GARAGE PROJECT'S JOS RUFFELL SELECTS THE BEST FROM SOME NEW EXCITING NZ BREWERIES.
Jos Ruffell introduces some exciting New Zealand brews
WHAT A TIME TO BE a beer lover in New Zealand. We’ve never had it better. One day we might even look back on these times as halcyon days, with the range, availability and quality of craft beer at an all-time high. There is a growing number of new breweries eager to put their own stamp on one of the world’s oldest beverages, and a strong set of maturing craft breweries bringing depth and experience to the industry.
As we come into our seventh year at Garage Project and start to mature a little ourselves, it was refreshing and exciting to collaborate earlier this year with a German brewery who are also celebrating their seventh anniversary. Seven generations of family ownership, that is.
The exhilarating aspect of modern brewing in New Zealand is that our traditions are not something we are particularly tied to. Our brews of old are best left in the past, which leaves us free to explore and experiment with a blank slate. Our German friends however have no such freedom, with rich brewing histories of which they are rightly proud, but constrained by laws forbidding the use of any adjuncts or ingredients other than the base water, malt, hops and yeast.
When it came time to brew together, the message was clear. Please let us break all the rules! And break them we did, creating Verbotene Früchte (The Forbidden Fruit), a liquid homage to the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. Sinfully decadent and, by our Eurobrewing compatriots' enthusiastic count, a beer that committed at least seven brewing sins per their laws. There’s that number seven again.
This is not a beer, at least according to the German rules, but remember, rules were meant to be broken.
Here’s a selection of new young breweries to keep an eye out for that are working hard to break a few rules of their own and add to our new brewing tradition in New Zealand. JOS RUFFELL