDog's uncanny ability to raise cash.

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The home-brewing Olympics

02:30pm 05 May 2014


There has been a fair amount of press in the past few weeks about two New Zealand breweries' achievements at beer's equivalent of the Olympics.

Garage Project and Speight's both picked up silver medals at the World Beer Cup in April.

Most beer competitions dish out multiple medals before picking a final winner, but the Beer World Cup only gives out a gold, silver and bronze to the best three beers in each category.

While silver may not seem like a massive victory - second is often called the best loser - both medals should be celebrated, for more reasons than being the first medals for New Zealand beers since Monteith's Black won best European-style schwarzbier in 2000. Garage Project

Garage Project's Cockswain's Courage Double Barrelled Edition Porter was in one of the largest beer categories (wood and barrel-aged strong beer), while Speight's Triple Hop Pilsner was only beaten by global juggernaut Asahi Super Dry in the technically difficult international lager section.

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