Auckland beer Urbanaut has roots in New Zealand ‘malt country’

Every time you drink a New Zealand brewed beer, there’s a high chance the malt came from Marton.

The Rangitikei town is not only home to New Zealand’s largest malting factory, but also three entrepreneurs starting a brewing company in Auckland.

The Urbanaut team – Simon Watson, Thomas Rowe and Bruce Turner – are long-time friends from their years at Rangitikei College.

Last week, their craft beer made its Palmerston North debut at Brew Union.

(Read Full Article)

Kiwi pies and beers becoming popular in China

Kiwis are converting the Chinese to two of our own traditions – pies and craft beer.

Down a bustling side street in Jingan, Shanghai, former Christchurch brewer Fraser Kennedy is concocting craft beer recipes for the newly opened Goose Island Brew Pub, where he works as chief brewer.

Kennedy has been chief brewer since Belgium-owned AB Inv, the world’s largest brewing company, opened its first craft beer bar in Shanghai three months ago. Home to an estimated 24 million, Shanghai has about five craft beer bars, and Kennedy says the frothy brew is starting to take off.

Kennedy, who used to have his own beer label, Ad Lib, in Christchurch, says that Indian Pale Ales (IPAs) have been popular in China since last year, when the China’s president, Xi Jinping, sealed his “golden” friendship with UK Prime Minister David Cameron in an English pub, over a pint of Greene King IPA.

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Hops production in NZ slumps by 10 percent

The New Zealand Hops co-operative says its 18 growers, which are in the Nelson region, produced about 750 tonnes of hops, which was 33 tonnes less than the year before.

Chief executive Doug Donelan said the weather had not been right since spring.

“The growing season wasn’t very good. We had a cold summer and prior to that during the early stages it was a very wet spring. The two things you really don’t want when you’re growing hops.”

Mr Donelan said some varieties were hit harder than others.

“We were down 30 percent on some varieties, but overall it was probably down about 10 percent on the previous year… that came off increasing acreage so we actually had more plants in the ground and produced less hops.”

The co-operative is working to increase the production of hops and wants to grow total volume by 30 percent to about 1100 tonnes.

New Rangiora fillery an oasis in a craft beer desert


Dave Wilmott is bringing an oasis to the craft beer and cider desert of Rangiora.

Rangiora’s first craft beer and cider fillery, The Good Drop at 7 Durham St, will open on Wednesday after the store’s off-licence came through on Tuesday.

Customers can fill their own bottles – or use those provided – with their choice of a range of 20 craft beer and ciders.

(Full Article)

Brother’s Day beer

My plans for a Mother’s Day beer column went out the window when I realised today, May 6, was my brother’s birthday.

If you want a Mother’s Day column you can find one here:–beer but this year I’m going to do Brother’s Day.

Back in the early 1990s Tim and I were regular consumers of the Mac’s range, particular Black Mac, which was probably the most sophisticated set of beers you could regularly lay your hands in those days. But in 2004 Tim played a role in starting my craft beer journey. On a trip home from Australia, I visited him in Christchurch and he offered me a Monteith’s Summer Ale. It was the beer that woke me up to the wider flavour possibilities on offer in New Zealand and it seemed light years ahead of anything I was drinking in Australia.

Tim and his family now live in Perth, and I’m back here, so in the spirit of that Summer Ale awakening, I figured it was time to return the favour and give him a taste of what he’s missing in New Zealand.

Call it the birthday six-pack. I might even send him one, if he’s lucky.

(Full Article)

Five of the best Auckland craft beer venues

The staggering growth of craft beer in New Zealand means it’s almost impossible to keep track of every new brewer and the bars serving their products.

Demand from discerning drinkers means more places than ever are popping up where you can indulge in an IPA or polish off a few pilsners.

And while the boom in boutique brewing has traditionally been driven by Wellington, which stakes its claim as the ‘craft beer capital’, or Nelson the ‘brewing capital’, Auckland is growing quickly with a rising reputation for quality beer.

So whether you’re a beer beginner or a craft connoisseur looking for somewhere different, here are our picks of Auckland’s best established and up-and-coming venues.

(Full Article)

Auckland brewery creates anti-Trump beer

The prospect of Donald Trump becoming the United States president is a bitter pill to swallow for many, but what if it was a bitter beer?

Auckland-based brewery Behemoth has answered the question head-on, with the release of ‘Dump the Trump’.

The American IPA, which will be available next week, also features a caricature of the well-coiffed Trump on the label.

(Full Article)

Sparging Online – Issue 1

This is the first issue of the new weekly online publication – Sparging Online.
Sparging has been a print publication since October 1997, that has supplied news and articles on beer and brewing to the New Zealand brewing industry. Sparging has grown every month it has been published and now it is time for it to expand again. With Sparging becoming a weekly online service as well as a monthly print publication it adds value for the readers. Now you get extra benefit of the latest news as it happens as well as the ability for better interaction and feedback. We look forward to your contributions and any comments you may have. Send to

DAVID CRYER LTD – New Zealand’s supplier of quality imported malts.
For more details on these malts, as well as kegs and other brewing supplies
Contact: Ph 021.440.250 e.mail:
WYEAST – the leading source of fermentation cultures for beer and wine making worldwide.
Next shipment deadline 29th October 1999. This is the last New Zealand shipment for the year
Send in your orders NOW! Fax 09.535.4730 e.mail:


New Opening – 30th October 1999
NZ’s first 100% certified ORGANIC Brewery
3 beers on tap,
Tall Blonde – a golden lager
Redhead, – a Vienna style copper – red lager
Long Black – a schwarzbier style black lager
The cafe The Brewers Daughter will also open this weekend serving where ever possible organic food to compliment the beers, and the beer is also used in the cooking. Organic wines and juices also serve.

Founders Historic Park, 87 Atawhai Drive, Nelson

Pale Ale No 4: Fuel for the Mutiny

What’s in the bottle?
Australis Hodgson India Pale Ale, 6.3% alc/vol

What’s interesting about this beer?
Well, what isn’t? This cask-conditioned, bottle-refermented IPA is as good as craft brewing gets. In the highly hopped, high-alcohol style of George Hodgson’s fortune-making product of 100 years ago, Australis conditioned this beer for 14 months before bottling, and with fresh yeast in the bottle, it’s a live product bursting with flavours and aromas.

What does it smell and taste like?
Sackloads of Goldings hop flowers produce not only the bitterness but a scented herbaceous aroma. It pours with a mahogany polish and a tight white head. The pale ale malts are enriched with some crystal malt, and make for a big mouthful, surprisingly with citrus notes, which is cut by hop bitterness at the finish. High alcohol gives the beer a vinous quality and spreads the flavours over the palate.

What food does it suit?
At its launch the IPA was teamed with venison steaks and asparagus, and performed with distinction. Spicy Indian curries are not too big for it, either.

Where do you get it?
Galbraith’s Alehouse NZ$6.95 a bottle or $72 a case; Newmarket Wines and Spirits, Super-liquor Waiheke, Hamilton Wine Company.

By Cameron Williamson
Special thanks to The New Zealand Herald for permission to reprint these articles


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Sparging Online. © Copyright 1999 Real Beer, Inc.
All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be republished in any form, electronic or otherwise, without the expressed consent of the publishers.