New Zealand is really big in homebrewing (like the US) and they also have a lot of microbreweries which make fantastic beers. Many of them use the inventory together with other breweries and most of them refused when I asked for the chance for a visit.
I was also in contact with Jason from 8 Wired Brewing, Blenheim and he initially invited me to jump in when I am in the area. As I planned a trip to the Marlborough Sounds I also had the chance to make a stop there. After numerous emails going back and forth we met the first time at the beer fest in Christchurch and he again invited me to come...
8 Wired Brewing uses the stuff of the Renaissance Brewery in Blenheim, the founder Soren Erikson, who is located in the Auckland area, also uses the inventory of a brewery up there while Jason is running the business in Blenheim.
So I popped in on a Sunday morning and Jason showed me around in the brewery. I only saw big brewing companies before, so it looked a little bit like a scaled-up "garage-project" but what comes out of that is simply excellent beer! Hoppy IPA. Dark and malty Stouts. Also a Black IPA!
Jason was kind enough to show me what he's doing in the brewery as a part of his daily business and the most intensive part is cleaning. Hygiene is no. 1!
Later on he started filling some kegs and I'd the chance to try some of the beers straight from the tank. I'd the Fresh Hopwird Manueka and Nelson Sauvin which will be blended together, therefore I was one of the few who could've tried them before the blending... awesome! Interesting to see the influence of the different hops on the taste! I wish European brewers would do more experiments with different hops and heavily hopped beers. Another really interesting one was the Black IPA. Hard to imagine, but it works. How they get it black you may ask? Feel free to get in contact with them.
The also do a lot of things with sour beers and barrel aging as they've good access to wine cask because of being located in the middle of a very big wine region.
It was an interesting experience for me, thx that you took your time for me, Jason!
Fresh Hopwired Matueka
Fresh Hopwired Nelson Sauvin