Cuisine - - CONTENTS - Pho­tog­ra­phy Ja­son Creaghan

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

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