An An­tipodean brew FOR THEPOMS

Women brew­ers? Yes, and a good thing, too, ac­cord­ing to CARL HADLER. Brew­ing is still a male dom­i­nated in­dus­try, even though there are no phys­i­cal chal­lenges to pre­vent women from be­com­ing brew­ers. Craft brew­ing is about the brewer mak­ing beer he or she l

The Press - Zest - - Drinks - EWAN SAR­GENT DAVID KILLICK EWAN SAR­GENT

Belinda Gould, from Brew Moon brew­ery, in Am­ber­ley, is mak­ing in­ter­est­ing beer and adding to the craft beer scene in New Zealand. She trained as a wine­maker and worked at Muddy Wa­ter Win­ery in Waipara a few years ago be­fore switch­ing over to brew­ing. She has strong views on craft beer and in the last few years has brewed some unique, tasty, and chal­leng­ing beer.

Belinda re­cently trav­elled to Eng­land to brew a beer for Wether­spoon, the coun­try’s big pub chain. For a few years now Wether­spoon pubs have been invit­ing brew­ers from around the world to brew beer for spe­cific fes­ti­vals with the beer be­ing served in the company’s pubs. They have around 900 pubs! This year Wether­spoon wanted to showcase fe­male brew­ers and Belinda was se­lected for an all­ex­penses-paid trip to Eng­land to brew huge amounts of beer.

She brewedin a small fam­i­ly­owned brew­ery in Ox­ford­shire, Hook Nor­ton Brew­ery. Hook Nor­ton only pro­duces cask con­di­tioned real ale and bot­tle con­di­tioned beer. The brew­ery was started in the 1850s and is set out on many lev­els so grav­ity can help with the trans­fers. There is a work­ing steam en­gine that used to run the brew­ery and a lot of pul­leys and old mech­a­nisms are still in use. It sounds like a work­ing mu­seum.

In all around 40,000 litres of Belinda’s beer was made. It was called Real An­tipodean Ale. It was done in three con­sec­u­tive brew days, fer­mented in open fer­menters for a week and then put into casks to be shipped out to the pubs. In those three days she brewed the same amount of beer she would brew in 10 months at Brew Moon.

What a great ex­pe­ri­ence! I am ex­tremely en­vi­ous. Un­like David Cun­liffe I am­not go­ing to apol­o­gise for be­ing a man but for the first time in my life I wished I was a woman. Not that I agreed with her be­ing cho­sen to go to the UK be­cause she was a woman – she de­served to go on her mer­its as a brewer!

Iron­i­cally, Belinda never got to taste the fin­ished beer. She had to re­turn to New Zealand and as it all went into firkins none has been shipped here.

How­ever, she has now brewed the same recipe here and Real An­tipodean Ale is avail­able in se­lect out­lets on tap and also on hand­pump. The best place to try it is at the Brew Moon Cafe just south of Am­ber­ley on the main high­way. While you are there I rec­om­mend you try the other beers on tap. They are well made, dis­tinct and in­ter­est­ing. The Ole Mole is a par­tic­u­lar favourite, very chal­leng­ing with plenty of spice and chilli heat. The newer Farm­house Ale, brewed with a Sai­son yeast, is clean and re­fresh­ing with a stun­ning cit­ric grape­fruit edge that is par­tic­u­larly be­guil­ing.

Belinda Gould is a real craft brewer. She has a lo­cal com­mu­nity fo­cus, she brews from the heart and she brews good beer.

Ara Se­lect Blocks Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2012. RRP $25.95

There’s a posh­ness about this sau­vi­gnon blanc. It’s fleshy and in­tense but all in a very sat­is­fy­ing way. Wel­come asparagus flavours are creep­ing in, thanks pos­si­bly to the wine’s age, and a lit­tle grape­fruit note keeps it clean. This is classy.

A BIT OF A HOOT Wise Owl Swoop­ing Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2013. RRP $12.95 TOP DROP Ra­paura Springs Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2013. RRP $16

Great name and a fun la­bel. ‘‘Tal­is­man of the vine­yards’’, this prom­ises an af­ford­able quaffing wine rather than a high class ex­am­ple of the wine­maker’s art, and so it proves. It’s sweet­ish, fruity, with good length. Al­to­gether a medium wine, quite tol­er­a­ble and fine as a party wine, how­ever, there are bet­ter sau­vi­gnon blancs at rea­son­able prices out there. With bright, clear, zingy flavours and a limey fin­ish, this is the type of wine that per­fectly il­lus­trates what a top Marl­bor­ough sau­vi­gnon blanc de­liv­ers. A tarty fruit salad with lots of seam­less struc­ture. There’s noth­ing shy or sub­tle about it – but that’s not what you want when you un­screw the top of a re­cent sau­vi­gnon. All wines are pub­lished with the rec­om­mended re­tail price (RRP) by the win­ery or distrib­u­tor, but with so many good wines be­ing dis­counted, it is likely that they can be bought for less than the RRP.

Cheers: Belinda Gould pours a beer at a Wether­spoon pub in London, at the prelaunch party of her Real An­tipodean Ale.

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