Brewing up a storm at new beer festival

22:39, Jun 18 2014
 beer festival
CHEERS GUYS: Bill Fennell, left, and Eckhard Marther at Fairfield House, the home of their upcoming beer festival.

Craft beer might be today's tipple of choice for beer aficionados, but Nelson Tasman home brewers also know their stuff.

In honour of those who make great beers at home the inaugural Home Brew Celebration is being held at Fairfield House this Saturday.

The event is being put together by business partners Eckhard Marthen and home brewer Bill Fennell.

Eckhard says the event aims to showcase home brewing and 10 home brewers from the Nelson Tasman region will have their beer at the celebration.

Brewers will also be happy to chat to other home brewers, and offer advice to other home brewing fans.

A home brewing demonstration will also be staged.


Entry is $20, and that includes finger food and a barbecue including German, background music and of course samples of Nelson Tasman home brews.

There will also be prizes up for grabs for those who attend including a voucher from Sprig and Fern on Hardy St, and other prizes from Mapua's Golden Bear and Deville in Nelson.

If the event is a success it was possible it could be run twice a year.

Eckhard says there has "absolutely" been a surge of interest in home brewing, as the beer culture in New Zealand has exploded, and it has "come a long way".

Home brewers now could produce quality brews, and one only had to look at the success of Nelson man Dale Holland of Dale's Brewing Company to see that.

One of Dale's beers took the supreme award at New Zealand's largest home brew competition in 2010 and Dale now brews commercially.

"This is a chance for home brewers to get out into the community and show case what they can do. A lot of those beers are top notch, they really are."

Good home brewers have long ditched the home brewing kits and now buy their own hops and other ingredients, Eckhard says.

This is the first event that IcyWingz has organised. They are also putting on a courtesy bus for people who live within reasonable driving distance of Nelson. To confirm a place on the bus email address and phone number to or phone 021 101 2084.

The Nelson Mail