Hos­pice launches craft beer


The Otago Com­mu­nity Hos­pice is hop­ping into its an­nual aware­ness week - quite lit­er­ally.

The hos­pice is launch­ing a craft beer dur­ing the seven-day ap­peal, which starts on Mon­day and goes un­til May 21.

‘‘Gin­ger Ninja’’ was brewed at the south­ern-most brew­ery in New Zealand, the Catlins Brew­ery at Kaka Point.

Pun­ters will get their first taste at sig­na­ture event Hops for Hos­pice, on Satur­day May 20, from 5pm to 8pm, at the Otago Polytech­nic Hub, Forth Street, in Dunedin.

The hos­pice brew is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Hos­pice Aware­ness Week and Otago Polytech­nic Nurs­ing se­nior lec­turer and clin­i­cal su­per­vi­sor, Vicki Yark­erJones. The nurses came up with the ini­tial idea.

Yarker-Jones, well known in Otago as Vicki Pur­ple for her favourite colour and match­ing per­son­al­ity, de­scribed it as ‘‘a beau­ti­ful Vienna Lager’’.

‘‘If it were a dance, this beer would be a Vi­en­nese Waltz,’’ she said.

It con­sists of her spe­cial gin­ger prepa­ra­tion - root, syrup and seeped in vodka - to in­fuse into the lager.

And in a nod to gin­ger’s ther­a­peu­tic prop­er­ties, the can­cer sur­vivor and keen ama­teur brewer named the brew ‘Gin­ger Ninja’.

It will be show­cased along­side five other craft beers from around Otago and matched with food from a menu de­signed by the polytech’s Food De­sign In­sti­tute.

Hops for Hos­pice is the only public event the hos­pice will be run­ning dur­ing the ap­peal week.

Otago Com­mu­nity Hos­pice chief ex­ec­u­tive Ginny Green, who has just cel­e­brated 10 years in the role, said aware­ness week was a fundraiser, and ’’a time to re­flect on how we live well and die well in Otago’’.

In her time, the num­bers of pa­tients had more than dou­bled. In 2007, the hos­pice cared for about 80 pa­tients at any given time, com­pared with 210 to­day. Staff num­bers had in­creased from 50 to 100, and 80 per cent of these staff were di­rectly in­volved in pa­tient care, with 81 per cent of them hold­ing post grad­u­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tions in pal­lia­tive care.

In Otago, only a third of pa­tients will ever re­quire an ad­mis­sion into the in­pa­tient fa­cil­ity of a hos­pi­tal, be­cause of the hos­pice. The hos­pice has to raise more than $2m ev­ery year to cover the dif­fer­ence in govern­ment fund­ing and oper­at­ing ex­penses.

Otago Com­mu­nity Hos­pice is launch­ing a craft beer as part of its an­nual hos­pice aware­ness week fundraiser.

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