It's been a very long time since our last blog post, a lot has happened since then. Let me think back to where we left off in September...
We had just completed setting up our second escape room, The Gangster's Hideout. We are very proud of this room, it took a little longer than the brewer's laboratory to get up and running but it was well worth it as it's getting some great reviews from those who have played it. It's quite a challenge though, taking an average time of 56 minutes to complete it!
Both rooms have proved very popular and we love being able to provide an new activity for tourists and locals here in Kaikoura. It's a great option for those wet weather days or as an early evening activity-but make sure you book before you come as we need advance notice to ensure we have staff on hand to run the games. Booking is easy, just visit our website and click on the book now button on the escape room page.
A very busy summer followed which was long overdue and great to see. The mini golf course was incredibly busy, almost reaching a record of 100 people one day, and beer sales were also booming! We weren't quite prepared for it though having not experienced a full summer season since moving here in 2016, so as a result we embarrassingly ran out of beer a couple of times! This was largely due to increasing our presence in bars and cafes here in town. Huge thanks to The Strawberry Tree and The Pier Hotel for putting our beers on tap in their bars, it's great to be able to point people to places in town where they can sit and enjoy a pint of our beer alongside some great food.
We also picked up a couple of new cafes to sell our bottles, Whale Watch, Dolphin Encounter and Kaikoura Indian to name a few. So we've been giving the bottling machine a good work out this year and it doesn't look like it'll be getting a break anytime soon!
We've had a couple of new beers released too, and the return of our ever popular Red IPA, Angry Sky. Look out for some of these in bottles very soon...
We also hosted another successful Kegkoura in March this year. We were super lucky with the weather again, and everyone had a great time. Next years festival we be on 7th March so keep that date in your diary, you don't want to miss it!
Thanks heaps to Dan Kerins Photography for these awesome photos...
The most exciting news since our last blog post however is that we FINALLY have the brewery up and running! This all happened the week before Kegkoura (not great timing but we have a tendency to do these things, maybe we work better under pressure?) thanks to our friend, brewery consultant Mike Cheer. The first brew was done on the Friday and is a nice malty red ale which has since been squirreled away to age in some pinot noir barrels, we'll see it again in a year or two. Finney has done a few more brews since and each time the process is getting more and more fluid as he gets used to the 1000l kit. There is still a bit of fine tuning required before we are completely smooth sailing, so for now we will continue to brew some of our core range beers at The Twisted Hop in Christchurch. Brewer Jim does a great job down there so we're not going to be taking that away from him just yet, but its fun to be able to play around on our own brewery and hopefully bring you some exciting new beers of which first up is a saison
It's been a few months since our last blog post, winter has been pretty quiet around town, but spring is here now! The weather is improving and the visitors are already returning.
We had a little 2 week break in August which gave us a chance to get some spring cleaning done around the mini golf course, so it's all freshly water-blasted and the obstacles have been repaired/repainted ready for the busy season, it looks great!
We are really excited about the upcoming tourist season as it will be our first full summer season with the roads open full time since we opened in October 2016. Fingers crossed mother nature behaves herself for a while now!
So, since our last blog post we have completed our first Escape Room game "The Brewer's Laboratory". We opened it in June and it's been a hit with everyone that has played it so far. They are all hanging out for us to open our second room. Well, it won't be long folks, it's pretty much built, just give us a week or two to do some trial runs and you'll be able to book in! This new room is called "The Gangsters Hideout" and you can book online via our website, just follow the link on the Escape Room page.
At the beginning of August we hosted a 'Road to Beervana' event on site here at The Emporium. It was the first time we have had a pop-up bar on site and it went really well. It was great to see a good turn out from our Kaikoura locals, especially as it was an outdoor event on a Monday night in the middle of winter! We also had brewers visiting from Renaissance and Altitude Brewing on their way up to Beervana, they took part in an escape room and mini golf challenge which we also ran at the event. The brewers won the mini golf and the team from Kaikoura New World got the best time in the escape room, well done all!
Our next Pop-up bar is on Saturday 17th November, that's show weekend for any of you Cantabrians who are planning a long weekend up to Kaikoura- so be sure to pop in and have a beer at our place.
The next big event on the calendar for Kaikoura is the Kaikoura Hop (13th-16th September) It is a great annual event that really kick starts the summer season and brings heaps of visitors (and awesome cars) to town. This year we are hosting the prize-giving for the poker run event on the Friday. We'll have a bar on site selling our bottled beer which we have re-labelled especially for the Kaikoura Hop weekend. The labels feature classic cars from participants of the Kaikoura Hop car show, so look out for these limited edition bottles around town from 13th September onwards.
You can also order them from us via email after the event: firstname.lastname@example.org (while stocks last)
On Thursday 10th May it was Finney's birthday, and look what arrived! Sadly for Finney they were not full of presents from family overseas, but they were still an exciting delivery nonetheless. These 2 containers are going to house our Escape Room games!
It was a bit of a mission getting them inside our warehouse but we got there in the end thanks to some very patient and highly skilled hiab operators, a friendly local forklift owner and a well timed visit from the Chorus technician who had to temporarily disconnect our low hanging phone line before it got taken out-thanks guys!
"But what is an escape room game?" I hear you ask, They are basically a themed room where you are given a back story and a mission to complete before the time runs out. They are increasingly popular all over the world and there are quite a few in New Zealand already, these will be the first in Kaikoura. They are great team building games as well as being a brilliant indoor activity for those wet weather days, something there is a shortage of here in town.
We have already started work on one of them so if all goes to plan that one will be up and running by the end of this month. It's all top secret stuff so we can't tell you much more, the photos below are the last you will see of the inside of these containers-you'll have to come and play them if you want to see more.
The Emporium opened in October 2016 and is a place for Lau & Finney to share fun stuff they like! Expect blogs about beer, mini golf & escape rooms