Friday, April 18, 2014

Dunedin and the Speight's Brewery


My way to the southern parts of the South Island of New Zealand brought me to the city of Dunedin. I'd it on my schedule to visit the Speight's Brewery, also know as "The Pride of the South"...

Dunedin is different to Christchurch, it's a university city with a much more active nightlife. I arrived there in the early afternoon and had enough time to visit a few nice places that you have to see... like the old railway station which has been been built in the early 1900 and was completely finished in 1907, a real jewel of the flamish Renaissance style.

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Dunedin Railway Station

Dunedin Railway Station

I made another stop at the Signal Hill which gave me a fantastic view over the city. Unfortunately some clouds came up and the scenery wasn't as nice as half an hour before when the sun was still shining.

View over Dunedin from Signal Hill

Before I checked in at my hotel I made a last stop at the Baldwin Street, the world's steepest street with 35 %!! The cannot use bitumen or tar for the surface because it would flow down on a hot summer day therefore it is made of concrete. This street is a real hotspot for tourists and there are many crazy guys driving up this cul-de-sac with their 4WD's... you can find lots of clips on Youtube.

Baldwin Street - the worlds' steepest street with 35 %!!

The way to the brewery took me through some nice parts of the city where I made some random shots, nothing specific, just some impressions.


Here you can still find pay phones! 





The Speight's Brewery which has been founded in 1876 consists still of all parts of the original building added by some newer parts.

The tour itself leads you through the old parts where all the equipment is existing but this is only for the tour and not longer in use. The production has been modernized but this part is not open to the public.

At the Speight's Brewery


Hops - the flavor bomb





After a tour of approximately one hour our group arrived in the tasting room where we'd the chance to try the beer which made the brewery the pride of the south... hmmm... several gold medals for their different types... but honestly... it's not really special. Yes, it's not bad, but... mainstream. Refreshing on a hot summer day and easy drinkable due to the fact that they're all around 4 % ABV. Luckily there are many microbreweries here in NZ which make excellent beers, so you're not depending on the mainstream stuff...

In the tasting room

Let it flow...

After going through the Speight's range I changed the location and went next door to the Speight's Ale House for dinner. A had a good steak which was exactly to the point like I wanted it, another Speight's to wash it down and then back to the hotel (with another stop in a pub on the way for a pint of a local microbrewery IPA).

An interesting day with a lot of experiences...

The Speight's Ale House

The Speight's Ale House

Monday, April 14, 2014

Back at home...


After a a business related stay of two months in Christchurch, New Zealand I am now back home in Switzerland. It was in interesting time: jobwise and also with all the private activities that I did during the weekends... luckily I could also enjoy some time with my wife and share some of the stuff with her.

8 weeks. Numerous trips across the South Island. Approx. 8'000 km on the road. A lot of nice and friendly people. Some cigars. One or another dram of Whisky. A few beers. Some kg's of tasty beef. And tons of experiences...

This picture, the only one of this posting, sums up this fantastic New Zealand experience.

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Peerless and impressing - sperm whale fluke at Kaikoura

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nugget Point Lighthouse


Nugget Point Lighthouse - another place on my "places to visit while in NZ" bucket list. It's a few hours drive from here, therefore I'd again to start very early and I combined it with a visit to Dunedin and the Speight's Brewery, more details about that in a second report which'll follow soon.

As I said before: it's a long ride but after the scenery at the end of this first stage of the trip it was worth it. Still some clouds in the sky but also with some sun, the perfect scenery to take some nice shots of the lighthouse and the surrounding area... very pleasant temperatures made it THE place to fire up a cigar and to enjoy it... awesome! I need something like that here in Switzerland. ;-)

On the way to Dunedin I realized that I obviously had the best timing for my stay at Nugget Point because it got more cloudy even though it was still warm...

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Friday, April 04, 2014

03/29 - The Great Kiwi Beer Festival


A whole festival only about beer. 50 breweries, most of them microbreweries. 300+ sorts of different beers. Different seminars around the topic "beer". More than 13'000 attendees. That was the Great Kiwi Beer Festival at the last weekend in the Hagley Park in Christchurch.

I was one of the lucky guys having a so called Hoptimized ticket which enabled me to enter 30 minutes before the official opening of the doors... which was a big advantage because due to this you get a first impression of the whole area without the big crowds being around.

I won't bore you with mentioning all the names of beers that I tried nor with other minor details... but I wanna mention three of the seminars which were really good:
  • Beer & Whisky matching by Richard Emerson from Emersons Brewery: After my experience at the Whisky & Beer matching at Pomeroy's one week before I was really looking forward to this seminar and it didn't disappoint. I'm sure that I'll pick it up for one of my tasting events that I hold twice a year in the Griffins Business Lounge in Kreuzlingen.
 Richard Emerson - matching beer and whisky

  • How to buy a beer by Phil Cook: It's a very unconventional kind of presentation for those modern times... just with a flipchart, but it was fantastic and brought you back to some basic things which should go without saying... but obviously they've to be mentioned again. Also check out his beer diary blog... an interesting read.
How to buy beer - some interesting aspects by Phil Cook

  • Sour & Barrel Aged Beers by Jason Bathgate from 8 Wired Brewing: Over the last 2 years I also made some positive experience with sour beers therefore I was also looking forward to this seminar. I've been in contact with Jason for a while before and so it's great to meet him in person, have chat and some beer together. During my time here I also had to chance to try a big part of their range and I have to say that I like their stuff... good job, guys.

Jason from 8 Wired Brewing


I think it's worth to mention the following: even though the whole festival was about alcohol, there've been more than 13'000 people drinking a lot... there've been no incidents!

And now it's time to enjoy some pix... Cheers!

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Cheers!



Two bottles of a sixpack

Twisted Hop Draft

Parrotdog

Second breakfast

Stu from the Yeastie Boys

First Stout of the day...

More and more people coming in...

Let the beer flow...

Let the beer flow...





Enjoying a smoke

A cardboard knight?

The Pomeroy's Crew - Ava Wilson, the Beer Baroness in the middle