Saturday 23 September 2017

Our Book of the Week this week is the new edition of the definitive guide to the plethora of beers produced in New Zealand. BREWED by Jules van Costello (published by Potton & Burton) is full of information and is enjoyable to read, both for beer novices and aficionados. 

{STELLA's review}:
The craft beer industry in New Zealand has been on the up and up since the 1980s. Nelson has more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country: there are several dedicated craft beer bars - The Freehouse and the Craft Beer Depot; and a combination of established brewers (some with a long family history - the Duncans at Founders and the McCashin family of Stoke) as well as more recent additions (Hop Federation in Riwaka and contract brewer Phil McArdle of Horsebox). We grow hops in Motueka (a crop that has once again flourished post-kiwifruit-mass-plantings): these are highly regarded and keenly sought after, and new varieties have been developed including the Nelson Sauvin. While I knew a little of this, I’m gleaning most of my information from Jules Van Costello’s new edition of Brewed: A Guide to the Beer of New Zealand. Now in its second edition, there are more breweries (166 in all) and more tasting notes (over 450), and the book isn’t solely the domain of craft beer producers, with the inclusion of the likes of DB and Lion. The first few chapters of Brewed give an overview of the beer industry now, looking at everyone from the larger commercial players to the more specialist boutique brewers; there’s a brief history of beer in New Zealand, a simple explanation about how beer is made and its ingredients, and notes on cellaring and how to drink your beer (drinking temperatures, glass types). Of particular note is the comprehensive description of beer styles. The main part of the book is an A-Z of breweries with a quick rundown on their history and a spotlight on their signature beers. The Mussel Inn’s Captain Cooker raises its head, along with their eco principles, and brewer Andrew Dixon’s solution to demand for his beer internationally. Emerson’s Bookbinder has long been a favourite of mine (I have to admit that the name drew me), so I’m pleased to discover another book-related beer connection in Oamaru’s Craftwork - owned by Michael O’Brien (bookbinder) and Lee-Ann Scotti - which specialises in traditional Belgian ales. Van Costello has added a star rating system (similar to the Michelin style - he quickly points out that all the brewers are good, that some of them make excellent specialist beers, but others excel on several fronts earning them a star or two.) Of the 166, there are only eight that get the 3-star rating, and from the many listed Nelson breweries three take out 2-star honours: Hop Federation, Sprig & Fern, and Townshend Brewery. The tasting notes list the best from the brewers, with a few tagged 'Must-Tries'! Next time you’re eyeing up the range at the supermarket this will come in handy. Or you could come along and ask Jules Van Costello about his favourites:

>> Come along and hear Jules talk about beer (AND taste some beer!): 1 PM, Monday 25th September @ VOLUME. See you then. 

>> Jules introduces the new edition

No comments:

Post a Comment