So July has been and gone in a flash, it was quite a busy month for us actually. The 1st of the month saw us head down to Christchurch to be part of A mid winter's ale festival. It was the 3rd annual beer festival hosted by Eagle brewing at the Rolleston community centre and it was a great event as always, especially for Emporium Brewing as we completely sold out of all our beer just 10 mins before the end, perfect! Packing the car up to go home was a breeze with all those empty kegs, see you next year Rolleston!
Business in Kaikoura has been as slow as expected over winter, road access has been even more intermittent than usual with heavy snow and rain playing havoc at times. The view from our window of the fresh snow is stunning though, and despite the poor weather over the school holidays we still managed to get a record 50 people playing mini golf one day! Boom.
Kaikoura's population has increased since the earthquake with the influx of road workers helping to get us re-connected with the rest of the country. We are so grateful for all the work they do as day by day we get a little bit closer to getting that all-important road open. We are especially grateful to our new neighbours, Spraymarks who are occupying the section next door - thanks to them we now have a lovely smooth driveway with not a pot hole in sight! Cheers Spraymarks!
We are finally getting there with the plans for the installation of the brewery and have all the tradies lined up to start work as soon as possible, so hopefully by the time we write our next blog post we'll have some actual progress to show you! We have also lined up an architect to get started on the escape room plans which is really exciting, all being well we'll have a least one room up and running by the end of the year.
In other good news, we have a new retailer of our beers here in Kaikoura. The Pier Hotel are now serving 500ml bottles of Obsidian, Run for the hills, and Enigmatic. It's seems to be selling really well there, no doubt credit to their awesome staff who know how to recognise a decent beer. It is well worth a visit if you are in town as they do fantastic food too.
This move to Kaikoura is definitely testing us!
As if a major earthquake wasn't enough to throw at a new business, we recently had more crap to deal with (excuse the pun) when we discovered there was a problem with our sewage pipes. To be fair, it's still actually a result of the earthquake but the problem lay hidden for 6 months before surfacing (quite literally!) on ANZAC day this year. The break in the pipe was found to be 25m away from the building which is why it took so long to back up. Sadly, 25m away from the building is the 5th hole of our mini golf course :(
We only have one drainage company in Kaikoura and as you can imagine they are pretty busy these days so this was not going to be a quick fix.
So, we were back to using chemical toilets and collecting our shower water etc. until the work could be completed. Fortunately for us though we only had this inconvenience for 5 days before we jetted off to the UK for a month, our poor house-sitters however had to cope with it for 3 weeks!
The work to repair the pipe resulted in us losing half of hole number 5 and the concrete pathway between 5 and 6 as well as a tree from the boundary (so that they could gain access without causing damage to the rest of the course). We knew this would be the case and to be honest the damage could've been a lot worse so we are lucky really. Now all we need is some good weather so we can re-lay the concrete, anyone got any dry weather they can send this way??
Since this photo was taken we have put down a temporary pathway until repairs can be completed, so the course is still playable, just not as pretty as it once was.
First things first, Finney is back from the UK and the site is fully open as usual from 10am onwards
Well what a fun day bringing together both locals and tourists to celebrate craft beer in Kaikoura! Despite the miserable weather trying to ruin it and the heavy rain causing the closure of SH1 south of Kaikoura, the masses still turned up and a great day was had by all. The music was brilliant with our local jam band doing us proud alongside our imports from Christchurch Chloe Langley, Jason Lockhorst and Kane Hogan.
We aimed at getting 200 people for our first event and just about made it with 170 coming along. A good portion of those were from Christchurch which was great to see so many visitors in town, we hope they supported other local businesses whilst they were here too. And kudos for their determination to get here as we know it was not easy with all sorts of hold ups on the Inland road, sterling effort everyone!
So all up a successful event and we hope to continue it again next year.
Thank you to everyone who made it possible from the food vendors & brewers through to the people who actually paid to come to it, we are so grateful.
Fresh Hop season 2017
On to fresh hop season. It seems the first lot of hops sent out were a bit of a bust. The hops were picked warm and so when they shipped they hadn't cooled and it ended up spoiling them. We were lucky that we only wanted Nelson Sauvin which is the second lot to come out and we hope the problems are corrected for this shipment.
We have not released a fresh hop beer before but I wanted to try something a little different so I have created a few small batches of Angry Sky (our Red IPA) and will dry hop the keg. That is right, the keg will have these super juicy, grassy, diesel smelling lovely hops so you can get the full aromatic hit. This means they need to get on tap straight away so look out for it at Volstead & Punky Brewster on the weekend of the 24th as you are not going to want to miss this!
And in other news..
Things are progressing with the brewery site with the cold store being built as I type. This should be operational by the end of next week. Just the floor to sort after that and we can start moving the brew kit into place. Fun times ahead!